One challenge that warehouses continue to struggle with is employee productivity and efficiency. Are your employees still entering data manually? Is the handling flow within the warehouse clunky and inefficient? Are items in storage and picking sequences disorganized? Should all this sound familiar, it may be time to consider implementing a Warehouse Management System (WMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like SAP Business One within your business.
Not only will the system help track, analyze, and organize every process within the warehouse, it greatly benefits your employees and their productivity.
First Step to Improving Employee Productivity
If you want your employees to work smarter, not harder, then the first thing you need to do is introduce them to a Warehouse Management System (WMS), like Agility from Wisys or the functions with SAP Business One. Ensuring that all employees understand how to use the technology correctly—and to their advantage—will increase productivity and efficiency faster.
Training sessions for SAP Business One or a WMS don’t need to take all day. Schedule 45-60 minutes a few times a week to give employees a chance to familiarize themselves with the system. Once they know what SAP Business One is capable of, they will be able to track products and bin numbers, automate invoicing and notifications, and streamline accounting all within the same program.
Using Technology to Improve Efficiency
By improving warehouse operations, you can improve the speed and accuracy of your employees. For example, if your employees can easily scan packages for their location and order information, they know what to pull and when. Furthermore, by tracking inventory with technology, you can eliminate damages and theft.
RFID and Barcode Technology
A modern warehouse is nothing without tracking. These days, RFID, radio frequency identification, and barcodes assist employees with monitoring the status of the products. By using an ERP or WMS, those products can be tracked from the moment they enter to when they leave, as well as give employees in-depth reports.
Barcodes are also a cost-effective system that takes up less space on the package. Either method will reduce the amount of effort required to seek out and pull products for orders.
Reducing Warehouse Employee Time Wasting
Increased productivity is a by-product of more efficient procedures and technology. When employees need less effort to complete a task, they automatically have more time for something else. As such, technology can play a major role in reducing redundancies in the process and increasing labor output.
Here are some ways you can reduce time waste and help employees increase their productivity:
- Use cross-docking. If your facility is designed for it, you can avoid every shipment from going into storage by using cross-docking. This is when you can send out goods you received within a different shipment easily. Cross-docking reduces labor and saves you time and money.
- Organize products correctly. Are there items that get used or shipped more often than others? Put the popular products together, so employees can reduce their time spent searching for them. Any products that rarely get shipped out can be placed in less accessible locations.
- Improve safety. When employees feel safe and taken care of, they work harder. The best way to do that is to consider the Safe Working Load (SWL), keep equipment maintained, and automate some of the processes.
- Keep workstations organized. Safety signage, maintained equipment, quality tools and technology, and clearly-labeled filing systems and storage can help keep employees working. Knowing where something is and whether it works will save you and your employees a lot of frustration.
- Receive and listen to employee feedback. Ask your workers if they see areas in need of employment. They often provide valuable insight on how to make their jobs easier.
- Train the management. Give the managers more tools and knowledge to be better at leading the employees and identifying places of weakness within the warehouse.
Wondering how SAP Business One can help with these things? By storing information about the products, orders, invoices, finances, and shipments all in one place, your management and employees will see snapshots of how well the warehouse is functioning. From there, the warehouse layout can be revised. Managers can better observe workflow. Calculations can be automated and, therefore, be more accurate for accounting.
Integrate a WMS, and you have one of the most efficient means of organizing, picking, and packing inventory. Workers can also receive printed lists or digital notifications about shipments, as well as the best routes for picking items for an order.
If you want to increase warehouse employee productivity and efficiency, it’s time to consider technological solutions like SAP Business One or WiSys’ own Agility WMS. Employees can use technology, like RFID scanning, and SAP Business One’s automated operations and documentation to reduce effort as well as maximize their output.
WiSys can help you get the most out of your warehouse with SAP Business One. Give us a call to learn more.