Warehouse logistics involve all the people, processes, and programs required to keep your items moving in, around, and through your warehouse. An organized warehouse saves employees time, reduces overall costs, and helps you deliver products and services to market faster. In many ways, excellent warehouse logistics can be a significant competitive advantage.
According to McKinsey, most companies have an opportunity to save between 20 percent and 50 percent in warehousing by applying lean principles.
Much of warehousing revolves around logistical issues such as the flow of physical goods as well as information and time. Issues such as damaged goods management, safety procedures, and customer returns affect warehouse logistics as well.
By selecting and implementing a centralized computer system such as a warehouse management system or CMMS, facility managers can begin collecting and organizing the data required to improve warehouse logistics.
Challenges to be Addressed
With anything as complex as tracking and managing all the logistical details of a large warehouse, challenges are bound to arise. Warehouses are also constantly changing with inventory moving in, around, and out at any given moment.
Warehouse logistics are only as strong as the data collected. As a result, it’s important to have a reliable system and well-trained, invested employees that will be diligent about scanning and updating data.
When you have accurate data, warehouse logistics can contribute to a safer workplace, increased customer satisfaction, and better overall supply chain management.
For example, distribution facilities that depend on excellent warehouse logistics can have an exact inventory count and location of all their items in real time. This will result in fewer customer returns because fewer mistakes will be made in picking the correct items.
You can also program your warehouse logistics system to automatically re-order stock once it reaches a certain level. This allows you to potentially never run out of critical items or at least be notified when a supplier cannot deliver the needed items in time.
Warehouse logistics may involve stock rotation and movement, allowing you to maximize the physical space you have for storing existing inventory at any given moment.