"Warehouse management and logistics face tremendous challenges due to the consistently growing e-commerce sector. Whereas brick-and-mortar store logistics are subject to general regulations (most notably due to business hours), online retailers experience almost no limits when it comes to time and quantities. This is why warehouse logistics has to be flexible as it pertains to time and the capacity to store a wide range of products. It requires space-saving storage options and most notably adequate manpower to process these orders."
Make a Warehouse Feel Bigger with Logistics
A supply chain is only as good as its warehouse, but what if you're hitting the ceiling on how much inventory you can comfortably store and use? Unfortunately, the solution for inventory isn't as simple as cramming more stock into the warehouse and hoping for the best. Sure, in theory you can find room for more inventory, but you often lose agility when trying to move product out. So, how do you save space and maximize inventory without creating a cramped, unworkable floor plan?
It's important to come at warehouse layout with a more considered, scientific approach. Programs like Penske Logistics* - for instance - study your current warehouse, location, dock-placement, and workflow to minimize wasted time and wasted space. They also use data from hundreds of other warehouses and supply chains to create hard, evidence-based solutions that have worked in the past and will work in the future.
Scheduling and Workflow
Improving the logistics of your warehouse management isn't just about geography and layout, however. Good logistics start before the truck even pulls up to your dock. For instance, knowing the idiosyncrasies of your warehouse's location: When is traffic at its worst? Where can drivers easily turn around, where and when can they more easily back into a dock? Do they have to wait to unload based off priority or load size, or is it first-come, first-served at the door?
Cross-Docking to Save Space
A simple space saving technique is to not store product at all, if you can help it. It's a feat of scheduling and organization, but cross-docking can work wonders for any supply chain. If the truck with the inbound product and the truck scheduled to take the outbound product can arrive in a reasonable window with each other, a quick transfer from one truck to the other can save time and space.
The Future of Logistics
The fact is, making your warehouse logistics dependent on in-house models may work for a little while, but once the supply chain grows, you're going to have to consider data-based answers to questions that the industry has already asked. You could expand your warehouse, of course, but the cost of real estate, and the overhead required to maintain, is seldom worth the cost. Luckily, the technology is here now to analyze and maximize your inventory without increasing the size of your storage facilities, you only have to reach out and grasp it.