Technology & Innovation

3 ways workflows help maximize your warehouse's efficiency

Written by
Jonathan Porter
Mar 24, 2022
4:08 am
minute read

You’ve got your space. You’ve assembled your team. You have your product. What is next? What more could you need for your successful business? A workflow. A system that tracks everything and plans for actions to be carried out. 

Your productivity and efficiency are dependent on your WMS. If that system fails, your warehouse fails. So how can you ensure it doesn’t? How can you maximize your workflow to allow for the best possible working environment for employees, product fulfillment for customers and financial stability for business? 

What is a Workflow?

Workflows are systems that organize your warehouse and production. A workflow might explain what happens when a product goes from point A to B. 

It also might dictate how items are tracked. A workflow might better be described as the process your business works under to remain productive and efficient. Of course, there are several ways to optimize this process. 

Workflows assist in taking the workload off your employees as well as management. Throughout this article, this is the process of workflow we will be considering. 

A process to maximize every aspect of your business without being a ‘major’ change or alteration. They can function, operating in the background without you even noticing. 

After all, how we accomplish our business processes makes all the difference. 

3 Steps to Maximize your Workflow Efficiency 

Before putting a workflow into action, there are three things you must consider to maximize its productivity and efficiency. 

1. Knowing Your Needs

Step one seems relatively simple, yet it may take the most leg work to figure out. Knowing your needs means considering all the components that make your warehouse run. 

You must look at your WMS, technology, and software—ask yourself: what is lacking? What is working well? Where could we use more direction and leadership? 

For example, you have just invested in a conveyor to transport warehouse items to their packaging point. What happens before the product meets the conveyor? How is it handled when it arrives to be packaged? A workflow will assist in designing that process. 

These questions enable you to maximize the use of the technology you have invested in! Having a workflow in place allows for organization and cost-effectiveness.

2. Knowing Your Space

You’ve assessed your needs for workflows. You’ve looked at what processes might be enhanced by adding this level of organization into your warehouse. 

The next step is to understand how to maximize your warehouse space. Your warehouse space contributes to its safety for employees, profitability for you, and productivity and organization. 

Your space should be set up to maximize efficiency. A workflow will determine whether your product packing is located at an unhelpful location or if your inventory is too scattered, creating inventory holes in your WMS.
Knowing and critically assessing your space with a workflow allows for more productivity and direct organization. Not only this, but because your space is set up efficiently, it means a greater sense of safety for workers who wouldn’t be crashing into one another going from station to station. 

With big machinery in this mix, that is a huge no! Setting up a workflow can keep people safe.

3. Knowing Your Employees

Who is working in your warehouse? How do they complete their job daily? Do they move around? Do they interact with technology? How often? 

In what ways could productivity be enhanced by enabling specific protocols and directives? 

Enabling a workflow also assists with new hires. Since a workflow offers organization and direction, new employees would be easy to train with a manual and write up a list of steps. If your warehouse is consistent and organized, your employees will be too! 

Workflows and Flexibility 

Enabling a workflow can indeed enhance your warehouse in many ways, but only if considered appropriately. Putting a system in place that is well thought out and considers the many aspects of your warehouse is indeed going to benefit.

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