How Technology Improves Warehouse Efficiency

Improving warehouse efficiency should be a number one priority for all distributors. As well as keeping spaces clutter-free, the emphasis should be on minimising the number of times stock is handled. As well as reducing labour costs, this drives up performance and increases profits. While there has been a lot written about the use of robotics in warehousing, this feature will look at less expensive, more practical things you can do.

Organising a warehouse to optimise its capabilities starts with good inventory management. As well as knowing where everything is in your storage facility, you need to know exactly how many of each stock line you have. Getting a warehouse in ship-shape condition can depend on technology and here’s why…

Organised warehouses better manage fulfillment

If warehouse efficiency isn’t your strong point the order fulfilment process will suffer. Dani Attard, commercial director of Comgem, says: “Finding stock when you need it is crucial. So too is knowing stock levels. Having an ecommerce platform that displays stock levels in real-time is of enormous benefit. As well as reducing human error, it improves the customer experience and ensures orders are fulfilled.

“Mapping your businesses processes, particularly for warehouses, is important in ecommerce. So, investing in a platform that will automate almost everything will improve the efficiency of a warehouse and reduce costs. All warehouse processes should be regularly reviewed and updated when required. This calls for a flexible platform that will fit in with the changing needs of your business. Being stuck with a platform that is not flexible, doesn’t support supplier integration and offers poor customer relationship management will damage your business.”

Mapping warehouse efficiency

You can support warehouse efficiency with an ecommerce platform designed to simplify even the most difficult processes. Invest in a solution that delivers outstanding inventory management and real-time insights. This will give you a clear overview of how a warehouse is operating. Other things to consider are flexible shipping thresholds, account-based customers and easy management of pricing.

Dani says: “Distributors who really want to win more sales will use technology to create personalised online catalogues and give resellers an efficient, quick ordering portal. There is a lot more to distributing goods than just warehousing but making sure it is efficient is the best starting block for growth. Look at how technology can help you better manage stock thresholds, pricing and quantity breaks.”

Food for thought?

Further information about tech developed to support warehouse operators is available here