Why do we need to create a green warehouse? One of the most obvious benefits is to reduce your operating expenses. Developing a sustainable warehouse means less storage, organization, and transportation costs. Besides, these environmental protection measures will help protect the environment and reduce waste in the supply chain.
Recycling is an essential step in green warehouse management. Used packaging boxes or other materials can be sent to recycling centers to be converted into usable materials or find new uses. These practices can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Warehouse lighting: install energy management system
Do you always need to turn on the lights in every part of your warehouse? Probably not. Install an energy management system that knows which lights need to be turned on and when. Besides, replace those old bulbs with energy-saving LED lamps to improve energy efficiency and save electricity bills.
An appropriately located warehouse
A well-located warehouse can help improve your delivery efficiency and reduce shipping costs. Establishing a warehouse at a centralized location in your customer’s transportation location can help you quickly deliver products and set a good reputation for your business. Besides, the shortening of the transportation distance helps to reduce the gas emissions of vehicles.
The green warehouse can reuse many materials. From corrugated boxes to pallets, a variety of products can be used multiple times. The manufacturing cost of these packaging materials is very high. Choosing to reuse or recycle them can save costs and reduce the impact of production on the environment. Whether you are reusing the packaging sent to you by a supplier or encouraging customers to return the packaging for reuse, it is a company’s environmental effort.
Warehouse operations and management contain many important factors. When choosing and researching a warehousing service plan, be sure to carefully consider the following aspects to find a solution that suits you.
Factors Considered in Warehousing Service Plan
SKU quantity & storage cost
Track inventory, calculate potential storage costs, and the size of the warehouse space required, SKU can help you a lot in these parts. For example, for each cup you sell, the color, size, style, etc. of the quilt require a separate storage unit. And you need to pay a separate storage fee for each of these variants.
If your product has only a few SKUs, the storage cost is much more cost-effective than having 1,000 SKUs. Moreover, suppose you have 1000 SKUs but only 1500 monthly sales volume, then some companies may not be able to cooperate with you.
It depends on how order fulfillment companies work-they don’t exist as standalone warehousing service plans. Their goal is to transfer inventory through order fulfillment. This means that you can frequently replenish inventory to meet sales needs without paying high storage and logistics costs.
The demand for products fluctuates with the change of seasons, making warehousing and logistics more complicated. You need to pay attention to the sales of your products in the off-season to avoid unnecessary expenses caused by excessive inventory occupying warehouse space.
The choice of warehouse location depends on your marketing strategy plan. If your goal is to store a large number of products, you can find warehouses in the suburbs or near transportation hubs. If you want to deliver orders to your customers as soon as possible, you need to place a warehouse near the customer’s shipping destination.
Warehouses in urban or large cities can meet your needs for fast delivery of large quantities of orders. Shortening the logistics distance and time can speed up transportation. If your customers are not all in one area, please carefully select one or more suitable central warehouses.
Warehouse Management System
Whether you plan to manage your warehouse or outsource logistics to a 3PL company, the technology of warehouse management and operation is crucial. The distribution software can automatically execute the order fulfillment process while concentrating orders, shipments, inventory levels, fulfillment centers, and customers in one place.
By connecting your sales channels, the order information will be automatically sent to the warehouse so that warehouse employees can start picking. Each step is recorded and tracking information is sent back to the customer.
Warehouse logistics is the process of planning, operating, and controlling the flow of goods in a warehouse to optimize costs and time and achieve other business goals. The warehouse is an important part of the supply chain and should be aligned with the broader organizational goals and the entire supply chain.
Before you start planning a new warehouse, it is always recommended to develop a feasible warehouse logistics plan. Without a plan that includes clear business goals and a road map to achieve those goals, it is impossible to estimate whether you can reach your goals.
Identify warehouse logistics requirements
If you need to determine the company’s warehouse requirements, you need to ask some questions before making a final decision, such as:
Who are your customers?
Where are they located?
