Learn About the Kinds of Warehouse Waste and How to Minimize it.
Waste in the warehouse is not like waste in the home or even waste in engineering. Waste in the warehouse usually occurs without you even knowing it is occurring. Your day, like most of them, felt smooth, no issues. The pace seemed steady. In your eyes, the day was productive.
Dealing with waste in the warehouse is luckily easier to overcome than it is to identify. However, left unnoticed or unresolved, it can and most often does have a silent but deadly effect on your business. Based on a principle that warehouse production should be “pulled” not “pushed”, the pace at which the warehouse moves in a lean warehouse is determined by the customer. The intake of orders will determine the pace at which the warehouse and the people inside the warehouse move. Any faster or slower and you have effectively created waste.
While trust in your suppliers is important for your piece of mind, lack of trust in them is a common cause for waste to occur in the warehouse thru overproduction.
Identify the Types of Warehouse Waste So You Can Minimize It
- Over Purchasing
- Working Slowly or Waiting for Product
- Working Too Much/Doing More than Needed
- Poor Use of Electricity/Resources
- Waste of Transport – Movement of Product from one location to the next
- Defective Product/Services
- Waste of Creativity/Mis-assignment
- Overall Poor Inventory Management
How to Overcome Warehouse Waste
While you could attempt to control the flow of your warehouse manually, the energy and time you expend doing so will just lead to more waste. Having inventory management software will immediately help you set the right pace for your workflow. By performing regular cycle counts with the help of a WMS, you can identify potential overages, shortages, and instances of theft that you can remedy in the early stages, before more waste occurs. As you may already know keeping par levels of product on the shelves is much like a juggling game. Zenventory’s Inventory management software will help you keep just the right amount of product in inventory, based on previous order history, to help minimize waste.
Paper pick tickets that can be printed with each order if necessary, deliver an itemized list of products and their locations inside the warehouse to make locating them easier and quicker. Keeping with the push and pull principle, picking orders should be done at a pace that’s relative to the order flow. Picking too quickly or slowly is another source of waste in the warehouse.
Learn the Lean Principles
The Following are the “Lean Principles” Defined for the Warehouse.
- Specifying Value – Defined by customer as a specific product or service that meets customer needs at specific time and price
- Identify and Create Value Streams: Suppliers →In House Processes →Customer The Value Stream Includes all the actions required to bring a product or service from raw materials to the arms of the customer.
- Make the Value Flow: Products should flow through the lean organization at the rate that the customer is requesting them, without being caught up in inventory or delayed. Production should be pulled, not pushed = Only make as required. Pull the value according to the customer’s demand.
- Striving for perfection in the production and delivery of final product which includes all the steps it takes to get a product from Supplier to warehouse to production to customer.