In warehouse management, as with any profession, no matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement.

Don’t take it as a statement on your abilities, take it as inspiration to get better. Every warehouse has room for improvement, and the more time you take to optimize your processes, procedures, and methodology, the better your warehouse will run – and the better your warehouse runs, the better everything will be for your workers, customers, and distribution partners.

To start, here’s four common areas of warehouse management that can probably get tweaked and optimized for performance:

More logical layouts:

Chances are someone has already put a lot of time and thought into your warehouse layout, but there’s always more work that can be done to it to make sure it’s working as effectively as possible. Take a look at your warehouse layout, and above every other concern, try to focus on paths and traffic: are your workers able to always get from point A to point B with no problem, or are there frequent bottlenecks? Does your warehouse shelving get in the way of forklifts or foot traffic? Are there areas that could be widened to accommodate a better flow of people? Could that area use more wire shelving to help with storage, since people wind up passing that area a few times a day anyway? Warehouse layouts need to evolve as the needs of your storage and workers change, and this sort of flexibility will go a long way towards preventing problems later on.

Constant training:

Let’s all be honest with ourselves for a second: nobody really enjoys staff meetings, right? As boring as they are, though, they really serve a major purpose: keeping everyone updated on changes to procedure processes. As your handling, picking, and shipping process changes to keep up with the times, the products you stock, or the demand for said products, make sure to keep every single one of your workers better trained on these changes to make sure there’s no confusion and everyone works to the best of their knowledge and ability. (This goes for cross-training, too – the more workers you have that can fill any given role, the better chance you’ll have to prevent issues like staffing shortages or sudden demand spikes.)

Keep up on changes in technology:

We know it’s hard enough just keeping up with the constant evolution of cell phones and computers these days, but the march of technology is going to affect the way your warehouse operates too. As time and budget allows, always make sure to keep familiar with the newest advances in things like management systems, cloud-based software, 3PL providers, and more. Even if you’re just reading about it online and trying to figure out what good it can do your warehouse, being aware of these changes can help you make big decisions down the road when you need to update your systems.

Always look at the big picture:

Finally, being a good warehouse manager means being aware of darn near everything going on in your warehouse, even if you’re not actively involved in all facets. Take the time to talk to your individual departments and staff members to get an idea of the issues they face, the work they perform in their day-to-day, and try and figure out what you can do to make it easier on everyone in the long run. (Getting to know your teammates and the work they do never really hurt anyone, either.)

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