Be ready for anything when fulfilling customer orders

Do you have an omnichannel strategy?

Do you have an omnichannel strategy?

When you’re loading up hand trucks with inventory to send out for distribution, are you being strategic in what inventory makes the most sense for first in, first out? Demand is a major component to one’s strategy, because companies need to make sure they have the inventory in stock and it’s accessible to warehouse managers looking to fulfill orders.

According to Multichannel Merchant, you need to have a flawless omnichannel system that allows customers to buy from wherever and not have it affect order fulfillment. This is what customers have come to expect, and as the market becomes more saturated, it’s important that you’re consistently delivering excellent customer service. The news provider suggests that warehouse managers should be constantly looking at data to make sure that they’re able to predict customer demand and keep the right inventory in stock that’s readily available.

Supply Chain 24/7 reports that while there needs to be a sound strategy in place, it’s important to make sure that there is some flexibility in order fulfillment. An unforeseen economic downturn, for example, can suddenly leave a company with too much inventory they aren’t able to sell, so coming up with contingency plans for different scenarios can be helpful in providing extra flexibility.

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Keep safety in mind when working in a warehouse

Machinery can help, but there are other ways to keep safety in mind.

Machinery can help, but there are other ways to keep safety in mind.

When working in a warehouse, there are a lot of risks to mitigate that untrained managers may not even realize. It’s important to make sure that employees use things like hand trucks when moving heavy inventory, to not only keep up with production but also ensure they’re not overexerting themselves.

However, there is still training that goes into when and where to use that equipment. According to the Small Business Chronicle, you should always be keep record of all of your training so you can make sure that everyone knows how to use material handling equipment. Additionally, even if you’re using proper handling equipment like hand trucks, the news provider reports that there should still be a formalized training on proper lifting techniques, so one does not strain themselves.

According to Building Design & Construction, managers should always make sure that their warehouses are clean and kept up. There could always be things lying around that could cause workers to accidentally fall, particularly if they can’t see where they’re walking due to all of the material they’re handling. If you’re making a conscious effort to train your crew, leaving a messy warehouse can undo all the safety precautions you put in place, so make sure that you’re covering all aspects.

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Do you have a plan in place when receiving inventory into your warehouse?

How much oversight do you have on receiving inventory?

How much oversight do you have on receiving inventory?

When you have an incoming shipment on pallet jacks to take into your warehouse, are you finding the transition process seamless? You need to have complete knowledge about what is coming in and out of the warehouse, and the more shipments you’re able to anticipate, the more productive you can be as a warehouse.

According to Modern Materials Handling, knowing exactly what kind of shipments are on their way can have a positive impact on the receiving process, as the news provider points out it allows managers ample time to get the right people and equipment in place to receive the inventory. If you’re dealing with specialized materials, having someone with knowledge in place to receive them into the warehouse can make sure they’re handled properly and efficiently.

The news provider reports that many major retailers have mandates in place that require specific labels. This helps overseers know what exactly is coming in the warehouse and how much of it.

According to the Small Business Chronicle, property receiving means that warehouse managers can make informed decisions about the proper storage. Depending on what the materials are, there could be specific areas within the warehouse that make the most storage sense.

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Technology helps, but effective planning is still a necessity

Do you have your planning under control?

Do you have your planning under control?

Technology has helped warehouse managers better understand what exactly is coming in and out of the warehouse on pallet jacks. Software has also allowed production managers to be able to better predict overall demand and measure fulfillment time. However, while there could be a lot of tools that make the execution phase easier, there is still one important factor leading up.

Modern Materials Handling reports it’s a common mistake that the planning phase is forgotten about. This is what helps make the execution of delivery so strong, and by looking it over, warehouse managers are opening themselves up to potential errors, no matter how much technology they have at their disposal.

The news provider points to a recent survey from the National Retain Federation that found that poor planning was in the top three reasons for affecting holiday sales.

Supply Chain 24/7 suggests taking a look at overall operations and capacity and honing in on weaknesses to see where to make improvements. This can help you think of solutions for different scenarios and come up with plans depending on the situation. The news provider reports that this practice will also help you make adjustments as you go once you get a feel for if these solutions are possible.

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Be smart yet efficient when packaging materials

Be sure to keep packaging under control.

Be sure to keep packaging under control.

Working in material handling means you have to handle all inventory with precision. Depending on how harshly a worker loads products onto the pallet jacks, they could become damaged. It’s important to make sure everything is handled with care and properly stored.

Modern Materials Handling reports special attention should be paid to how the inventory is stored. However, the news provider points out that some companies get themselves into trouble because they’re using packaging material that’s completely based on cost, not factoring in that it might actually be harmful for the inventory.

In order to make sure the materials stay intact, it’s important to think strategically about packaging, particularly if they’re going directly to consumers. The news provider reports that 73 percent of consumers who received a damaged products were unlikely to buy from that provider again.

However, it’s important to keep costs under control and not overpack. According to Supply Chain Dive, packaging is actually becoming more expensive, with shippers raising the rates. If a provider is unable to keep their packaging budget under control, they could be seeing costs go up. Be sure to test each material to determine the appropriate amount of packaging that won’t weigh down an item when it ships.

