A smoothly running logistics process is important for both customer and supplier. The processes that take place in a warehouse are an important and determining part of this. Process optimization in your warehouse can ensure better coordination within the entire chain. Finding bottlenecks is not so much a difficult task, but gaining insight into warehouse processes proves to be a challenge in practice. In the 5 steps in this blog, we take you to insight into the processes of your warehouse.
Insight into warehouse processes provides company-wide benefits
Often there is only moderate insight into the processes that take place within the warehouse. This is a real shame, because this insight can bring countless benefits to your warehouse. Not only does insight into warehouse processes result in cost savings, it also affects the satisfaction of your customers. The speed you can achieve with this insight can even become your competitive advantage . In addition, mapping warehouse processes can support you in measuring, improving and realizing your business goals.
Insight into warehouse processes is also required for successful cooperation throughout the entire chain. It is the starting point for identifying (upcoming) problems. By finding and eliminating bottlenecks, you can better tailor your production to your suppliers and customers. As a warehouse owner, if you want a pleasant chain cooperation, this starts with your own warehouse.
Insight into warehouse processes can yield significant savings and is the basis for good chain cooperation. But why then do many warehouse keepers pass up opportunities? The challenge lies not in improving processes, but in gaining insight. In practice, this turns out to be a complex, time-consuming task. Warehouse owners do not know where to start and have no idea where to get the time.
We have set up a step-by-step plan to help you, as a warehouse owner, a step further and to gain insight into your warehouse process a little less time-consuming. This way you can still achieve the benefits of transparent processes with more knowledge and in less time.
How to gain insight
Now that you know the benefits, you can really get started. And we do this on the basis of five steps:
Step 1: From inbound, storage and outbound to concrete activities
The first step to gain insight into the processes of your warehouse is to translate inbound, storage and outbound into concrete activities. Map out which activities are actually carried out in your warehouse.
It is wise to schedule a meeting with every person who understands these activities and who is responsible for results. In this way you increase the chance of a complete picture of the activities. Don’t forget to include operational employees as well; they really are in the field.
Step 2: Determine which flows are running through your warehouse
The second step is to determine the flows that run through your warehouse. These flows include both traffic and goods flows. This concerns goods, means of transport, personnel and visitors. Consider, for example, the walking routes of your warehouse employees and the movement of goods that takes place in the warehouse.
Step 3: Combine the flows with the activities
In order to gain insight, the flows must be assigned to the logistics activities. The third step is therefore simply to list the flows per logistics activity.
Step 4: Visualize!
Then it is now time to visualize the information obtained. There are various application and software options for this, but it is also possible to draw this manually on, for example, a large whiteboard.
Step 5: Make the insight known throughout the organization
It is often thought that everyone knows what is happening inside and outside the warehouse. Yes, everyone has his or her own ideas about this, but it does encourage things to take on a life of their own. That is why the fifth step is to make the insight that has been obtained known across the organization. With this, own ideas are taken from the air and there is more clarity.
If you go through these steps, you are assured of a transparent warehouse process. You will notice that improvements are being discovered along the way. And you can undoubtedly work with the insight. Optimizing processes is then the next step.
We can devise fantastic processes on paper. I dare say that in practice, however, always differently. After all, a piece of paper is not under pressure from external factors and does not communicate with suppliers, customers or colleagues. Therefore, always test a process against reality.