Are you making the most of your warehouse space? Maximizing efficiencies in your current space will help your company scale as you move into bigger warehouses—or when you are faced with the challenge of managing multiple.
We sat down with our Lead Warehouse Supervisor, Tyler Styer, to learn firsthand how we make the most of our warehouse facilities.
Starting simple…..How does WUW make the most of our warehouse space?
Tyler: We practice individual and collective accountability to see to it that everyone does their part in keeping our warehouses running smoothly. We have designated locations for every stage of production, and associates are assigned to those areas so they’re always maintained properly. Having these specified locations and task instructions allow for all teams to seamlessly work together to complete projects. It also prevents teams from getting in each others’ way on the floor.
I’m sure keeping teams out of each others’ way goes hand in hand with maintaining overall safety in the warehouse. How do you impose safe practices for your teams?
Tyler: We make sure to use proper PPE and appropriate cleanup equipment, and dispose of broken and damaged product and utensils properly. We also have a “sharps” container, as well as other bins for discarding potentially hazardous or dangerous materials.
Cleanliness is one of the most basic rules of warehouse upkeep, and one of the most important. What are WUW’s best practices for keeping our warehouses clean?
Tyler: At the end of each day, everyone is assigned an area to clean, and then we put leftover product on designated stacking pallets. Keeping the floors clear, tabletops organized, and tools in their proper places prevents us from wasting valuable time at the start of our day searching for what we need to do our jobs.
Our growing warehouse team in our new Ohio location
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Speaking of not wasting time, I know that expired product can be time-consuming to dispose of, and it takes up a lot of space. How do you enforce first in-first out?
Tyler: We inventory products based on the date they are received and by level of importance. For example, holiday products usually take precedence over regular products because we have a smaller window to get it out to Amazon fulfillment centers in time for the holidays.
As we all know, inventory management through the holidays can be a nightmare. How does WUW consolidate post-holiday inventory?
Tyler: For products that were holiday launches, we will offer discounts or coupons in an attempt to sell through the inventory before the holidays are over. Any holiday products that are left, we will evaluate to see if they can be sold next season. For the products that didn’t do too hot through the holidays, we are left with excess on-hand inventory. We find creative ways to utilize these products via variety pack and multipack listings. The rest we take inventory of and send out to the Amazon fulfillment center.