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Warehouse workers are human and all humans are prone to making mistakes every now and then. Even with the best training, mistakes can still happen. But frequent inventory and picking errors can easily add up and result in lost sales, lost productivity, and extra shipping costs, not to mention unhappy customers. As a warehouse manager, it’s up to you to keep inventory and picking errors to a bare minimum. Here are five ways you can prevent inventory errors and keep your accuracy rates up.


Keep it Simple

Simplicity is best when it comes to warehouse operations. The more complicated a pick list is, the more likely it is for mistakes to happen, so try to keep pick lists as clear and simple as possible.



Flaws with warehouse organization are a hugely common cause of inventory errors. It’s very easy for mistakes to happen when locations and items aren’t clearly defined. Labels are a great way to keep many different types of places organized, including warehouses. Mistakes often happen because a shelf wasn’t clearly labeled or because the UPC or barcode on the label had gotten damaged or was inaccurate. Including gravity flow racks in your warehouse storage system can also help cut down on errors by making it easier for workers to efficiently find, access, and restock inventory.


Don’t Forget Non-Human Problems

Although human errors are a common cause of inventory and picking errors, it’s very important to remember they’re not the only cause. Sometimes, mistakes are a symptom of a larger problem. To really reduce inventory errors, it’s best to evaluate all aspects of your warehouse, including its systems and practices, to look for things that could be hindering operations. In many cases, the root causes of inventory errors are things like an inadequate warehouse management system or poor lighting.


Consider All Possible Sources

It’s also entirely possible that your main source of picking errors to has little to do with the warehouse workers tasked with picking orders. It very often turns out that inventory errors were the result of mistakes in receiving or data entry.



If your warehouse is a bit behind the times as far as technology goes, going digital could pay off in a big way. Mobile warehouse management systems and automated inventory tracking systems make it easy to accurately monitor your inventory. Manually keeping track of inventory with Excel spreadsheets or on paper and makes it easy for mistakes to happen and leaves you vulnerable to theft from dishonest employees.

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