In all fields, improving productivity is a constant concern. For warehouse owners and operators, this is especially true.
A warehouse with high productivity levels will see this reflected in their bottom line — it’s as simple as that.
Of course, increasing productivity is no easy task — especially when it depends on some factors that can seem like they’re outside your ability to control, such as the performance of your employees.
Luckily, you have more control than you might believe. Follow these steps to determine where your productivity is lacking and how you can give it a much-needed boost.
Step 1: Measure Productivity
As the saying goes, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. To properly evaluate your warehouse productivity levels, you need to have analytics at all levels of your organization.
Some of the critical KPIs (key performance indicators) you need to track include:
- Your critical productivity and costs on shipped orders
- Cost per box
- Cost per line shipped
- Cost associated with various errors your warehouse might face
- Cost of returns (if applicable)
Breaking this all down will allow you to see which areas of your warehouse have lacking productivity and also evaluate what is causing this lag in performance.
Step 2: Meet with Employees and Ask Questions
Odds are your employees have noticed lagging productivity and have their own thoughts on how this can be improved.
Don’t just assume that because you see lagging productivity it immediately means that employees aren’t working hard. More often than not, factors beyond their control contribute to this — from relying on outdated methods, processes or steps, to layout or inefficient machinery (more on this in a minute).
So, schedule some time and ask for your employees for their honest feedback. You can hold meetings by area and give employees forms to fill out if you’d like more detailed answers.
While likely providing you with some essential information, this tactic will also help boost your engagement levels with employees and show you are interested in working with them to help increase productivity. As a management tactic, it’ll yield much better results than just blaming your team for missing productivity goals and hoping for improvement.
Step 3: Employee Evaluations and Creative Solutions
After evaluating your KPIs and reviewing employee feedback, now is the time to make improvements.
One of the easiest ways to enhance productivity is to put in place an employee evaluation method or update your existing policy to show employees that high levels of productivity won’t go unnoticed.
Great evaluations can be tied into financial incentives for both individuals and areas of your warehouse that experience an uptick in productivity overall.
Along with formalizing employee check-ins like this, you can also be more creative with your methods.
“We use large-screen monitors throughout our vast fulfillment department that detail the productivity of the entire room and each individual employee. This allows us to oversee all aspects of performance, such as daily, weekly, and monthly goals. We compensate the leading employees each month with a monetary bonus. The healthy competition keeps the entire department working effectively, increases quality control, and the bonus motivates everyone to produce more.”
Step 4: Equip Employees with the Tools They Need
If after all your research you find that what what’s really holding your productivity back is out-of-date machinery and equipment, then it’s time to make a change.
Your employees can only work with what they’re given, so why not provide them with the best possible tools?
Dalmec’s customized industrial manipulators and lifting equipment are designed specifically for your warehouse space. We take into account your processes and methods — then provide you with the machinery you need to enhance your productivity.
In addition to following the steps outlined above, make life easier for your employees and boost morale with machines that are easy and efficient to use.
If you’d like to learn more about how our solutions can enhance your productivity, contact us today.