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Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is by Tom Reddon of National Forklift Exchange. In this blog, Tom shares with us 4 Life hacks for promoting teamwork and improving operations

4 Hacks to Improve Your Warehouse Operations

Working in the warehouse can be a harsh and demanding job. At times, many warehouse operations may seem to be painstaking and extraordinarily difficult. Nevertheless, some steps can be taken to improve these very operations. Reinforcing leadership, promoting teamwork and implementing sophisticated, robust and amiable business practices can drive improvement in many warehouse operations, here is how:

1) Reinforce Leadership

Leadership is the powerful driving force at any operational level. Excellent leaders are a proven commodity and an asset. Managers and supervisors with excellent team-building skills have been known to drive productivity in even the most rigorous of settings. When employees know who they rely on in case of emergency, this establishes trust and good faith. When strong leadership is present, there is reassurance in knowing a battle-tested leader is there ready to act and in turn, many workers just work better. Finally, excellent leaders know how to optimize their crew and play to the individual strengths of each and every employee. As a direct result, managers with this information handy can assign tasks and delegate responsibilities that align well with the positive attributes of their employees, which allows warehouse operations to become smarter, simpler and faster.

2) Promoting Teamwork and Communication

Cohesion is essential in group settings and team-oriented environments. Just as leadership can be business-critical, so is teamwork and communication. From a safety perspective, communication is the only way to convey risk or hazards. However, effective communication allows all members of staff to communicate their needs and necessities so the team can come together and finish their assignment efficiently. Excellent teamwork and communication also build strong interpersonal relationships with fellow workers which often renders any task or errand easier to complete when assigned personnel know they can work well together. As a direct result, promoting teamwork and communication will augment warehouse operations.

3) Eliminate Deficiencies

A popular keyword in today’s business world is establishing what is regarded as “best practices”. “Ideally, a best practice will not have any deficiency, but in reality, deficiencies creep in over time. The critical point is, to break through to world class safety, deficiency and failure must be exposed, removed and replaced. According to AFS Technologies, there are many software and technological programs available to streamline production processes and further isolate the earmarks that create deficiencies in several warehouse operations.  Many interfaces like this have increased productivity, improved inventory accuracy and reduced attrition.

4) Lean Manufacturing

Another bi-product of the modern business world, Lean Manufacturing incorporates the ideology of “more with less.” This means less time to complete more, less overhead to mass produce and more comprehensive approaches that exhaust fewer resources. With automation becoming a regularity in warehouse settings, many organizations have employed these tactics into their operational standards. However, in the most traditional of work environments, these directives can still foster high dividends. According to Lean Manufacturing Junction, one of the most critical principles of lean manufacturing is the elimination of waste. 

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Bio: Tom Reddon, a forklift specialist and blog manager for National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association Executive Dialogue team. Connect with him via Twitter at @TomReddon.