While ecommerce has been growing for years, in 2020 it increased by more than 30 percent. For your warehouse, that could mean a huge increase in the amount of goods crammed into every space your warehouse has. It also means that the rate at which shipments lost while coming to, waiting in, or leaving from your warehouse may also increase.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage this increase in shipping. Because it seems that this increase in shipping is here to stay, it is important that you use strategies like those mentioned below to better organize your warehouse and keep track of shipments.
Warehouse Management Systems
Warehouse management systems include any software that is used to process shipments, track shipments, store shipments, and locate shipments that may or may not be in transit. The best software tracks everything in real time, right down to the scans your warehouse employees take of the pallets of goods they put in a bay or place on a truck. Using a really good WMS software program, like NetSuite WMS, helps you keep track of everything that is, will be, or was in your warehouse so you can avoid lost shipments.
Designate Bays for Specific Product Storage
If your warehouse acts as a hub for multiple retailers, then section off the warehouse such that each bay is reserved for a specific retailer. Each retailer you store goods for should have its own section of bays. This prevents shipments from getting lost among shipments from other retailers. It also makes it easier to pick and pull pallets for shipping because you and your warehouse employees know exactly where items from this or that retailer are stored.
Labeling or Color Coding
Printing off large labels to adhere to pallets can help. So can color-coding pallets. For example, if you are storing shipments for next Christmas, you might store them on green or red painted pallets with sticker labels that alert you to what those pallets are for. In this way, things stay organized and are not shipped accidentally. However you chose to label or color code things, make sure everything is clearly marked. This way, brand-new employees and even seasoned employees will be less likely to confuse these pallets with others that should be shipped.
Keep Edible Products off the Floor
Warehouses often already have problems with rats and mice. If you notice rodents in your warehouse, make sure that anything edible that your warehouse is required to store is several feet above ground. It may not be a fully effective measure, but it does a reasonably good job at prevention of infestation. Products damaged due to pests in your warehouse will likely come out of your own pocket and will leave you with unhappy clients and customers. From inventory management to shipping, you need to be on top of it all. Pick strategies that are effective, but also pick strategies that make the most sense for your particular setup.