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Think about the inventory when converting to lean

Do you practice lean in the warehouse?

Do you practice lean in the warehouse?

Lean management is a practice that many warehouses across the country has implemented in an effort to stay productive and stay on top of costs. The inventory that typically comes in and out of the warehouse on the pallet jacks has to have a purpose.

According to Industrial Distribution, inventory needs to be based on customer demand, and warehouse managers need to be smart when picking what orders to make from their suppliers. The news provider reports this requires having a good tracking system in place to pick up on any demand trends that may be shaping their stockroom.

Being able to accurately predict what customers might want and when is a big part of lean management, and without the proper oversight, it could lead to some challenges. It takes a lot of planning not just from managers, but anyone who works in the warehouse.

According to Inbound Logistics, in order to be successful with lean operations, there needs to be a sense that everyone’s ideas in how to achieve lean goals are taken into consideration. There also needs to be a strong level of communication from warehouse managers about why they’re making the change to lean and what needs to happen in order to be successful.

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Keep warehouse running efficiently to offset rising pallet costs

Keep pallet costs as in control as possible.

Keep pallet costs as in control as possible.

Keeping the warehouse running efficiently not only helps profits, but it also can reduce costs. By streamlining as many processes as possible, warehouse managers have found that they’re able to keep their costs under control, even in times when profits aren’t as strong. Costs are always on the rise, and using material handling equipment like pallet jacks can not only improve productivity, but can also ease the burden on the workers.

According to Logistics Manager, the costs of pallets are actually on the rise due to an increase in wood and timber pricing. Additionally, the news provider reports that materials such as nails are also seeing an increase in price. Shipping costs continue to rise for a variety of reasons ranging from materials to fuel, so logistics managers need to work to reduce areas of spending wherever they can.

Being strategic about the goods you’re transporting on pallet jacks can go a long way. According to Inbound Logistics, pallets are an integral part of the supply chain, but many warehouse managers may not realize their importance and often cast them aside. The news provider reports this is a mistake, since pallets can help improve safety, loading and unloading times and maintaining overall product quality.

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Warehouse managers need to stay on top of deliveries and demand

Keep inventory moving for efficiency.

Keep inventory moving for efficiency.

The world of e-commerce has put a lot of pressure on suppliers who are looking to capture market share. Because many retailers are trying to entice customers with quick order fulfilments and low shipping costs, it’s caused a lot of warehouse managers to get creative in improving efficiency while also keeping costs at a low level. Having material handling equipment such as pallet jacks can help speed up inventory sorting and reduce workforce strain. However, there have to be other strategies in place to ensure smart delivery.

According to Supply & Demand Chain Executive, many warehouse managers are finding that they need to be a part of overseeing exactly what inventory is coming in and out to determine if they’re able to keep up with demand. Everything from fulfillment centers to warehouses to back rooms need to be connected so workers know where to pull inventory from that won’t disrupt another channel’s supply.

It’s also important to get deliveries right. According to Entrepreneur, because the market is so saturated, it’s important for retailers to get their deliveries right on the first try to keep consumers engaged. This can help develop brand loyalty among customers, increasing one’s percentage of the market share.

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Material handling equipment can help boost efficiency

Keep inventory moving at an efficient pace.

Keep inventory moving at an efficient pace.

With the rising costs of running a warehouse operation, managers need to make efficient practices a priority to save both time and cost. Material handling equipment like pallet jacks can help improve efficiency, as you can move more materials at a time without straining the workforce.

According to Modern Materials Handling, it’s important to keep a close eye on the labor productivity as costs go up in the workforce. Not only does it have to deal with using the right equipment, but you also need to make sure that you have the right staff on hand. The news provider reports that some managers have a hard time attracting qualified workers who are able to be efficient on the job. This also highlights the importance of training.

Multichannel Merchant reports that to improve efficiency, frontline managers need to be at the top of their game. They can have a broader scope of the changes that need to be done in order to approve efficiency and can work one-on-one with workers who are struggling to keep up with the desired pace. Additionally, managers may need to offer competitive pay in order to attract the top-of-the-line talent, and look to cut costs in other areas of the business.

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Are you being strategic about dimension weight?

Pallet jacks can help you transport large shipments.

Pallet jacks can help you transport large shipments.

When you’re moving inventory on your pallet jacks, you know there is a method for trying to fit as much material as possible without straining the equipment. There are also aerodynamics to consider, to ensure that all material handling workers are being safe and not straining themselves or putting others in harm’s way with an overloaded pallet jack.

Still, there’s a major push for efficiency in terms of moving as much material as possible without bringing in major costs. According to DC Velocity, several shippers started a new pricing model known as dimension weight, which not only accounts for how heavy the material is, but also the size of its dimensions before making an official price. This can easily drive up the costs to ship, and companies have found that they need to be more strategic about what they ship and when.

However, Forbes points out the best way to go about this is to try and get as much material in one package as possible. This can significantly add to the weight, but cut down on the amount of times an item is shipped. Using a pallet jack to move these large parcels around can improve the transport efficiency from warehouse to the shipper or receiving dock.

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