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Optimizing Warehouse Operations: Avoiding Common Mistakes with Advanced Automation Technologies

Priety Thakur | 10 May 2023

Warehouses are an integral part of the supply chain management system of any organization for storing and distributing goods efficiently and effectively. However, there are certain common mistakes that warehouse operators make that can negatively impact the productivity and efficiency of the warehouse.

Optimizing warehouses with advanced automation technologies will address the shortage of skilled labour in India's logistics industry. By automating repetitive and labour-intensive tasks, warehouses can reduce the need for manual labour and rely more on technology, which can increase productivity and reduce costs.

Let's look at some of the common warehouse mistakes and how different material handling equipment can help overcome them.

Improper Layout of Warehouses

One of the most common mistakes improper layout of warehouses that can lead to inefficient use of space, long travel times, and difficulty in finding products. To avoid this, warehouses should use material handling equipment like conveyors, pallet jacks and forklifts to move products around the warehouse quickly and efficiently. They should also use shelving systems that are organized logically to allow for easy access to products.

Avoiding Safety Measures

Warehouses can be dangerous places to work, with heavy equipment and products moving around constantly. Inadequate safety measures and without utilizing proper equipment’s can result in serious accidents and injuries.

To avoid this, warehouses should ensure that all equipment is regularly maintained, inspected for safety and regular trainings are provided to the workers. Additionally, the use of autonomous vehicles can be used to transport hazardous materials or heavy loads, reducing the need for workers to handle these materials manually, helping to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents for workers.

Unorganized Inventory and SKUs Management

Overstocking and understocking are both common mistakes in warehouses. Overstocking can lead to excess inventory, which can take up valuable space and tie up capital. Understocking, on the other hand, can lead to stockouts, which can result in lost sales and dissatisfied customers.

To avoid this, warehouses should use inventory management software to track inventory levels and optimize ordering quantities. They can also use automated material handling equipment like AS/RS (automated storage and retrieval systems) to efficiently manage inventory levels uses advanced robotics and computer control to automate the storage and retrieval of items, resulting in significant time savings and increased accuracy.

In the large warehouses with high volume of inventory, it will store products in a dense and organized manner, utilizing vertical space and minimizing floor space. It will also keep inventory’s locations and quantity in real time when needed, eliminating the need for manual searches, and reducing the risk of errors.

Inefficient Order Picking

Order picking is a critical part of warehouse operations. Inefficient order picking can lead to delays, errors and customer dissatisfaction. To avoid this, warehouses can use easy to use and budget friendly technologies like pick-to-light systems, voice-picking technology, and conveyor systems to streamline the order picking process.

These technologies can also use data analytics to optimize the routing of orders and reduce travel time. The picking technologies helps reduce errors by providing visual cues and ensuring that workers pick the right items and quantities without carrying the paper or handheld devices.

Insufficient Maintenance

Material handling equipment is critical to the smooth operation of a warehouse. Insufficient maintenance can lead to breakdowns, delays and safety hazards. To avoid this, warehouses should implement a regular maintenance schedule for all equipment, including inspections, repairs and replacements. They should also use predictive maintenance technology to identify potential problems before they occur.

Optimizing Warehouses for a Better Tomorrow

Warehouses are complex operations that require careful planning and execution to be successful. By avoiding common mistakes like poor layout and organization, inadequate safety measures, overstocking and understocking, inefficient order picking and inadequate maintenance, warehouses can optimize their operations and improve productivity and efficiency. Material handling equipment plays a critical role in avoiding these mistakes and ensuring the smooth operation of a warehouse. Our experts are ready to discuss your solution today. 

Author: Priety Thakur

Priety is Regional Marketing Manager at Bastian Solutions for IMEA and Southeast Asia regions. She is a postgraduate in marketing and finance domain with four years of experience in automotive and the supply chain industry.


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