The beginning of the pandemic in 2020 launched the retail industry into the land of more demand for e-commerce and online shopping, putting more pressure for efficiency and speed on all warehousing and distribution companies. Supply & Demand Chain Executive, citing a 2020 ShipStation survey, shared that "North American consumers said they have increased online shopping by 33% over the past year, with nearly two-thirds agreeing that the majority of their shopping is now done online due to the pandemic." Even as economies emerge into the post-Covid reality, the supply chain industry and logistics managers must continue to focus on improving their warehouse utilization and distribution to stay competitive in the market and keep their share of the pie.
The ultimate goal of warehouse utilization lies in updates and improving organizations to boost efficiency and productivity. Doing so will keep all tasks and team members on track with improved processes and leads to a more structured work environment. The layout of the warehouse allows warehousing and distribution companies to work faster. Streamlining these components will ultimately lead to reduced overall costs as well.
When reorganizing and boosting warehouse utilization, management should consider keeping high-demand products readily available. Fast-selling inventory must be ready to ship at any moment, especially considering consumers now demand increasingly faster delivery times. This trend can steer the direction of lean methodology and other time-saving steps in warehousing and distribution companies. Coordinating warehousing practices to mimic truck setups can improve productivity by eliminating barriers to the product.
The backbone of any supply chain operation is the front line. Streamlining processes for the workers will improve productivity overall. The best way to do this is by incorporating automated processes in warehousing utilization. Automated processing software allows data collection, analysis, and applications to operate behind the scenes and take care of extra time-consuming tasks. Data collection and processing will not only decrease the time employees spend performing these tasks, but it will also locate potential problematic areas and aid in creating a balance for cost-efficiency. This is especially important for customer retention and fulfillment of consumer demands.
Implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning helps make routine, human-centered work to keep personnel on the floor and working hard. These services work together to automate daily tasks, spot anomalies, and use predictive analytics to address different challenges that may come up in warehousing and distribution companies.
For any warehousing and distribution companies to obtain another successful year, they must implement models that save time due to e-commerce. Cross-docking may lead to a lesser need for warehouse utilization. However, it will move inventory from truck to truck rather than take up space at a warehouse at any time. This approach decreases the amount of work team members must do and enables a faster transfer of goods from beginning to end.
From the ports to the end customer, making these changes improves efficiency and visibility. More visibility allows for enhanced real-time communication and gives management and team members insight into operations. End-to-end visibility and transparency will improve processes throughout transportation. Lack of clarity will lead to delays and other problematic, costly issues that can set back businesses.
Improving warehouse utilization begins with finding the right partner to help implement changes. This can include integrating innovative practices like cross-docking or implementing new technology. Either way, the chosen partner can make or break a business. With more than 65 years of experience, Port Jersey Logistics can help any organization meet its needs. Whether it's new systems or new transportation, everything's covered. For a more improved warehouse experience, contact Port Jersey Logistics today!