Key ways to improve the efficiency of your warehouse and reduce costs

Working in any kind of warehouse environment can bring with it huge costs, and when you’re running a business it can often be difficult to balance these costs in such a way that allows you to make a profit across the span of the year. With this being true, when you are at the head of a company that deals with warehouse space, one of the first things that you should do is think about how efficient your current setup is, and how you might be able to improve this to increase your profit margins. We have gathered a list of key tips that will help.

Consider the cost of your inbound and outbound freight

This is by far the aspect of warehousing that costs the most money, and for this reason it is something to be considered with a matter of urgency. Signing the right contracts with carriers can make a huge difference, so you shouldn’t accept any deal without looking around and talking to other companies first. Similarly, if you have been using the same company for a number of years, and have long since been out of contract, having a look to see what else you could get may be a good idea.

Incentivise your workforce

If you pay your team a flat fee, there is no incentive for them to perform well for you. You may find that productivity isn’t as high as you might like it to be, and this can impact on the output of the entire company. To help with this, you should give some performance based incentives, where staff are rewarded for hitting targets. Not only is this likely to increase output, but it can also boost staff morale – meaning that there are two reasons to do this.

Audit your processes, and consider simplifying

If you have been using the same processes for years, and have been simply tweaking them each time you need something new, then this may have become too complicated for purpose. Instead, you should think about your business needs and try to simplify your current setup. This should save money, and may mean that you can remove certain steps entirely, which will make the process more time-effective, too.

Listen to your employees, and gather valuable feedback

Nobody knows how you operate better than your staff, so you should give them the chance to give you feedback and make suggestions on a regular basis. This gives you the chance to see how things work from another perspective, and you may find that there are changes that you can make in light of the feedback you have received. This will also have the added bonus of making staff feel valued – which should improve their attitude to work.

Consider warehouse automation

Depending on the size of your current setup, and the number of people you employ, you may find that warehouse automation is something that is worth considering. This can make the entire process much slicker, reduces the need for constant staff supervision, and removes the risk of human error. All of these things combined make robotics an important aspect to consider, and even if you don’t think you need to make the most of this now, it is always worth doing some research to see exactly what is available.

Once you have some efficiency enhancing processes in place, you should be able to see the results in many areas of your business. This means that you can enjoy everything running as smoothly as possible in all respects – which is a great investment to make into the future of your business.

Richard Haynes has been in the industrial warehouse industry for many years. You can find him on

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