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The Biggest Warehouse Problems and How to Solve Them

By
June 4, 2018

The Biggest Warehouse Problems and How to Solve Them

If you run a warehouse, it’s crucial that you’re efficient and organised to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Like any business, there are pitfalls you’ll come across, but we’ve put together some handy tips to help you overcome them.

The problem: Lack of space

You need enough space for storage and for running your operations safely and efficiently. If your workspace is not organised well it can make your employees’ jobs more difficult and unsafe.

The solutions:

  • Store your most frequently ordered or used items at the front of the warehouse which can make order picking and goods retrieval much quicker.
  • Using high lift trucks that can be used in narrow aisles might increase the floor space you have available as they don’t need as much room to manoeuvre as forklifts.

The problem: Slow order picking and issues with stock

The longer employees take to pick items, the more of an effect the delays will have on your operating costs. When items aren’t organised or easily accessible, employees will find it more difficult to locate items and the jobs will keep piling up.

The solutions:

  • Use bar code technology. This will cut down on the amount of processes and handling an item needs to go through. Bar codes will help you to accurately keep track of stock, identify items and tell you when more items are required. Data from bar code scanners will also be more accurate than data collected by a person generally.
  • Consider sequenced order picking, which involves giving employees a list to pick items by location. Employees will spend less time travelling between locations this way. The more strategically and methodically planned your order picking process is, the less wear there will be on your equipment, and you’ll also save on labour costs and time.

The Problem: Issues with warehouse slotting

Employees can drive forklifts around a warehouse multiple times looking for spaces in the racking for new stock. This can result in stock being allocated anywhere where there is an available space, which can make for a disorganised warehouse which is hard to put right.

The solution:

  • When you have new stock coming into the warehouse, take some time to identify the best location for it. Think about how it needs to be stored, how often it needs to be accessed and what kind of products it should be stored with so that it’s logical enough for employees to find.
  • Think about your storage and racking. Does it suit your needs? Does your warehouse need;

Conventional pallet racking which allows direct and easy access to every pallet?

Drive-in racking which gives you more space by eliminating aisles between racks?

Pallet Shuttle racking which is great for easy loading and unloading of goods from an electric shuttle?

Live pallet racking which is very compact and great for perishable goods?

Push-back racking, a compact system that allows four pallets to be stored per level?

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