As anyone who has been in charge of the design and organization of a warehouse knows, it can be hard work. There is a lot of strategy that goes into where inventory will be placed and how much of it is needed.
The complexity of this aspect of running a business is not without its faults. There are many common warehouse problems people encounter frequently. Managing a warehouse has several different components, including proper use of space, and knowing where to find a particular item.
Too Much Product
Stocking up on too much inventory can be a problem to a retailer that is trying to get the most out of the space in a warehouse. According to Tompkins International, a supply chain consultant, having too much product might mean an abundance of the right product, or a glut of an unnecessary one. In either case, the employees at the warehouse may not be able to work with top efficiency because of a potential for disorganization as well as blocked visibility. The latter can also become a safety hazard.
“Not having an inventory strategy can lead to accumulation of unnecessary product.”
If a warehouse has an excess of something that is in high demand, the issue likely won’t last for longer than a couple weeks. However, in the case of too much of an item that has stagnant sales or need, the issue can persist and will require some attention. Items that aren’t needed can wind up collecting dust for months or even years. This is a waste of space and will consequently hurt revenue.
To avoid this, those in charge of the warehouse need to keep careful inventory. If there is no system for tracking items coming in and going out, it can be easy to forget about a stack of merchandise that has been sitting around for a year.
A system to track incoming and outgoing items is important, though it’s just as crucial to find a particular item quickly and efficiently. Barcode systems can help with this, but the arrangement of the materials also needs to be intuitive and easy to navigate.
Like items should be grouped together. The most popular products should be located up front so pickers don’t have to waste time going back and forth to the far reaches of the warehouse whenever an order is placed. PharmTech suggested creating a naming system that will help employees identify where in the warehouse an item is located just by looking at the bin name or number.
A poor warehouse management system can lead to managers not knowing how much of an item is actually available. This could, in turn, bring about unnecessary ordering and cause an oversupply of product. Scanco, a company that creates barcode systems for businesses, explained this will make navigating the warehouse more difficult, lead to wasted money and could even affect customer service because employees will have a hard time finding a desired product in a timely manner.
External Storage Can Help
These issues can be mitigated with the right solution. In some cases, stocking up on a popular product before it is needed is a good thing, though the temporary excess can cause issues in the warehouse. Portable storage solutions can provide a safe, protective area to keep this merchandise until it is needed, without detracting from space assigned to another important product.
Mobile Mini’s mobile storage containers are weather resistant and secure, with a patented Tri-cam Locking System. These qualities ensure anything kept in the storage containers will stay protected from the elements, as well as vandalism or theft.