Optimize Delivery Process

Right now, you’re probably right in the thick of the holiday shipping rush. Products are flying out of your warehouse faster than you can get them in, workers are bustling through the workshop at a record pace, and it feels like you might not even have time to think, some days.

And while optimizing your delivery process might be the last thing on your mind this time of year, taking a little time out to make sure everything is flowing smoothly and working as effectively as possible is always a good call for both the holiday rush and the rest of the year. Here’s a few ways to optimize your delivery process to make sure everything is moving as smoothly as possible, no matter what time of year it is:

Refine your shipping/packing strategy:

During the holidays, a lot of workers get into some bad habits when they need to load up the truck – throwing boxes wherever they’ll fit, leaving things a mess after the loading is done, and they’re already thinking about the next two trucks while they do it. As time allows, review your current shipping methods and make sure everything is being loaded up to code and guidelines, and make double sure that all your workers are trained on these methods.

Use off-the-shelf technology:

You don’t need us to remind you how commonplace technology is becoming in the workplace, and we’re all aware of the occasional difficulties in training others on its usage. Especially in these times of temp staffing and reduced training time, try to stick with off the shelf technology that most people already use, or at least can grasp and understand quickly, to reduce the learning curve.

Make sure everyone gets a chance at training:

In a similar vein, while this might be a rough time of year to try to train up the new workers, making sure everyone gets a fair shake at learning the equipment and methods will help reduce a lot of bottlenecks and confusion. Show your new workers how to use the pallet racks and set up wire shelving on their own, train them on any tablets they’ll be using, and make sure everyone gets the same amount of training for the same tasks – nothing disrupts productivity more than workers trying to do the same task in two different ways.

Minimize the number of touches or stops:

Even with a well-trained staff, increasing the amount of hands on the product can cause delays and confusion along the way. Try to automate what you can along the picking and packing routes to reduce the amount of human interaction (and potential human error) and ensure everything works as it should.

Stock everything logically:

This one is kind of a constant struggle that will need to be refined and updated as needed, but making sure everything is stored on your warehouse shelving in a logical manner will help keep your workers aware of where everything is and how they can get to it most easily.

With these warehouse and delivery optimizations, you should be able to beat the holiday rush and keep everything flowing smoothly for the rest of the year, too.

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