Running a business in a warehouse setting and maintaining efficiency is a challenge. However, the nature of it creating a proactive approach is critical, mostly because it allows you to make valuable cost savings and establish an edge over your competitors.
But creating that right approach is a hurdle in itself. Luckily, we’ve got a few helpful tips that can help you employ and extract greater efficiencies from your warehouse environment.
Make use of all available space
Expanding your business is a great sign of growth, but is it always essential?
Before you look to expand the size of your premises or add new buildings to your operations (which are both expensive options), always look to ensure you have extracted full use of your current warehouse space.
For example, there may be solutions you can install to maximize the room you already have. With advanced, modern pallet racking solutions, you can store more product onsite, without the need for costly renovations or expansions.
Ensure you are using the right forklifts
Due to technology advancements and business demands, the varieties of forklifts for hire on the market are wide and many. This often makes it difficult to find the right option to suit your environment, and it can be tricky if you don’t know where to start.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when hunting around:
- Natural gas-powered forklifts allow you to fuel onsite and allow plenty of efficiencies in terms of costs, mostly because they don’t require petrol or diesel to operate effectively. However, you would need a large workspace to accommodate these vehicles, as you’ll be required to have the gas onsite to refuel them when they need a top up.
- In comparison, diesel forklifts are the most economical to purchase initially, and they take very little time to fuel up. Unfortunately, the cost of diesel long-term adds up and these canisters will also need to be stored at your premises, impacting space.
- Electric models operate on large batteries and don't give off emissions, which make them perfect for working indoors. Upfront, they cost the most but will deliver large savings in the long-run. The downside is that the re-charging process can take eight hours, while the cooling stage can take an additional eight hours. This means proper charging management strategies need to be employed.
- Consider how much you intend on using these vehicles. Are they part of your daily, weekly or monthly operations? It may be more cost-efficient to look at hiring if you are using them less frequently.
Hire a consultant for inbound and outbound freight
This is one of the number one areas where costs can erode your profits. You can spend hours and hours analyzing the competition and bidding for the cheapest carriers, but that is time spent away from focusing on your actual business.
Bringing in the professionals here is an expense that will be covered several times over by having the right freight options in place. A little upfront cost means you’ll be far better off long term.
Don’t overstock your warehouse
Run a lean operation with the storage of product in your warehouse, keeping only what you need and nothing more.
Analyze areas where you might have an overstock as a safety buzzer and trim this down to only having what you require. To reduce the risk of being caught short, try and make your freight deliveries smaller but more frequent.