To ensure quick, accurate shipments and build a network of satisfied customers, it’s important that your warehouse is efficient and productive. Here at YunExpress USA, Inc., we offer B2C shipping service to Europe and Asia to help you streamline your business operations. Below we share five warehouse management tips that will help you maintain a profitable warehouse that accommodates both local and international shipments.
Related: The Global Ecommerce Evolution
Common Challenges to Warehouse Efficiency
Warehouse management is no easy feat, especially for medium to high volume e-commerce companies that need to ship internationally. Here are some of the main challenges that companies face when it comes to having an optimized warehouse.
- Organization (Layout) – Companies that do not use an outside shipping carrier face logistical challenges due to organization. Precious time is wasted without proper indexation and order.
- Communicating – Productivity can only occur if everyone in the supply chain communicates efficiently. That’s why companies that use a strong cross-border shipping service gain the advantage of pre-existing communication systems optimized for speedy deliveries.
- Meeting Customer Expectations – The economy shifts from month to month and customer expectations change as new products enter the market. It’s ideal for companies to be prepared for both upturns and downturns, maintaining on-time shipping in either scenario.
- Addressing Delays – Companies must be prepared for delays, whether or not it’s due to a product shortage, operational errors, or delays in customs. That’s where trackable services can help, allowing you to prepare for delays before they happen and keep customers in the loop.
1 – Maximize and Optimize Warehouse Space
Expanding the footprint of your warehouse is a big project that requires time and money. Instead of taking on this burden, make use of the vertical space you already have. Add taller storage units and the right equipment to pick and store materials. This allows you to optimize your space without having to expand it. Store smaller items in clear, labeled bins rather than on pallet racks, as this can waste space.
2 – Adopt Lean Inventory
“Lean” is a systematic approach that identifies and eliminates waste in warehouses. This way, you can store only the things you need and nothing more. Some of the areas to set your sights on include reducing or eliminating safety stocks and working with suppliers to deliver smaller quantities on a more frequent basis.
3 – Integrate Enabling Technology
Enabling technology suggests the best routes and methods for picking up inventory and putting it away. For example, a warehouse management system (WMS) creates automated pick lists that can be sent to mobile readers and other devices. This reduces the risk for errors, eliminates paper and saves time, helping your warehouse to be greener and more efficient.
4 – Organize Workstations
When workstations are well-organized, warehouse employees don’t waste time looking for tools and equipment. We recommend the 5S methodology that includes Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. By following this method, you can significantly cut down on errors, reduce clutter and improve safety.
5 – Create Picking Plans
If you don’t have enabling technology, or are slow to implement it, you’ll have to generate your own picking plans. You can do this by analyzing your current material usage patterns. For example, store items that are frequently sold and shipped together at the front of the warehouse. By keeping inventory in accessible locations, you can reduce travel times and improve efficiency.
How B2C E-Commerce Services Can Help
Instead of handling your own shipping a B2C e-commerce service can boost warehouse efficiency for international parcel shipping. Plus, built-in tracking services allow you and your customers to stay up-to-date while Delivery Duty Paid Customs Clearance is taken care of for you completely. You can make use of a 3rd party fulfillment provider if you need a cost-effective warehouse solution that manages inventory for you with speed and top-quality organization.
There are always ways to boost productivity in your warehouse. Start simple and make sure you are using the right storage equipment and inventory method. Then, move onto algorithms and enabling technology that can help you streamline operations and reduce human error. As you find what works, you can make the necessary changes and enjoy a more productive, profitable warehouse. And once your warehouse is perfectly profitable, combine this with our DDP shipping solution to deliver packages to your European customers faster and more cost effective to improve their delivery experience.