10 Dec 2018
Around December, especially in retail warehouses, orders come in thick and fast. That means locating and shipping out inventory as quick as possible is often the priority. It’s also no surprise that WorkSafe reports an increase of workplace injuries over November and December, too. So how can you prepare your warehouse for the holidays so your warehouse is more efficient and safe? Here are some tips to try out:
1. Optimise your warehouse layout
A comprehensive review of your warehouse layout is priority number 1 when trying to prepare for the Christmas and New Year rush. You should focus on:
This makes sure you’re on top of things before problems occur. You should perform “stress tests” to ensure your processes are capable of meeting the demands.
- Overall organisation
- Flow of goods
- Storage capacity
- Increasing utility of space
2. Figure Out Space Requirements
If your business is focused on fast moving consumer goods or retail items, it’s common to see inventory increases of over 40%. Turnover is high, but it’s often weeks before goods are shipped out to vendors. If your warehouse has the same space between beams and shorter pallets, it often means you have more space above to play with. You should figure out if your primary locations will be filled to the maximum, even after pallet consolidation. This will tell you if you need additional temporary storage such as overflow houses or trailers spotting on the yard/docks. If you can rearrange your layout (as above) and install more pallet racks such as above the flow rack or dock doors, take this into consideration.
Most retail business receives 50% more orders in the fourth quarter of the year, and most orders come in during December. You should look at your previous year’s sales reports and the latest order flow projections from your sales and marketing teams. Look at all points of data, including analytics; sometimes increased interest can point to increased overall demand.
3. Order projection analysis
Based on your projections and the need for a new layout, you should contact recruitment companies specialising in warehousing to bolster your workforce if needed. You should use telematics operator and forklift use reports to determine if your plant is being used at its full capacity.
4. Prepare your temporary workforce
5. Improve materials handling and conduct maintenance
Installing materials handling improvements such as conveyor systems or mezzanine floors not only to improve safety but to also increase efficiency or storage space. You should also conduct safety checks and maintenance schedules, to ensure there will be no breakdowns or nasty surprises come your busiest time of the year. You should also order redundant systems such as backup power, scanners, vehicles, and other equipment your warehouse relies on.
Pictured: A mezzanine floor installation done for our client Global Heat Transfer.
Backsafe can help these holidays, offering custom warehouse and materials handling solutions with a 12 month warranty. We create the best storage solution for you.
Contact us on 1300 305 314 to talk to one of our friendly consultants.
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