Proactive Steps to Better Warehouse Efficiency
Shrink It contacted the Supply Chain Management Department at Michigan State University, the number 2 program in the nation behind MIT, to come in and audit the efficiency of our warehouse. Brad Cook, an adjunct professor, audited the SKU performance as well as the overall operation of the warehouse over several days. He was surprised at the current efficiency of Shrink It’s 60,000 square foot warehouse, especially with only having three full time warehouse employees, but there is always room for improvement.
Based on his findings, a 3-phase plan was suggested. Phase 1 is immediate improvements over a short term. These improvements are almost exclusively re-arranging the current rack system and product placement. Warehouse Manager Evan Jensen states, “One slight change can make an enormous difference. Instead of organizing products by size for spacing reasons, we now have products strategically placed by order frequency. This change in organization of our products has already made us more efficient when packing orders.”
Evan continued, “Also as Brad suggested, by rearranging current racking, we’ve also about doubled our capacity for order staging. That means more orders are boxed, packed and/or skidded plenty of time in advance and ready when the shipping companies come for pick-up.” Phases 2 and 3 will involve updated software for a warehouse management system and long-term plans for expansion. That being said we are always looking for ways to help serve our customers better. Through these short and long term changes, we are still focused on staying as efficient as possible. We pride ourselves in getting our customers’ orders out to them as fast as possible, and these changes will only help us to continue achieving that goal.