Warehouse And Fulfilment Centre Management And Top Tips For Keeping Costs Down
Keeping Your Warehouse And Fulfilment Costs low
Warehouse Management and Order Pick and Pack aren’t exciting but it can represent a large element of cost in your e-commerce business model.
ATL Fulfilment offers tailored and lowest cost warehousing and fulfilment services. When new clients come along they often ask “How can you keep your costs so low?” Here we share with you some of the simplest methods of offering affordable fulfilment services to e-commerce retailers, EBay sellers and new on-line distributors.
These tips apply equally to most products, DIY hardware to Vitamin Supplements, from jewellery to car accessories. You could implement some of these in your own stores, you might be even better of letting us do it for you.
1. Understand your product profile
Your most popular lines are likely to be subject to seasonal fluctuations / peaks and troughs, so re-structure your warehouse management system to reflect your business model, and review the warehouse management system at least once a year. This will ensure the most popular lines are in the most accessible location, reducing wasted man hours by your order pickers traveling to far flung corners of the warehouse.
2. Tailor your picking methods to suit the products
Ensure your picking methodology suits your company’s business model. With a wide range of products and clients it’s essential to have flexibility in the pick approach. Selecting single order, multi order, batch picking with a single picker, or zone picking is key for optimising performance and productivity in the warehouse system.
3. Sequencing Orders via the Warehouse Management Software
Sequencing your orders by pick path and batching together single lines, same zone orders saves time in the warehouse. Warehouse management system software will allow you to organise the workflow and optimise sequence performance, to maximise warehouse efficiency. Most clients new to Fulfilment services have no idea how much time they waste not having this type of system available to them. They only know they spend lots of evenings to the small hours picking and packing!
4. Create a warehouse within a warehouse
You can make significant efficiency improvements by grouping together the 20% of your lines that form 80% of your orders. This reduces journey time for your pickers and projected across a whole year can amount to hundreds of man hours saved. Ensure the 80-20 zone is designed in such a way to allow high volume activity i.e. wider aisles or maybe a one way system. We’ve created this type of storage for pac-hs a specialised retail packaging company.
5. Tailor the racking and storage
The slow-moving items in the warehouse can be put in bin shelving and fast-moving items in a box / pallet flow, which will streamline your warehouse management system by improving storage density and picker productivity.
6. Create “wheelhouse” zones in your picking area
You can increase picking productivity and improve the health and safety culture of your warehouse environment by positioning your fastest-moving SKUs in the waist-to-shoulder or “wheelhouse” area of your racking.
7. Standardise your packaging
By limiting your warehouse to two or three box sizes to choose from, it will speed up the picking process. Minimising the range of box sizes will also optimise freight / transportation expenses and packaging costs.
8. Automation of the warehouse delivery system
Order pickers spend about 60% of their time walking moving / transferring product around the warehouse. Consider an automated solution, such as conveyer belts or trolleys to reduce travel time.
9. Look at the different warehouse management system technology options
There are a whole host of options to increase efficiency in the warehouse operation i.e. bar codes, radio frequency, pick-to-label, pick-to-light, and voice-activated technologies. These technologies are designed to provide different levels of increased picking productivity and improved accuracy.
10. Pay as you Go Fulfilment
All of these methods and techniques and many more are being applied daily and improved by the best Fulfilment service providers around. Implementation of some of them involves significant capital expenditure and risk. Warehouse sizing, the cost of empty space, IT support the list goes on and on. Then there is the delivery and customer service/returns side of the business. That’s why more and more of even the smallest internet retailers are turning to Fulfilment companies to provide a tailored solution and what we call “Pay as you Go Fulfilment”. No upfront expenditure, a warehouse and delivery system tailored to your business and customer, and big cost and time savings.
Contact ATL Fulfilment to discuss how we can improve your service, save you money and help you build your business.