8 Ways To Improve Fulfillment Center Efficiency

8 Ways To Improve Fulfillment Center Efficiency


Improving your fulfillment center’s efficiency will allow you to reduce costs, increase productivity, and offer customers a better experience. All these benefits will allow you to run your business smoothly, so it’s worth improving.

However, it can be challenging to know where to start. We put together this guide to help you improve your fulfillment warehouse efficiency and included everything you’d want to know. So make sure you keep reading! 

1. Track Your Inventory Accurately

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Photo by Timelab on Unsplash

First, you’ll need to ensure you’re tracking your inventory accurately. If you aren’t, it could create a lot of hiccups down the road that slows down the fulfillment center drastically.

The inventory needs to be accurate to pick up and ship orders. Plus, customers want to know what they can buy, so you want your inventory to be accurate to reduce their frustrations. 

You can increase inventory accuracy by labeling everything and counting it correctly in your warehouse management system. These systems can reduce human error, so it’s worth using.

Your inventory management should track stock levels and demand, so you can easily order more items that are selling well to avoid running out of stock.

Tracking your inventory correctly can significantly enhance efficiency, so don’t ignore it.

2. Optimize the Warehouse’s Layout


Photo by Mauricio Gutiérrez on Unsplash

Next, you’ll need to optimize the warehouse’s layout. The layout can significantly impact the fulfillment process since your employees need to traverse it to pick items for orders. 

You want to make the process as smooth as possible, so you’ll need to place items that make sense next to each other. Optimizing your layout will also help you store more goods without getting another warehouse. 

The picking and packing areas should be set up for fast item retrieval. Adding conveyor belts can help speed up the picking process. 

Your layout will be unique to what you sell, how you group the items together, and what picking methods your workers use to find the items. Redesigning the warehouse layout can take a lot of time and effort. Still, it will benefit you drastically in the long run.

3. Reduce the Number of Touches

Next, you can reduce the number of touches, or the number of people that handle the item, to increase efficiency. The fewer people touch a product, the more likely it is to end up in the right spot. Suppose too many people interact with it during the process. In that case, it can easily get lost or misplaced as you add more chances for human error.

Plus, reducing the number of touches also reduces warehouse theft and damage. So, you’ll want to review your picking and packing process and see if you can reduce the number of people handling an order anywhere.

4. Use More Technology

There is a lot of warehouse technology that you can use to increase your efficiency. Conveyor belts, robots, and sorting machines can improve picking speeds and order accuracy since they reduce human error. However, you’ll likely only need to consider those options if you’re a larger company.

That said, all companies can benefit from using warehouse management systems. These programs can integrate with your existing systems, providing accurate inventory changes in real time. Plus, they can keep customers updated on their orders.

The more tracking technology you can use, the better. You won’t have to worry as much about orders getting misplaced during the picking and packing processes. Technology is going to add efficiency when you use it correctly. 

5. Use Less Packaging

You’ll want to try minimizing the packaging you use on each order. Doing so reduces the time it takes to pack and can help you save on materials. There also will be less handling and waste at the end of the way.

You’ll need to learn how to best protect orders during shipping while using the least amount of packaging. If you can do that, your company will surely thrive, and your warehouse will be much more efficient.

6. Enhance Your Employee Training

You’ll want to also review your workers’ training requirements to check that they’re learning to pick and pack as efficiently as possible. If they aren’t learning the most efficient methods, then your system isn’t going to be that efficient.

Teach your employees the best practices for order picking and inventory management. Then, ensure they learn how to use the technology provided correctly. Well-trained staff can better work efficiently on their own and won’t have as many issues.

Overall, if you haven’t reviewed your employee training programs in a while, now is the perfect time.

7. Encourage Collaboration and Communication

You’ll want to do your best to encourage your employees to work well as a team. Building effective communication is essential here. Your employees should have a comfortable working environment to encourage them to talk with each other to reduce issues.

With more collaboration in the warehouse, there will be fewer delays in getting orders out, improving overall efficiency.

You can do this by often meeting with your workers, listening to their concerns, and learning about their unique communication styles. Building strong communication at work is challenging, but it will improve your fulfillment center’s efficiency for a long time to come.

8. Implement Quality Control

Lastly, you’ll want to implement a quality control system. If you already have one, you can instead work on building it. The better your quality control, the fewer order errors, meaning there will be fewer returns to deal with.

You want to have as few returns as possible to keep efficiency high. If your workers are all working on getting returns sorted out, they won’t be able to pick and pack the new orders coming in. That can lead to a considerable slowdown in your warehouse.

Wrap Up

To summarize, improving your fulfillment center’s efficiency will benefit your warehouse in many ways. Your business will thrive and grow when you can get orders out quickly. The sooner you start working on the fulfillment process, the sooner your system becomes efficient.

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