Warehouse management is always complex and fraught with issues. Even one that is well managed will run into warehouse problems on occasion. Many companies work with 3PL’s to help minimize their workload and reduce the number of issues they face along their supply chain. There is no single solution that will work for every warehouse or even every 3PL. The effective methods often depend on the warehouse, the 3PL, and the nature of the supply chain itself.
Tips To Avoid Common 3PL Warehouse Problems
Regardless of the specifics, there are some common warehouse problems that all 3PLs face. We have made a list of some of these common warehouse problems as well as tips on how to prevent them.
Measure Performance Indicators
Keeping track of your 3PL warehouse performance is standard, but you would be surprised at how many actually overlook this step. Tracking performance will let you know where your 3PL is lacking so that you can modify parameters to improve those areas. Every 3PL uses KPI measurements, using them in the right way will help you prevent or address issues before they have a negative effect on the overall supply chain. Tracking the performance of your employees, shipping routes, and other processes will help keep your warehouse operations running smoothly and also help you stifle 3PL fires before they get a chance to take root.
Inadequate Health & Safety Management
When it comes to supply chain and warehouse management, nothing can grind business to a halt faster than injuries or illness. It is important to make sure that your 3PL business has adequate safety measures in place to keep employees safe while on the job. Illness is also a big factor when dealing with supply chains. It only takes one or two people to spread a simple illness that can put you behind schedule. With Covid-19 a big concern, it is more important than ever to pay close attention to your health measures. Proper safety training in addition to healthcare procedures that everyone has to follow will help keep everyone safe.
Holding On To Extra Inventory
Most 3PLs try to maintain efficiency by keeping a minimal amount of stock on hand in the warehouse to fulfill the needs of the supply chain. This helps maintain efficiency and also reduces cost, but there is a limit to how much inventory you should keep on hand. The more inventory you have on hand, the more funds you will have tied up until those items are offloaded. Talk with your suppliers about hosting smaller batches that stay just ahead of the current market demand. This will increase your profits and free up your funds to be able to accommodate a larger number of clients. Making use of predictive analytics is a great way to determine just how much or how little inventory to keep on hand at any given time.
Mind Your Housekeeping
A messy 3PL warehouse is an inefficient warehouse. In an industrial setting such as this, it is easy to let messes accumulate. This can reduce the efficiency of your pickers and slow down your workflow dramatically. Not only that, mess and disorganization increase the chance of accidents and injuries in the workplace. Paying attention to shipments is important, but cleaning up is equally important. You can hire a dedicated team to manage clean-up throughout the day, or you can set aside set times in your schedule for housekeeping tasks. This will ensure that your 3PL is running as efficiently as possible and safely all day long. No matter how many clients you serve or how busy your warehouse may be, your 3PL will benefit by paying attention to this small detail.
Christopher Morgan Fulfillment Center Services
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