3 strategies for SMEs to optimise their warehouse

28th May 2015

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Small and medium-sized businesses will often find themselves investing in a warehouse, especially if they are moving a lot of products quickly and need a centralised place to manage their stock.

While a warehouse can make great sense here, it also requires a lot of planning to get right. Poorly organised and managed stock is going to create significant problems further down the track that can impede a business's growth.

To help, here's a breakdown of three strategies companies can use to optimise their warehouse:

1) Develop a best-practice guide for staff

Staff are an often-overlooked part of optimising a warehouse's operations. However, they are also among the most valuable ways to save time and money. 

Let's say each of your staff have their own approach to moving stock with a forklift, with some taking longer than others. Establishing a best-practice guide to make this journey as short as possible and training your staff to follow a set pattern will save a lot of time in the long run.

2) Integrate the right software

Modern warehouses have truly gone digital, with major companies relying on a whole range of technology to run their warehouses well. SMEs can make use of these same strategies, by investigating these options and finding a solution that matches their needs.

A company's accounting software, for example, can be complemented with services specifically for a warehouse, making it easy to store, track and locate goods as necessary.

3) Create a warehouse within a warehouse

For SMEs that are ready to take their services to the next level, one option is to consider developing a warehouse within a warehouse. This involves establishing which products are moving the quickest and positioning them near the loading bay as a dedicated high-movement area. 

This concentrated area of activity will cut down costs and transport time, while the rest of your warehouse is used solely for storing slower-moving goods. Of course, adopting this strategy will also depend on the size of your warehouse, the types of products you are moving and how concentrated demand is around a few core products.

By following these steps, it won't be long before an SME has a warehouse that is running smoothly and adding value to their operations.