Top 5 Automotive Supply Chain Challenges and Solutions Home > Blog > Top 5 automotive supply chain challenges and solutions Table of Contents The automotive
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Warehouse flow is a major issue today, and making improvements to this process can save thousands of hours each year. Inefficient warehousing can lead to injuries, product damage, wastage, loss, and even theft. To improve warehouse operations and warehousing efficiency, make sure to eliminate bottlenecks, narrow aisles, and backtracking.
If your warehouse operations are inefficient, they will adversely affect workforce productivity, inventory turnover, and eventually the bottom line. Inefficient warehouse operations not only lead to long wait times but also waste labor and resources.
Follow these suggestions to improve efficiency in warehousing and optimize your warehouse space.
Keep Your Workforce Organized
Organize workstations and work teams by purpose. Also, monitor employee foot traffic and forklift traffic. By managing traffic, you can make the warehouse easier to navigate. This will reduce time wasted as employees travel from one location to another.
You can also identify areas where workers are inefficiently located, and increase their productivity by using cross-training. For example, you can train your workers to pick and pack products during the holiday shipping season, and then send the employees with different skills to a high-demand zone.
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Optimize Floor Plans and Layout
Improving efficiency in warehousing is vital because warehousing space comes at a premium. As supply chain challenges continue to mount and manufacturers face numerous holdups along the network, efficient warehousing is essential to optimize warehousing space and minimize operating expenses.
Consequently, warehousing facilities must make the best use of their available space. Proper layout is crucial to optimize warehousing efficiency. Productive warehouse workers should be given enough space and access to sufficient lighting. Warehouses should also automatically collect data about products as they enter the facility.
Properly utilize the vertical space in your warehouse. For example, avoiding the use of pallet racks for small goods can significantly improve warehouse efficiency. Also, consider using different types of shelving in your warehouse. You can even use standardized bins and prevent wastage and garbage from piling up.
Organizing warehouse floor plans based on demand is essential to keeping warehouse activity at optimum levels. Today’s consumers expect speed. Nearly 90% of online shoppers say that delivery speed is an important factor in their purchase decisions. If warehouses can meet this demand, customers will be satisfied and retained.
Unfortunately, expanding warehouse space can sometimes backfire due to the process being overly expensive, tediously slow, and even downright impractical considering the huge investment involved. A 3PL logistics company can solve the problem for many businesses and e-commerce platforms by combining warehousing, order processing, and shipping in one, inclusive solution.
The process of decluttering your warehouse can pay off with big gains in both efficiency and productivity. Keeping your warehouse organized will allow you to use more space for designing more products, storing items more efficiently, and saving money on utilities. Furthermore, decluttering your warehouse will help you handle your business more professionally and attract more customers.
Decluttering your warehouse is relatively simple. However, keeping it organized can be difficult. Warehouses that are disorganized tend to get messy and cluttered. To prevent this, you should try to keep all items in their proper place. To keep things well organized, use storage bins or a four-box system. Afterward, you can set a designated trash pile where you can put all unused items.
Keeping a tidy workspace will help workers work more efficiently. It will make files and processes easier to access. If you’re using a computer to record transactions and process files, you can simplify the process by removing any extraneous items. A neat workspace will keep employees happy and more productive.
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The organization of workstations is critical for improving warehouse efficiency. Workstations should be designed in an ergonomic fashion to reduce worker bending and minimize workspace injuries. Labeling and placing the necessary items on each workstation is also vital to enhancing warehousing efficiency.
Workstations should be placed in an area accessible to workers and have only those items required by them. Keeping the workspace tidy and well-organized will improve overall warehouse efficiency and employee morale.
Keeping track of stock and training records is must easier when each workstation is properly planned and regulated. Workstations should also have ample space for employees to work efficiently. By creating a comfortable work environment for workers, warehouse managers will have a more organized warehouse.
Another way to improve warehouse efficiency is by adopting new technologies. One example is industrial computer workstations. These are mobile workstations with bar-code scanners and label printers. These mobile workstations help workers pick more items per hour. By reducing walking distances, workers can do more work in the same time.
Keeping tools in good condition is another way to boost warehouse efficiency. Tools must be properly categorized and easily accessible. Employees must regularly inspect tools for signs of wear and tear and remove broken ones. Tools should be of good quality so that workers do not have to constantly go looking for replacement tools.
Using warehouse labels can help workers quickly locate items in your supply chain, saving you time and improving accuracy. With barcode labels and scanners, workers can quickly and easily identify products by their barcodes.
Warehouse labeling technology can help workers start with the “big picture” when looking for an item, and narrow down their search to a specific shelf, bin, or product. Using warehouse labels can help you avoid losing valuable inventory and improve warehouse efficiency.
Barcode labels are the most accurate and efficient way to record data. Updating inventory information in a warehouse management system requires accurate and timely information. This eliminates room for human error and ensures accurate stock recording.
To start, first label racks. Proper rack labeling makes workers more efficient. Color-coded labels help employees identify products easily. Also, use different labeling conventions for different items.
When using labels to improve warehouse efficiency, make sure to follow the correct instructions to maximize your business’s productivity. This will improve your warehouse efficiency and help you stay on top of things.
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One of the best strategies for enhancing warehouse efficiency is lean inventory management. To do this, you can return dead stocks to the supplier, merge them with similar items, or put them on clearance at a discount. In addition, by utilizing a top-end BI (Business Intelligence) solution, you can minimize the risk of dead stock.
Lean inventory methods also improve warehouse efficiency by eliminating waste. Lean inventory requires suppliers to deliver smaller quantities more often, reducing safety stocks and freeing up valuable warehouse space. As a result, the dead stock will not sit on shelves for long, making the pickers’ job easier.
Because lean inventory reduces the amount of obsolete and unused stocks, it will help the company’s bottom line. Lean inventory practices also result in reduced labor costs.
The best approach to lean inventory management focuses on identifying and eliminating waste in the supply chain and manufacturing processes, and not just warehousing. This approach is important for several reasons, including navigating an uncertain economy and conserving capital. At the same time, it improves productivity, reduces costs, and improves value for customers.
Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are a common type of warehouse robot. They follow predefined routes with embedded floor guiding mechanisms. In contrast, autonomous mobile robots use advanced sensors and computer-aided navigation to navigate freely and safely through the warehouse. They are popular for their ability to navigate cluttered warehouse environments without the need for human guides or markers.
Warehouse robotics can reduce the time it takes human workers to move from one area to another. Robots can be programmed to perform repetitive tasks, such as stock picking and stocking, while human employees can focus on more value-added tasks.
Moreover, robots don’t require sleep or lunch breaks. As a result, they can perform more activities in less time, including stacking thousands of pounds. The machines also don’t risk injury, unlike workers.
Another way robotics can improve warehouse efficiency is through case picking. Workers usually pick items individually, which takes time. In addition to wasting time and effort, picking requires a high skill set. In contrast, robotic piece-pickers improve warehouse efficiency by improving timeliness, accuracy, and predictability. These advantages make warehouse robots a smart choice for many businesses.
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The Bottom Line
Improving warehouse efficiency is more than just about making sure that goods arrive at their destinations on time. The benefits of warehousing efficiency also extend to reducing labor costs, optimizing warehouse layout and workstations, integrating technological solutions, and decluttering warehousing space.
The goal of warehousing efficiency is to minimize crossflows, provide workers with the proper materials, and decrease the time spent on manual tasks. To improve warehouse operation, however, the entire warehouse must be overhauled.
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