As little as a decade ago, warehouses were seen as a quite separate entity within the overall supply chain. They were intended merely for storage of merchandise until it was transported to its final destination. In recent years, however, the business community has become aware of the true potential of a properly optimised, state of the art warehouse to both safeguard assets and improve efficiency.
At Contact Fire & Security, we work closely with technology providers to deliver integrated warehouse solutions which go far beyond simply providing a convenient and secure storage facility. Used in conjunction with more established security equipment such as CCTV and alarm technology, the systems we install can be used to fully optimise warehouse security and enhance vital operational functions including stock management, workflow, and order fulfilment.
While what works most effectively will of course vary, we find that the following strategies for improving both security and efficiency will be beneficial in most warehouse settings.
5 Ways to Improve Warehouse Security
1. Eliminate reliance on manual data entry practices
Manually entering product codes or other data is both time consuming and highly vulnerable to human error. Instead, use intelligent technology such as barcode scanners or RFID readers to ensure than all data recorded at your premises is accurate.
2. Have an emergency response plan in place
Devising and implementing a comprehensive emergency plan will protect the safety of warehouse staff and help minimise the financial and operational implications of detrimental events. Support your plan by training staff and assigning key roles to reliable team members. Use signage to remind staff of relevant procedures, and to designate emergency exits and assembly points.
3. Limit who has access to critical data
Keep the number of individuals with access to critical data to a minimum by evaluating the roles in your warehouse. Access to data can then be restricted based on the necessities of each role.
4. Conduct regular staff checks
Stringent background checks can reduce the risk of employing unreliable staff members. Support this by liaising with senior team members regularly to check if they have any concerns regarding the honesty of their colleagues.
5. Monitor entry points
Ensure all doors and windows are secure and locked when not in use. If possible, use pass keys or electronic tags so only authorised personnel can gain access to your warehouse.
5 Ways to Improve Warehouse Efficiency
1. Control inbound and outbound freight
Co-ordinating and controlling both inbound and outbound freight will increase the speed with which your warehouse operates and can also enable you to maximise capacity.
2. Optimise warehouse zones and spaces
Assess the layout of your premises in order to identify any potential space which could be used more effectively. For example, consider if it might be possible to make more use of the height of your warehouse by rearranging pallet racking or investing in additional fittings.
3. Minimise packing options
Employees who carry out picking and packing processes do not need too much choice when it comes to packaging goods. In fact, this can lead to hesitation and increased picking times. So instead of providing an exhaustive selection of packing options, standardise packing materials and techniques in order to reduce the time necessary to complete each package.
4. Explore advanced technology
Warehouse technology has made some remarkable advances over the past decade. So, if it has been some time since you last reviewed your options, it is well worth taking a closer look at what is available. In many cases, the increase in efficiency updated warehouse technology can produce will quickly recoup your initial investment.
5. Implement a staff training programme
In order to maintain optimal warehouse efficiency, it is essential to provide an adequate training programme for all staff members. This must be supported by regular 'refresher' sessions, as well as additional training in line with changing working practices and new or updated technology. Senior staff members in particular should be fully trained to identify key opportunities to improve efficiency.
At Contact Fire & Security we offer a comprehensive range of services including intruder detection systems, access controls and integrated fire and security protection systems. We can create bespoke solutions dependent on the premises requirements.
We recommend carrying out a comprehensive evaluation to identify any areas that can be improved and the technology which can best help you to accomplish this. Book a consultation or or call us on - 01865 989 482 to discuss a bespoke solution.