Ensuring Quality of Warehouse Goods: 6 Factors to Consider

Warehousing is critical to running a successful business, ensuring that goods are stored properly and efficiently. To ensure quality warehouse goods, there are certain best practices you need to consider. A comprehensive checklist ensures that quality goods are stored safely, securely, and efficiently. By following these seven points, you can ensure that your goods remain in the best possible condition and that your warehouse runs efficiently and cost-effectively. Creating a comprehensive warehouse checklist is essential for businesses that want to remain competitive and ensure quality goods for their customers.

1. Pre-advice, Purchase Order or Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN)

The first step in a warehouse’s receiving process, known as pre-advice, purchase order or Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN), sets the stage for inventory accuracy and efficiency. When a warehouse receives items, the receiving or inspection team verifies the items’ identity quality and takes basic measurements for putaway. For instance, upon receiving pallets of products, the team counts pallets, confirms the product matches the order, and assesses the condition. These initial measurements are crucial for creating pallet charts and determining optimal storage locations.

Incorporating a Warehouse Management System (WMS) significantly enhances this process. A WMS automates the receiving steps by electronically matching the incoming goods against purchase orders or ASNs. It can guide staff through a systematic inspection process, ensuring no step is overlooked. The system can record the condition, quantity, and specific measurements of items, automatically update inventory records, and suggest optimal putaway locations based on predefined rules. Additionally, WMS can generate alerts for discrepancies or damaged goods, addressing issues promptly. By streamlining the receiving process, a WMS ensures accuracy, saves time, and enhances overall warehouse efficiency.

2. Good Storage Conditions

Maintaining optimal temperature and humidity is essential in warehousing to preserve product quality. Fluctuations in these environmental factors can lead to product degradation or spoilage. Utilising climate control systems helps regulate temperature effectively, but often, additional measures are required for humidity control. Manual monitoring and adjustments are necessary for warehouses without automated climate controls to maintain suitable conditions.

Utilising a WMS can significantly enhance the management of these conditions. A WMS allows designated storage zones within the warehouse for ambient, chilled, and frozen products. By categorising products and storage locations, the system ensures that each item is stored in the appropriate environment. It can track and monitor temperatures and humidity levels in different zones, alerting staff when conditions deviate from the set parameters. This ensures proactive maintenance of storage conditions, preventing product spoilage and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. A WMS can also integrate with climate control systems to automate adjustments, maintaining the optimal environment for all types of products. With a WMS, businesses can efficiently manage temperature and humidity, ensuring products remain in prime condition throughout their time in the warehouse.

3. Clear Labeling Systems

Throughout an organisation, there are various types of labelling systems. For example, if you are using a picking cart, there is the standard barcode label that is used on the outside of the warehouse. A sticker on the picking cart may also have the product information. Using a conveyor system, you may have standard barcode labels on the product or the containers with the product. A radio frequency identification (RFID) tag may also be attached to the product or container.

Regardless of the type of labelling system that you use, it must be clear, legible, and accurate. In other words, you need to be able to read the label and know exactly what it represents. An unclear labelling system can lead to theft, picking the wrong items, and misplacing products. Poor legibility of labels can result in customers not understanding what they represent. Incorrect label information, such as the wrong bin or product number, can result from an inaccurate labelling system.

4. Quality Assurance

Ensuring high-quality assurance and quality control is vital for the accuracy and efficiency of warehouse operations. Quality assurance encompasses activities like correct usage of picking carts, routine maintenance and cleaning of conveyor systems, and accurate programming of routes. Quality control ensures that the final product adheres to the desired quality standards. Together, these practices ensure smooth and error-free warehouse operations.

Incorporating a WMS significantly bolsters both quality assurance and control processes. A WMS provides systematic guidelines and checks for tasks like picking and packaging, ensuring every step is carried out correctly. It can offer real-time tracking and monitoring of equipment performance, prompting timely maintenance and preventing breakdowns. Additionally, a WMS can optimise picking routes and manage inventory efficiently, reducing errors and enhancing productivity. The system’s ability to record and analyse data also aids in identifying areas for improvement, ensuring continuous enhancement of quality and efficiency. By integrating a WMS, warehouses can uphold high-quality assurance and control standards, improving operations and customer satisfaction.

