There may be no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to warehouse optimization, but there are some steps management can take today to make a big difference in the long run. Consider these 5 ways to reduce costs in your warehouse operations by implementing new processes or evaluating possible renovations.
1. Reduce error rates. Save money and improve the overall quality of the operation by reducing error rates. Identify and post errors by type so workers are aware of the kinds of problem that are made most frequently. You can create some extra incentive for workers to reduce mistakes by posting names of employees with the least amount of errors each week or month. Highlight good performances as well as areas of improvement to maintain high moral.
2. Be clear with your employees. Your labor force is one of the largest cost factors in your operation, so it deserves a significant amount of your attention. It’s critical to ensure that your employees know exactly what is expected of them and how well they are meeting those expectations. It’s the job of warehouse management to be as clear as possible and make sure that what an individual employee perceives as important is in line with corporate goals and objectives.
Take this step today by taking a look at how you’re currently communicating objectives with your employees. Establish your levels of cost and performance relating to your key performance indicators. Then identify your workers expectations relating to these indicators. After establishing these expectations, you can measure performance and meet with your employees at designated times throughout the year to talk the results. This reporting process can be an ongoing way in which you boost productivity and in results, save overall costs.
3. Get multiple quotes on material handling equipment. Shopping around for the best price costs you nothing and can save you big money. It’s important to have relationships with vendors that you can do continual business with, but you’ll never know whether you’re getting the best price unless you price shop and compare. If you have a preferred vendor, you can always ask if they’ll price match another deal you’ve found. Comparing quotes can be especially helpful if you’re pricing out a new type of equipment, to make sure you get a fair deal. Use an automated service like 123Forklift to receive multiple free quotes for the exact piece of equipment you need without having to find the suppliers yourself. You can fill out our short form and certified dealers in your are will contact you with quotes on equipment for free. They can provide assistance on any type of equipment you’re looking for like pneumatic tire forklift, electric order picker, telehandlers and more.
4. Buy used equipment or consider a forklift rental. It’s hard to get around the cost of replacing equipment, so in addition to getting multiple quotes before purchasing, consider buying used equipment or leasing equipment as another great way to cut costs. These options may not be right for every operation, but if you need a forklift on an infrequent basis, save yourself in up-front costs and maintenance with forklift rentals. The decision to buy a new versus used forklifts should basically come down to how much you need to use the machine. Experts recommend used forklifts are best if it will only be used during a single daily shift, used no more than 5 days a week, no more than 5 hours a day, and not part of a non-stop warehouse environment. If your facility would be well served by a used forklifts, you can save thousands upfront.
5. Convert to high efficiency lighting. Wouldn’t you love to reduce that monthly electricity bill? Chances are, your lighting accounts for up to 80 percent of your warehouse utility bill, and you could cut that cost dramatically by updating your light installations. You can replace traditional metal halide light fixtures with fluorescent lights, which use 50 percent less energy and their cost can be recovered in two to three years. You can also consider a slightly more expensive upgrade to induction lighting. Induction lights offer up to a 40 percent efficiency increase over fluorescents. You can start evaluating your current lighting system installations today by taking inventory of the types of fixtures you currently have and starting with the most critical areas to renovate.
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