Is it starting to feel like the walls are literally closing in around you and your business’ warehouse? Do you feel like you have finally outgrown your space and are beginning to panic about where to go next? Take a second to breathe and consider that you might have all the space you need, but you aren’t using it properly.
Let us help you relieve your warehouse panic with some helpful information!
Are You Really Capped Out?
Before calling your favorite real estate agent to start looking for a larger commercial building, consider this: How well are you utilizing the space you currently have? Is your building truly too small, or are you able to better utilize the space available?
When discussing available space, always consider capacity. For ELS purposes, the concentration should be on working capacity, since this is the realistic working value for your warehouse, by taking into consideration factors such as the way inventory is stored (e.g., floor versus racks). Theoretical storage capacity is helpful information to your business, but not for taking full advantage of well-executed ELS.
Even the largest warehouses can be under utilizing available space.
ELS can be utilized to determine whether or not your business is operating beyond capacity. The foundation of ELS is to complete all required operational tasks with the least amount of effort and efficiency without sacrificing quality and standards. By tracking a scientifically determined measure for how long it takes employees to move inventory, both inventory optimization and workforce management can be improve.
Imperative: Inventory Optimization
It would be hard to downplay the importance of inventory optimization when speaking of warehouse capacity. The inventory is what is taking up your warehouse space. Not operating at most effectively and efficiently when it comes to ordering and stocking inventory will drastically impact your bottom line and available space.
Determining, tracking and maintaining ELS will allow for the most inventory optimization due to your ability to track the efficiency of your workforce. An abundance of inventory could decrease efficiency when measuring how long it requires your workforce to store or move said inventory. Too little inventory can reduce the productivity of your workforce as you are staffed inaccurately for the amount of work.
Keeping up to date with your ELS will allow you to make the proper adjustments to ordering trends and, ultimately, develop the most effective and efficient standard for this task.
Your Warehouse and Workforce Management
The implementation of proper ELS not only enhances workforce management across the board, but can also increase the space utilization of your warehouse. ELS is about optimization of all tasks, particularly the tasks directly involving the workforce. In your warehouse, this involves a great deal of interaction with inventory.
Utilizing the space you have available for your optimized inventory will impact your ELS for moving inventory from one location to another. Determining the best configuration for storage based on your own company trends can enhance your workforce’s ability to complete tasks as fast as possible. If you have a floor-oriented storage method, utilizing your ELS to determine the proper amount of space between pallet rows to allow for the most storage but the optimal space for employees to move at full speed and safety will ultimately provide you the most efficiency.
Never forget your workforce is the key to your success, so you should strive to set them up with the best conditions possible to be top performers.
As always, it is important to remember your workforce is the key to your success, and space utilization factors into the safety of your workforce. Never sacrifice safety to try to enhance ELS; the purpose of having standards is to be the most effective and efficient without any sacrifices of quality and safety. Mismanaged space can lead to on-the-job injuries. In 2014, there were over 4,800 workplace fatalities in the United States. Safety should never be sacrificed on the altar of efficiency. Rather, it should be a key component of determining the most efficient methods and processes.
Request a free consultation and find out how else you can improve on the efficiency and effectiveness of your business operations.