Warehousing 101: Change the Way You Organize Inventory
When we talk about warehousing strategy, we’re opening up a lot of doors. It’s such a broad term, and it encompasses so many different facets of your operation. So what does it really refer to?
Essentially, any decision that influences the layout and organization of your warehouse would fall into this category: classification of products, packing locations, or how you measure the effectiveness of your strategy. Your inventory storage strategy influences how you pick, pack, and ship orders, so it’s not something to be taken for granted.
That said, we know it’s easy to get caught up in the way you’ve always done things. We’ve created a resource to inspire you to reassess your warehouse organization in favor of a more strategic setup. Consider this brand new ebook to be your first step towards reinventing the way you view your inventory.
A Peek Inside Warehousing Strategy
Once you download the ebook, you’ll have access to all kinds of warehousing best practices, such as:
How to Classify Products
When it comes to setting up your warehouse, you’ll need a framework to base your decisions on. Once you determine commonalities between your products, you create categories that inform where they’re stored in your warehouse. There’s a number of ways you can classify your products, such as:
- By Popularity — Use the ABC method to classify products based on how much (class A) or how little (class C) they contribute to your overall revenue efforts. You can then group them in your warehouse by most value-centric to least. This makes filling common, popular orders a snap.
- By Customer Habits — Group items that are frequently purchased together in the same part of your warehouse to streamline your packing process as much as possible.
- By Vendor — If you choose to group all items purchased from the same vendor in the same place in your warehouse, unpacking your shipments will be extremely easy and hyper-organized.
Choosing a Packing Method
Once you decide how you want to organize your inventory, you’re faced with another decision: How do I pack each order? This might change depending on the type of orders you receive, but its definitely worth weighing your options. Are you a wave-picking kind of warehouse? Do you prefer working on an order-by-order basis? These decisions will undoubtedly influence your productivity, so make sure you put thought into whatever decision you make.
Tangible goals and reliable assessments are the key to ensuring your new strategies are effective. As you embark on this reinvention of your warehouse, keep these things in mind as you move forward. You’ll want a clear idea of your productivity before and after the changes. This can also help inform any future changes you’re considering. Another way you can contextualize and examine your operations is with a Business Process Review. That outsider perspective will be crucial to getting a better idea about what’s working, what’s not, and how you can address your pain points.
Overhauling your warehouse’s organization isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes careful planning, data analysis, and many brainstorming sessions. It’s important to remember that reinvention isn’t just about the latest and greatest. You’ll need to carefully assess what systems will work best for your company. If you’re not sure how to make that call, head over to our warehousing 101 ebook. It’s your one-stop shop for navigating new warehouse organization options.