5. Well-Supported Putaway Logic

Putaway is a critical process in warehouse management, where goods are stored and organized for easy retrieval. Selecting the right putaway logic, such as pick-in-first-out (PIFO), pick-in-first-out-reverse (PIFOR), random, or destination, is essential to ensure items are accessible and inventory is managed efficiently. Data and ease of implementation should support the chosen method, as any ambiguity can lead to issues with accuracy and efficiency. For instance, adhering to PIFO logic may be challenging if items are delivered randomly, highlighting the importance of aligning putaway logic with actual warehouse operations.

Utilising a WMS can significantly streamline the putaway process. A modern WMS allows users to customise the workflow for each task, including receipt, putaway, picking, and packing. Users can define the exact steps needed for each operation, ensuring accuracy by capturing the necessary data and enhancing speed by eliminating unnecessary steps. This level of customisation is revolutionary, as it allows warehouses to operate in a way that best suits their unique environment and needs. By leveraging a WMS, warehouses can ensure that putaway is conducted effectively, improving overall operations and facilitating quick, accurate access to inventory when needed.

6. Proper Ventilation

To keep your warehouse clean and free of harmful odours, it is crucial to have proper ventilation in addition to air conditioning and fans. This is especially important for storing products that produce odours, such as food. Proper ventilation helps remove harmful odours from the warehouse, protecting other products from being impacted. While air conditioning systems can also filter out odours, they are less effective than proper ventilation.

To keep your products in a clean environment, you must have ventilation and air conditioning systems in your warehouse. For example, if you are storing food products in your warehouse, the odours from that product can harm the other products in the warehouse. By implementing proper ventilation, you can remove harmful odours from the warehouse, protecting the rest of the products from being impacted. The air-conditioning system can also filter out harmful odours but is less effective than proper ventilation. To ensure your products are stored clean, your warehouse must have ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up to ensure the quality of warehouse goods, it’s evident that a WMS like Clarus WMS is invaluable. With features tailored to maintain quality through pre-advice, storage conditions, labelling, quality assurance, putaway logic, and ventilation, Clarus WMS streamlines operations, ensuring products are stored, handled, and dispatched with the utmost care and efficiency. Its ability to automate receiving processes, regulate storage environments and optimise putaway strategies while maintaining real-time inventory accuracy makes it a critical tool for any warehouse aiming to uphold high quality standards. By integrating Clarus WMS into your operations, you can significantly reduce errors, improve productivity, and maintain the trust of your customers by consistently providing high-quality goods.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors need to be considered in a warehouse structure?

Several factors need consideration when designing a warehouse structure. These include the size and type of products stored, the volume of stock, and the frequency of deliveries and dispatches. The warehouse layout should facilitate easy movement of goods and efficient use of space. Accessibility, safety regulations, and potential for expansion are also crucial factors. Additionally, the warehouse should be equipped with appropriate technology and equipment to manage inventory effectively and ensure smooth operations.
Maintaining quality in a warehouse involves implementing a robust quality control system that includes regular audits, staff training, and adherence to safety and operational standards. Efficient inventory management, ensuring goods are stored correctly and in optimal conditions, is vital. Regular equipment maintenance, cleanliness, and warehouse organisation contribute significantly to quality maintenance. Additionally, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) can help track inventory, manage orders accurately, and reduce errors, thereby maintaining quality.
When choosing a warehouse, consider location for easy access to suppliers and customers, size and scalability to accommodate current and future needs, and layout for efficient operations. The type of goods being stored and any specific storage requirements, like temperature control, should influence the choice. Cost, security, technology infrastructure, and the ability to integrate with existing supply chain systems are also important considerations. Lastly, ensure that the warehouse complies with relevant regulations and standards.
A good warehouse is characterised by its strategic location, efficient use of space, and flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. It should have a logical layout that promotes efficient movement of goods and minimises handling. Safety, cleanliness, and organisation are key qualities that contribute to operational efficiency and worker productivity. A quality warehouse is also well-equipped with the necessary technology and equipment to facilitate inventory management and has robust security measures.
The five primary functions of a warehouse are crucial in maintaining the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall supply chain. First is Receiving, where the warehouse accepts and handles incoming goods, ensuring they are correctly accounted for and stored. Then comes Storage, the practice of safely holding goods until required, utilising appropriate methods for different product types. Picking involves carefully selecting and gathering products from storage locations to fulfil customer orders. This is followed by Packing, where items are properly packaged to ensure they arrive safely and intact at their destination. The final step, Shipping, involves dispatching the packed goods to their next destination, completing the cycle. Each function is integral to smooth warehouse operations and the timely, accurate delivery of goods.

Ready to see Clarus for yourself?