Managing the Costs of Public Warehousing
Nothing is more important, or challenging, than controlling costs
If you mention warehousing…you need to mention labor costs. There is no way around it, just ask any warehouse manager. Having the right personnel to keep your supply chain churning is important, but it will cost you. Staff can be expensive. You will pay their salary, the associated taxes, and then there are the benefits. Your labor costs should be the most expensive costs your warehouse incurs.
With that being said, too high of costs are unsustainable. In today’s economy, you are charged with doing more for less – easier said than done. Unfortunately, there is not a magic formula to instantly cure your warehousing cost woes. To help, here are a few tips to optimize your space and save on labor.
Measure performance: The only way to know what is working is to measure. Find out how long it takes some staff to perform functions and compare those with others. You may find some staff members have strengths you can utilize to speed up operations, possible specializing your labor. In many cases, you will find the problem is not a lack of motivation; it is a misallocation of talent.
Optimize storage space: A small number of your items will account for a majority of the picking and replenishment. Put these items in a place that will boost productivity. That means easy to reach, with enough storage space. You may also find the layout of your warehouse may be inefficient. By simply moving items, you can gain precious minutes a day. That may not sound like much now, but think about that time over a year!
Stop using paper: Automate, automate, automate. Nothing bogs you down more than doing paperwork all-day. Free yourself, and your staff will appreciate it. Surely you will have more time to manage, and your staff will enjoy having you there to delegate and trouble shoot. Plus, there is a lower risk for error with an automated process.
Get help: Asking for help is the hardest part, but it can be necessary. Reach out to a 3PL to ask about public warehousing options to complement your warehousing. With public warehousing you can keep space for peak seasons and save on those labor costs! With your agreement, the costs will be fixed.
In general, warehousing is not an option, but you DO have options on the warehousing you use. Public warehousing will help keep down labor costs, while keeping you moving forward.
If you would like more information on our public warehousing solutions at Clark Logistic Services, drop us a line! We would be more than happy to talk with you about the options we offer and how they can help you.
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