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If you don’t get your warehouse right, your entire supply chain is at jeopardy. This is why every small business should pay attention to the warehouse organization more, in order to keep running their business with efficiency. In this post, we share the top 10 tips for warehouse organization for small businesses to help you maximize the productivity of your warehouse.

Warehouse Organization Tips

Layout wisely
A good layout will solve the majority of the warehouse organization problems. Keeping your frequent items close to you and least moving items in the back is an important point to keep in mind when planning your warehouse layout. Also keeping the like items together and separating a special area for small parts can help you with easy picking. 

Store for efficiency 
Consider storing items depending on the time sensitivity and movement can help you reduce waste and item locating time. You can use storing bins to store your items to reduce item damage. Make sure you are not just storing horizontally but vertically too so you can get more use of your space.

Make easy access your priority
From receiving, item locating to picking, if your employees can access the item needed easily and effectively it will save you a lot of time and hassle. Which is why you should always do your warehouse organization focusing on easy access. Make sure you have a system to identify which item locate where easily. In addition, you can locate the packaging area as close as possible to the docking area so employees will be able to load items with ease. This will reduce item losses and damages too. Also, make sure to eliminate traffic barriers in the main area to improve the efficiency of the movement. 

Packaging and labeling matters too
Having a fewer box or carter sizes for packaging will help you with packaging efficiency while reducing the cost of packaging and shipping. When it comes to labeling, using information and warehouse location labels on all products will help you track and locate items within seconds. Although you have a barcode system experts advise is to use man readable labels too for easy and effective item identification. 

Streamline your picking process
Having an effective and functional picking process is an important component of a seamless warehouse. Thus make sure you are evaluating your picking methods, so you can be sure of the methods you are using are still appropriate, regardless of the changes happened in the business. 

Identify patterns
By identifying shipping patterns, and peak days and arranging staff shifts accordingly will help you prevent rush hour chaos. 

Keep it clean and clutter free
This is no-brainer yet many warehouses ignore this. Keeping your warehouse clean and clutter free will not just make your operations much smoother but will help you build a good impression on visitors, suppliers and other stakeholders of the professionalism and standards you adhere in your warehouse. 

Consider lean inventory practices
This means you keep only what’s necessary for the warehouse but nothing else. This way your employees will have fewer volumes of items to deal with, in organizing freight, completing order fulfilment services, and more. Discuss with your suppliers and see if you can get smaller loads on a more frequent basis.  

Adopt new technology
Doing everything manually doesn’t just consume time but drains energy too. But if you can adopt a good warehouse management software system in your warehouse the benefits are endless.  It will enable you to rely on the system for more of the operations and data handling through automation which will reduce a tremendous amount of work for your employees. Plus a WMS saves money too.

Review your whole process annually 
Keeping up with your warehouse reports is important to optimize your warehouse operations. Make sure you have a process to review your warehouse operation reports annually so you can identify it’s strengths and weaknesses and put together a plan to perform even better in the next year.  

Keep in mind these tips and see what you can change in your warehouse to make it work with more efficiency.