A lean warehouse management system is vital to operating a business and expanding your operations. Despite the many benefits of lean warehousing, 43 percent of companies in the United States don’t track their inventory. You’re setting your loyal customers up for frustration and disappointment when you sell them products you don’t have available.
Creating a lean warehouse is a massive feat, but the benefits are impossible to ignore. You can incorporate lean principles for your operations and warehouse inventory to boost efficiency and revenue.
Lean principles come down to simplifying your inventory management process to save time and money. Luckily for your company operations, you’re in the perfect spot to learn more about these principles and the benefits you’ll enjoy when you create a lean warehouse. Continue reading to improve efficiency in your warehouse today!
What Is a Lean Warehouse?
A lean warehouse is a business warehouse that runs efficiently. Operations are quick, and errors are minimal. The goal is to maximize the space for goods and supplies and the ability to pull products and ship them based on customer demand.
The purpose of converting your company’s warehouse into a lean warehouse is to save money and time. You’ll reduce the time necessary to process customer orders and save money on labor to power your operations.
You also want to decrease the waste from your business with boosted efficiency. Implementing lean principles will make a massive difference in productivity and your bottom line.
Steps to Implement Lean Warehousing
You should take specific steps when you’re set on implementing a lean inventory management system. Taking the proper steps toward a lean warehouse is critical for your company’s expansion. The process takes time and patience, but proper guidance will help you generate more revenue while spending less on labor.
Here’s a closer look at how to convert your business warehouse into a lean operation.
The sorting process requires an objective mindset about the storage and equipment in your company warehouse. It’s the first step toward eliminating clutter from your warehouse and finding a better use for your space.
Start by removing any items from areas of your warehouse that you no longer use. Typical items include broken equipment, obsolete products, and boxes with old branding. It’s a critical step to clear up valuable space in your warehouse.
You can also use green tag/red tag events with your warehouse teams. Task each team with tagging products and resources that get used frequently with green tags. Use red tags for areas with items your company doesn’t often use. Remove all red-tagged items from the warehouse at the end of the event.
The purpose of sorting your warehouse is to eliminate the time you’re using to look for lost or misplaced items. You’ll increase the available storage for new products and resources. Organize each corner of your butler metal buildings.
The next step to focus on is storing your goods and resources orderly and organized. The goal is to organize items according to their frequency of use for each person and department.
You can designate a spot for each item when reorganizing your warehouse. Categorize times based on the tools and equipment necessary to access them. It’s a step toward efficient warehouse operations.
Use outlines against the warehouse wall for the necessary tools in those regions. It’s a small addition that makes organization a walk in the park. You’ll know immediately if the tools are missing.
Determining the ideal storage spot for odds and ends in your warehouse is also beneficial. Develop a replenishment system for your warehouse to ensure you always have the proper equipment and tools ready. Train all employees on storing and replenishing these items to maintain warehouse efficiency.
The shine aspect of implementing lean principles involves creating a clean warehouse and workspace for your employees. You want to eliminate any garbage, dust, debris, and broken equipment from your building. Eliminating this waste is the best way to determine areas you can optimize for better inventory management.
Keep all floors free of liquids and spills. It’s a critical step toward ensuring a safe workspace for your employees. Clean floors are also an easy way to determine if your forklifts have mechanical issues.
Storing your forklifts in an organized way makes finding the damaged forklift a breeze. You’ll need help identifying the problem and the corresponding forklift with dirty and dust-covered warehouse floors.
Cleaning the machines is another essential part of a robust warehouse management system. Machines that are clean and well-maintained are less likely to experience mechanical issues. You won’t have unforeseen downtime at your company due to a lack of maintenance and care.
It’s best to standardize your processes throughout the building to enjoy the benefits of continuous improvement for your warehouse inventory. Visual management is an excellent addition to your warehouse management system.
Lines on the floor are the best way to show the spaces dedicated to walking in the warehouse. You can also post pictures in the workspace to demonstrate to new and experienced employees how storage areas should look when the job is complete.
Focus on visuals to ensure lean principles are maintained in your warehouse. It’s one of the most crucial steps necessary to propel your company to the forefront of your industry.
You’ll need to put effort and planning into sustaining the lean principles you’ve instilled into your warehouse and workforce. Sustaining these changes is the key to continuous improvement, and you must use regular audits to maintain those standards. It’s the best way to determine the root cause behind setbacks for your organization.
Introduce Lean Warehousing to Your Organization
Implementing lean warehousing for your brand is the first step toward exponential growth and expansion. The goal is to create efficient processes that boost productivity and reduce expenses.
Organize your warehouse and eliminate all clutter and broken equipment. Use that space to optimize your storage solutions and maintain your workforce’s rate standards.
Efficiency is the key to running and growing a successful business. Read more of our Business content for the best tips and guides to propel your business forward!