Navigating shipping in warehouses can be highly complex; from the time an order is received to when it’s picked, packed and shipped, several things could go wrong.
That’s why warehouse leaders should be aware of some of the most common shipping mistakes. Addressing these issues in your warehouse can significantly help you optimize your company’s shipping process and position you towards success.
So, what are these common shipping mistakes in warehouses? Let’s take a closer look.
TOO SMALL RECEIVING AREA
Even though receiving is a critical function in warehouses, it’s common to face “space crunches” even when you have separate shipping and receiving areas. This lack of space can quickly lead to inaccuracies. When errors and problems start in the receiving area, they will cascade throughout the warehouse and inevitably lead to mistakes.
Investing in a large warehouse receiving area is paramount if you want to enhance efficiency and functionality. Ensure that you devote enough space to your warehouse receiving site to hold your inventory and complete other warehouse procedures. To do this, you can follow our steps for maximizing your warehouse floor space.
Your receiving area should include three separate spaces for delivery, inspection and organization. Having different procedures or tasks done in their separate areas will reduce the chances of something getting missed in the shipping process.
INVENTORY LABELING ERRORS
Improper labeling of products is a sign of disorganized warehouse inventory. This increases the likelihood of order inaccuracies or shipping products to the incorrect address. In addition, incorrect labeling may also result in extra costs for the shipper or customer. For instance, even a tiny change in the zip code is likely to cause a massive impact on the shipping costs, especially if the item is shipped internationally.
Warehouses need to have designated spaces for double-checking each order you send for accuracy. Do they contain the correct products according to the packing slip? Are the packages properly labeled and addressed? Accuracy will not only avoid out-of-pocket costs but will also uphold your brand’s reputation.
PICKING PATHS AREN’T OPTIMIZED
Another common shipping mistake is overlooking the need for efficient picking paths. To attain efficient order retrieval, you need to optimize your warehouse picking paths and process. That means dedicating more time to preparing orders and less time moving around the warehouse. Failure to optimize the picking paths causes excessive travel times, leading to unnecessary labor costs and slower picking rates or turnaround times.
How can you optimize your layout in terms of picking paths? Here are some of our top tips:
- Make sure you choose the proper picking method for your warehouse. Not every process will work for every environment. Look into some of the most popular picking methods, such as batch picking, zone picking, and wave picking, and work with your team to determine the best option.
- Products that are mainly purchased together should be placed near each other. In addition, if you have products that are consistently flying off the shelves, those should be placed closer to your shipping area.
- Have a linear picking order that allows the warehouse employees to complete their picking run at a location closer to the dispatch area.
Modern shipping technologies lay a strong foundation in optimizing routes, decreasing turnaround times and reducing inefficiencies. Smart technology has penetrated most industries, and the shipping industry is, without doubt, one of them.
Many manufacturers have optimized their shipping and warehouse process with modern technology such as:
These pieces of advanced technology help warehouses stay one step ahead and ensure a seamless shipping experience.
PAPER-BASED WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Even with modern technology to help ease the shipping process, most warehouses still rely on outdated technology, including paper-based management systems. Failing to utilize modern technology and holding onto inefficient, paper-based warehouse management systems is common, especially for smaller organizations.
While you may think that keeping things simple in your warehouse is better, paper processes inevitably slow down your warehouse operations, leaving you liable to shipping delays due to misplaced and lost documents.
For instance, relying on printed orders for pickers may lead to order details often getting lost. If this consistently happens, it may be time to switch to a digital management system, which offers digital data storage, inventory reports, instant communication capabilities and more.
Keep in mind that this does not mean that you need to invest in a complicated and over-expensive warehouse management system. There are plenty of options on the market that will fit your budget and offer the features you need without all the bells and whistles you don’t.
NO INDUSTRIAL MANIPULATORS OR MATERIAL HANDLERS
Do you want to increase your facility’s productivity, cut down on injuries and save money in the long run? The first step is investing in material handlers and industrial manipulators for your business. High-quality, reliable industrial manipulators will help you transform your warehouse and optimize accuracy and efficiency in your shipping process.
Efficiency in warehouse management and logistics is the only way to improve your customer experience and cut unnecessary costs. No matter how many innovations you incorporate, you should address the current weak points in your warehouse shipping approaches to help you gain a smooth flow of the warehouse operations and make the most out of your successful shipping.
At Dalmec, we’ll help you attain total control of your inventory and master your warehouse’s complexity. Contact us to learn more about how industrial manipulators can help streamline your shipping process and warehouse’s overall operations.