With the rise of e-commerce, more businesses are relying on warehouses. At the same time, there is increasing pressure to run your warehouse with speed and accuracy, without raising costs. This can seem like a huge challenge. However, there are a number of ways you can lower the costs of your warehouse, from buying used pallet racking and shelves to optimizing your space.
1. Used equipment and storage
An easy way to cut costs from the start is to purchase used equipment and storage units. While some types of equipment may need to be purchased new for your business, many items are just as reliable second-hand as they are new. You can save up to 40% on your setup costs, as well as any expansions later on, by purchasing used pallet racking and other storage units from Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc.
2. Improve layout and flow
The better your layout, the better your use of space is, and the faster you can fulfill orders. When designing your layout, make sure to track how an item will enter the warehouse, be stored, picked, and shipped.
Locations such as the staging and docking areas have the potential to create hold ups. Monitor these areas to determine whether changes need to be made.
3. Optimize storage space
Using your space wisely is vital to cutting costs. A smaller building has lower running costs, and optimizing your space means you do not need a larger building for more storage.
Make sure you are using the optimal type of pallet racking, industrial shelving, or other storage units for each item. Do not forget to look at wasted vertical space. You can optimize this with the use of features such as mezzanines.
4. Increase employee retention
Hiring and training new employees costs time and money. Additionally, experienced employees will perform their jobs more effectively, resulting in a return on your investment in them. Assessing employee satisfaction is important to ensure a high retention rate.
Many measures to improve employee satisfaction are cost saving themselves. For example, scheduling shifts effectively means you are optimizing your labor, as well as helping your employees.
5. Cross training
Another way to take advantage of your labor force is to offer incentives for mobility. Cross training allows an employee to learn new skills. He or she can then take on varied tasks as the need arises, preventing the cost of new hires. These employees may then advance to problem-solving project teams or management roles.
6. Inventory management
Dead stock means wasted space. Perform a regular purge to ensure you have no dead or aging stock on site. This means managing your inventory carefully, with frequent checks to stay up to date.
When managing your inventory, make sure all stock is easy to find. Any time spent searching for lost items can cut your productivity rates. Losing track of your stock could also result in over-ordering.
7. Use cross docking
Every item that goes into storage will cost money. Cross docking means the items are transferred directly from an ingoing shipment to an outgoing one. This reduces the items in storage, lowering your running costs.
To implement this process, you may need to rearrange your receiving and dispatch areas, adding a staging area for breaking down units. You may also need to retrain staff. However, the money saved can outweigh the costs.
8. Fully integrate your WMS
A high-quality Warehouse Management System can save costs in several ways, by improving efficiency. However, for it to take effect, it should be fully integrated into all parts of the warehouse. This includes factors such as ordering, slotting, shift scheduling, and more.
9. Improve energy use
Saving on water and energy will cut down on your running costs. Energy efficient features such as lighting can make a big difference when implemented across the entire warehouse. Other possibilities include low flow water fixtures, insulation, and energy efficient motors for powered features like conveyor belts.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc, we can help you keep your costs down by designing the most cost-effective solution for your business. We offer a huge selection of fully vetted used equipment and parts at competitive prices. Please contact us today on 800-589-7225 (RACK) or complete our online contact form to find out how we can help you save money.