5 most common warehouse mistakes and how to spot them

Many aspire towards running their warehousing operations 100% perfectly. Today we’ll be covering the 5 most common warehouse mistakes.

Managers and supervisors take note! We’ll be sharing how to spot and remedy issues that can arise, some of which can have lasting consequences.

1. Low safety standards

We’ve intentionally placed this first. We believe that health and safety in any industry is paramount, especially warehousing and logistics. There are literally many moving parts to an operation, such as forklifts, conveyors, trucks, vans, trolleys, pallets, cartons, personnel and many more.

Over the last 15 years Australia has definitely made a large improvement in its safety standards, driven largely by high standards (and huge fines for non-compliance) set by the Australian government. Yet, some operations still ‘fly under the radar’ through claiming that they’re too small for OH&S to be necessary.

Low safety standards not only increase workplace risks but also reduce employee morale and productivity. There are simple fixes managers can take, such as ensuring that forklift drivers are ticketed, personnel only walkways are highlighted, pinch points are covered and PPE standards are enforced.

2. Excess inventory

This remains one of the most common mistakes we see in this industry. Purchasing managers often over-purchase despite years of aiming for reasonable inventory rates. This can affect cash flow and capital availability for the company and even cause excessive stock-take sales to clear older stock.

Purchasing inventory only when required is fundamental. It’s also wise to check just how fast inventory can be manufactured and delivered, as some companies do have longer lead-times. Consider also the seasonal variations of a certain stock.

Commonly, everyday warehouse personnel can also spot excess inventory. It’s worth liaising with personnel who handle inventory every day to gather feedback, as some may suggest room for improvement.

3. Lack of staff progression

Another of the most common warehouse mistakes is not allowing staff to progress. Whilst some have rules such as ‘no forklift use for the first 6 months‘, there needs to be a degree of leniency for highly experience new-starters coming into any warehouse or logistics company.

Additionally, staff should be encouraged to progress. This can be with complimentary training sessions, the chance for supervisory positions, and mentoring of new-starters. Most staff do actively want to propel in their warehousing careers, driven not only by the financial rewards but the leadership rewards too.

4. Lack of optimized picking

As we mentioned, many operations aspire towards 100% perfection. One place is their picking processes. Everyone in an operation, from warehouse personnel to supervisors, managers and the leadership team need to have an involvement in measuring a range of picking strategies and finding the best solution for their operation.

In a perfect world, personnel should be able to pick orders near their dispatch location, without too much idle time or transition time between BIN locations. Additionally, SKUs should be marked accurately and the right equipment provided to pickers to complete their tasks in minimal time.

5. Holding on to paper systems

Many smaller warehouses still cling on to their older paper systems, as opposed to a transition towards utilizing technology and a robust digital solution such as CartonCloud. Whilst there’s some resistance to ‘keep things simple’, paperwork creates other difficulties and delays in productivity.

A software solution can maximize productivity, reduce user-errors and avoid ongoing issues with misplaced paperwork. Even smaller warehouses will find the costs to implement such systems to be surprisingly minimal, with little to no interruption to current receiving and dispatch tasks.

Getting started

CartonCloud continues to help warehouses and logistics companies across Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia. We’re a digital solution with thousands of satisfied users, backed by our own industry experience in the field.

Get in touch with us today to see how we may be able to avoid some of these common warehouse mistakes in your operation.