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 pre-advice, purchase order or advanced shipment notification (ASN) is one of the first steps in a warehouse’s receiving process. In some warehouses, the process of verifying that an item is what was ordered and is in good condition, and taking basic measurements for the putaway process, is called receiving or inspection, depending on the operation. This step occurs immediately after an item has been received before it is placed into inventory. For example, when receiving pallets of product, you would visually count the number of pallets on the dock, verify that the product is what was ordered, and ensure that it is in good condition. The measurements taken during this process are used to create pallet charts and assign storage locations for the goods in the warehouse. This step aims to ensure accuracy and efficiency in the warehouse.
2. Good Storage Conditions
You must control temperature and humidity to maintain good storage conditions during the warehousing process. These factors directly affect the product’s condition, and extreme temperatures or too much or too little humidity can create a harmful environment that damages the product. To achieve good storage conditions, you can use temperature and humidity control systems, such as climate control, to regulate these factors. However, remember that while the temperature is typically automatically regulated in climate control systems, humidity is usually not. You may need to implement additional measures to control humidity in non-climate-controlled warehouses. If your warehouse is climate controlled, the system will automatically regulate temperature. However, humidity is not usually automatically regulated in climate control systems. You can control humidity in a warehouse using various methods, but in most cases, warehouses are not climate-controlled, so humidity must be regulated manually.
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 number or product number, can result from an inaccurate labelling system.
4. Quality Assurance
You must focus on quality assurance to ensure that warehouse activities are performed correctly. This can involve using a picking cart correctly, maintaining and cleaning a conveyor system, and programming routes correctly. Quality control, on the other hand, involves ensuring that the final product meets the desired level of quality. By maintaining high levels of quality assurance and quality control, you can improve the accuracy and efficiency of your warehouse operations.
By maintaining high levels of quality assurance and quality control, you can improve accuracy and efficiency in the warehouse. For example, suppose you are using a picking cart. In that case, you want to ensure that the cart and the route are correctly followed. To ensure accuracy and efficiency with a conveyor system, you must clean and maintain the belts, properly maintain the equipment, and adequately program the routes. If these activities are not performed correctly, you may experience issues with accuracy and efficiency.
5. Well-Supported Putaway Logic
Putaway stores the goods in the warehouse and organises them in a manner that makes them easy to locate when needed. There are various putaway logics, including pick-in-first-out (PIFO), pick-in-first-out-reverse (PIFOR), random, and destination. It is essential to select a logic that is well-supported by data and easy to follow, as ambiguity can lead to accuracy, efficiency, and more issues. Consider the data and ensure that the selected logic is easy to follow. For example, if your items are delivered in a random pattern, it may not be easy to follow a PIFO logic. Therefore, you must be aware of the data and make sure it is easy to follow.
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 that your products are stored in a clean environment, your warehouse must have both ventilation and air conditioning systems.
7. EDI with 3rd-Party Systems
To streamline transactions with 3rd party vendors for warehousing or logistics, consider using electronic data interchange (EDI). This automated system transmits data electronically, reducing the need for manual work and making the process more efficient. You can use barcodes or RFID tags to send data to a 3rd party vendor via EDI transmissions. You can eliminate manual data entry by using EDI, making the process easier to audit and more cost-effective. It can also make the system more efficient overall.
To store goods safely, securely, and efficiently in your warehouse, consider these seven best practices:
- Follow a comprehensive checklist to ensure your goods are stored in the best possible condition.
- Use the right storage equipment for your goods, such as pallets, racks, and shelves.
- Organize your warehouse logically and efficiently, making sure to label everything clearly.
- Use a warehouse management system to track and manage your inventory.
- Keep your warehouse clean and well-maintained to prevent damage to your goods.
- Implement proper safety measures to protect your goods and employees.
- Regularly review and update your warehouse processes to ensure they are efficient and cost-effective.
Following this warehouse quality goods checklist ensures that your warehouse runs smoothly and your goods remain top-quality. A comprehensive warehouse checklist is essential for businesses looking to remain competitive and provide quality goods to their customers.
If you want to optimise your warehouse operations, consider booking a demo with Clarus WMS. Our experienced team can help you streamline your warehouse processes and ensure that you follow the best practices for ensuring quality goods. Don’t wait – take the first step towards improving your warehouse operations today.