4 Common Pitfalls That Can Hurt Your Warehouse Productivity

Learn more about the common pitfalls that might be costing your company more than you’d expect.

Published on April 11, 2019

Any drop in productivity can have a compounding impact on revenue generation. A drop in productivity for even one day can mean falling behind schedule. Trying to catch up can place a team even further behind, which makes it difficult to return a warehouse to its functional level. So long as the warehouse is not performing at its optimal level, revenue will be lost. Higher productivity means quicker fulfillment and generally leads to higher revenue. Take a close look at what might be negatively impacting your warehouse productivity so that you can remedy or avoid these common pitfalls.


Poor inventory placement

Developing an inventory routing strategy should be the primary decision-making factor when structuring the warehouse. The route for inventory should be as short as possible to maintain productivity and avoid unnecessary costs. Inventory should be placed in the most sensible spot for maintaining the flow of a warehouse. A warehouse can only truly be categorized as organized or efficient if the inventory route is as efficient as possible.


Poor inventory management

A warehouse revolves around its inventory, so it’s clear that the productivity of that warehouse will also heavily rely on its inventory management. Poor inventory management is costly – most businesses could reduce their inventory spend by 35% by integrating better inventory management systems. A state-of-the-art tracking system can ensure better control of inbound and outbound freight and will lead to more effective warehouses. Great inventory management is difficult without modern inventory management software, but even great inventory management software can be made ineffective by shoddy inventory predictions or inadequate staff.


Outdated systems & technology

In addition to an inventory tracking system, most warehouses also have some sort of applicant tracking system for hiring, which are often just as outdated. Applicant tracking software has come a long way in the past few decades. People are an essential part of your warehouse operations, so getting lost in the weeds when hiring is an unacceptable time-suck that can often lead to an imbalanced workforce. Modernizing how you hire can be an effective way to avoid issues with staffing.

Modernizing systems and technology at your warehouse doesn’t need to be limited to tracking software. Any outdated systems used at a warehouse can keep a warehouse from its optimal productivity or even negatively impact productivity. The more integral a system or piece of technology is to your warehouse’s process, the more harmful it can be when that system or technology is outdated. If the system you use to schedule shifts, track inventory, send alerts, hire workers, or perform any other significant task is outdated, warehouse productivity will take a hit. Adapting to modern technology can ensure that a warehouse is operating at its highest level.

Warehouses can also benefit from adopting new technologies to get ahead of the game. One technology being picked up by more warehouses today is voice recognition. Voice recognition has been made possible by artificial intelligence and can help warehouses improve productivity by allowing people to communicate with technology. This feature is becoming increasingly necessary as technology becomes more integrated into warehouses and factories.


Imbalanced workforce

Just as other areas of a warehouse should be optimized, so too should workforce balance. Low efficiency can manifest through under- or over-staffing because the utilization of workers is not the best it could be. In the case of understaffing, employees can become spread too thin, which in turn results in people dropping off, which can place an even heavier burden on the remaining employees. Overstaffing could mean that a warehouse is still meeting its demand, but not all employees are actively working, leading to more time wasted and lowering overall efficiency. To work towards a more balanced workforce even at peak, use tilr: an automated recruitment solution that helps you waste less time trying to balance your workforce.

The key to warehouse management is to reduce waste to a minimum – no wasted movements, no wasted inventory, no wasted time. Warehouses allow little room for error, and productivity can only be at its optimal level by reducing waste, because any amount of waste leads to a loss in revenue. Guide your company away from these warehouse productivity pitfalls to make your warehouse as efficient as it can be.