What is the order volume?
What solution is currently adopted?
What is the cost of the current solution?
What is the delivery time of the current solution?
Will the new warehouse save costs?
What is the implementation timeline?
How efficient is the operation of the new warehouse?
Thinking of these questions can help you clearly define implementation needs, requirements, benefits, and timelines. You need to estimate operating costs, including all the elements of the current warehouse logistics operation, the cost or time savings gained from the investment in the new warehouse, and the break-even point of the project.
This analysis may not prove the rationality of the dedicated warehouse. In this case, cooperation with a reliable third-party logistics operator may better meet your needs. The top third-party logistics providers have spent years perfecting their operations, allowing the company to use its expertise and achieve the best performance at the lowest cost compared to maintaining internal warehouses and logistics operations. Or, you can extend the life of your warehouse by implementing flexible automation solutions.
When you finally decide that you need a new warehouse, then you need to determine a suitable location. The questions you answered in the previous requirements gathering phase will come in handy here. Once you know the location of the customer, you can easily find the best warehouse location to serve the customer.
Remember, prioritize customers who can create greater profit margins for you. You can select warehouse locations based on your proximity to your best or long-term customers so that you can deliver to these customers faster than short-term or occasional customers. goods. Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools can be used to determine the best location for the warehouse.
Another factor to consider is whether you want to use an existing warehouse to upgrade to a new warehouse or choose a new warehouse. These considerations boil down to your storage needs and costs. You should also work with the company’s financial department to determine the best solution from a financial perspective. Purchases, leases, and leases have different effects on the balance sheet, and the finance department is more capable of determining the factors that are most suitable for the company’s long-term financial situation. At the same time, your new storage requirements should not be affected. Achieving finance and goals at the same time is a delicate act of coordination, so it is necessary to maintain transparent and open communication between various departments.
Mapping the warehouse is essential for determining subsequent deliveries and how to handle operations. Order picking activities are considered to be the most labour-intensive activities in the warehouse, accounting for as much as 55% of warehouse logistics operating costs, and mapping the warehouse can help simplify this basic business function. The warehouse mapping process includes:
Marking space (including aisles, shelves, shelves, containers or garbage bins, etc.)
Estimated traffic volume
Implement the right shelf system
Choose the best order pickup truck to meet warehouse requirements
Implement inventory management software
Mapping the warehouse is a crucial step and should not be missed. Without a well-mapped warehouse, your logistics business will be chaotic, because there is no operational blueprint.
Warehouse operations occupy an important position in e-commerce logistics, but if there is an error in the processing of inventory data or there is a problem with the back-end warehouse logistics, the warehouse operation may quickly collapse.
Moving the product from the warehouse to the door of the customer has almost no room for error, which affects your company’s reputation and revenue. Warehouse operation optimization plans can improve efficiency, space, and resource utilization through automation and careful planning, and deliver them to customers accurately, thereby improving customer satisfaction and experience.
Understand product movement speed
Product movement speed refers to the speed of merchandise sales. Certain products in each warehouse will move faster during special seasons or during major promotions.
At this time, the layout of the warehouse should allow these products to move faster and more conveniently. Placing them in an easy-to-extract position can speed up the warehouse operation. One solution is to place them as close as possible to the packaging area.
Minimize human error
The lower the degree of human error, the higher the efficiency of the warehouse operation. Repeated automated marking of all products in inventory is very important. If this process is a human operation, errors will occur no matter how many trainings employees receive.
The warehouse that invests in robotics has obvious benefits in reducing expenses and increasing efficiency.
Decades ago, the scope of technology in warehouse operations was limited to robotic arms that could move or lift heavy objects in accordance with human instructions. Today, technology can take on more tasks.
The following are some of the machines commonly found in warehouses today:
Automatic guided vehicle
Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS)
The use of these innovative tools has some positive effects including higher customer satisfaction, fewer delivery process errors, and becoming a means of attracting customers.
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