As competition intensifies following the COVID-19 pandemic, we explore how e-commerce and logistic companies can speed up their warehouse operations by tackling this one simple factor.
For most e-commerce and logistic companies, the pandemic has delivered a surge in activity and sales. As a result, it’s placed a spotlight on warehouse operations and efficiency.
It only takes one poor experience to impact your business’ growth, with loyal customers turning to competitors and one online review putting off new prospects.
If you want to keep your customers satisfied, you need to keep warehouse operations moving quickly and ensure there are no bottlenecks in your logistics chain. Starting by addressing this one major issue.
On average, warehouse staff spend over 50% of their time walking from one item to the next and picking/lifting the order (Source).
The fact is that moving from location to location within a warehouse is taking too long. And when your warehouse staff get there, it usually takes just as much time for them to find and lift the product they need.
Over time, these minutes and seconds wasted start adding up to hours, resulting in slower delivery times and poorer customer experience.
There’s also an issue with accuracy. According to Stitch Labs, human error is the most frequent cause of inventory and fulfilment issues, with retail inventory reportedly only accurate 63% of the time.
Unlike robots, humans get tired, distracted and disengaged. This is a real problem for smaller companies who rely on providing fast and accurate services.
While a perfectly efficient warehouse operation doesn’t exist, there’s no harm in striving for it.
How to improve warehouse operation speed and accuracy
When orders start to pile up, the common response is to hire more staff. However, it’s believed you can reduce up to 40% of time wasted in your warehouse by simply leveraging warehouse automation and control system technology. Thus, reducing the need to engage in more costly ongoing temp and contract workers.
The benefits of automation and control systems in warehouses
- Automated conveyor systems – a conveyor system can move materials and orders from one part of your warehouse to the other, reducing unnecessary lifting and walking time. While implementing a cross-docking area to hold orders for scanning and inventory purposes near the docking area can reduce unnecessary trips up and down the warehouse too. You can connect this area to the automated conveyor system so that staff can remain in designated areas all day.
- Automated sortation systems – achieve higher throughput, eliminate errors and reduce added labour with an automated sortation system. Make sure orders are sent to the right part of the warehouse and minimise time usually spent carrying it to the delivery van.
- AS/RS (automated storage and retrieval system) – an AS/AR is designed to reduce the work required transporting items into and out of inventory, save space and achieve more accurate tracking of inventory. One study revealed having an AS/RS can increase order accuracy levels to above 99.99%.
If you’re interested in improving warehouse operation efficiency, get in touch with Hills Electrical today. We offer a range of complete turnkey solutions for automation and control systems that’ll help your business grow, without the need to hire an influx of new staff.
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