Improving a warehouse is an extremely difficult task if you aren’t measuring and tracking your activity. Replenishing a warehouse is something that must follow a specific set of guidelines and metrics, and warehouse management systems can make the job easier by providing a useful dashboard listing the most important statistics at a glance. However, if you really want to make progress, you need to use a “divide and conquer” approach.
It’s important to decide which metrics have the biggest bearing on your overall results. It might be tempting to choose a lot of metrics to be on the safe side, but this will leave you overwhelmed. It’s far better to choose just three or four metrics to focus on each month, and you can adjust them as you go along. This will help you to improve and get some noticeable results. Make sure that accuracy is always one of the metrics getting your attention as it tends to help other metrics improve along with it.
In addition to choosing metrics, you also need to set a goal for each one. Be sure your goal is realistic, but firm. For accuracy, aim for at least 98 percent; other metrics to focus on might include inventory build-up, on-time deliveries, and fill rates.
Making Ongoing Improvements
Once you’ve improved your warehouse replenishment process, you can’t just sit back and relax. It is an ongoing task that you will need to stay on top of, or some areas could start slipping down and you might not notice it until it’s too late. If you see those numbers dropping—or you are consistently beating the goals you set—it is time for a reassessment. When you’ve mastered the first metrics you were working on, switch them out with other areas that you’d like to improve and shift your focus.
Monitoring warehouse replenishment activities is a big task, but by breaking it down into manageable chunks, you should find yourself progressing quite nicely over time.
Learn more about how to better manage your warehouse.