Warehousing 6 min read
April 6, 2021 by Srishti Arora - 6 min read
Running a warehouse end-to-end is a time-consuming process. You need all hands on deck to ensure that you reduce errors by a considerable amount. Over time, your warehouse efficiency can reduce, and you need to re-evaluate the requirements to ensure that you’re meeting the requirements of your eCommerce business and the warehouse. This is where a warehouse assessment comes into the picture. You need to ensure that warehouse assessment is conducted regularly to upgrade your operations to match the current industry trends and make changes wherever necessary to improve your business’s delivery performance.
eCommerce fulfillment is a critical aspect of your business, and without it, your business will not be successful. Since the warehouse is where most of the action happens, conducting warehouse assessments becomes essential to assess your fulfillment quality.
Let’s look at the importance of warehouse assessment and how you can do it effectively to determine the best results for your business.
Why is it Important to Assess Warehouse Requirements?
A thorough warehouse assessment will give you vital information about the operations and the improvements you can make to enhance productivity and adopt ongoing industry trends.
Here are a few advantages of assessing your warehouse requirements –
- It gives you an idea of how well the system is facilitating your business needs.
- A deeper understanding of the current flow of goods and workers within the system.
- Utilization of space and how well you can optimize the floor space.
- How you can improve productivity to achieve the desired goals.
- What changes need to be considered with respect to the material handling.
- It helps improve productivity in various departments and helps with better centralization between operations.
- Improved inventory accuracy.
- Optimized floor plans and intelligent routing.
- Increased efficiency for order fulfillment in return processing.
How to Conduct a Warehouse Assessment?
Observe Existing Operations
The first step to conduct a successful warehouse assessment is by analyzing the existing operations. You need to walk through the entire facility and observe every operating condition and its effect on the whole fulfillment process. This will give you a clear idea about the detailed steps and the current productivity and service level. Along with the operations, you also need to check the general conditions like the cleanliness, the employee attitude, morale, ease of movement, etc.
Gather Data and Necessary Information
After analyzing and observing existing operations, the next step is to gather the data and necessary information regarding each step of the functions. You need to do a research analysis, report view, and on-site assessment. You need to set standards and understand if the current operations are meeting the standards. This will help you identify discrepancies and where you need to enhance your processes so that the expectations are met.
Talk to Your On-Ground Team
Your warehouse is not complete without the on-ground team that carries out the synchronization tasks with each other. Therefore the next step would be to talk to your on-ground team and executives that take care of the daily operations to understand the problems and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. Understand their plans for growth and gauge their perspective on the product changes and planned process changes. This will give you a better understanding of the facility and how you can make changes to the process.
Analyze Current Operations & Reports
After the first and second step, you have collected enough data and formed reports of the existing operations in the metrics around it. It is now time to analyze these operations and reports by closely examining them to understand the service levels.
Take a look at each operation separately, like the order shipping accuracy, turnaround time, receiving, quality assurance, stock put away, returns, inventory control, picking, packing, etc., to understand the critical areas of improvement. Analysis of these reports will give you an idea about which department is currently reaching its goals and which ones need attention.
Determine Areas of Improvement
The next most crucial step is to determine the areas of improvement and where you can set benchmarks for your goals. Analyze the external and internal performance to gauge the best measures of success and set targets to achieve them over some time. Make improvements in the process keeping in mind the existing operations so that you can facilitate maximum efficiency.
Common Metrics to Review for Warehouse Assessment
When you begin your warehouse assessment process, here are a few metrics that you should review while preparing your reports and examining each operation –
- Units per hour for receiving, putaway, and replenishment
- Orders per FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
- Picking units and lines per man hour
- Cost factors as a % of Net Sales
- Percent utilization of available space
- Outbound shipping costs
Outsource eCommerce Fulfillment for Simplified Operations
Suppose you feel assessing your warehouse repeatedly can be a time-consuming task that requires most of your attention while running an eCommerce business. In that case, it is time to switch to a 3PL fulfillment provider.
A 3PL fulfillment provider can help you reduce fulfillment costs, delegate operations, and improve efficiency by a considerable margin.
Shiprocket Fulfillment is one such 3PL fulfillment provider that can help you optimize your operations to achieve the maximum results. All you have to do is ship your inventory to our fulfillment centers located in cities across India. This will enable you to look store your inventory closer to your buyers so when you receive orders, our team can pick, pack and ship them to the customer’s doorstep.
This way, you can reduce your fulfillment costs, deliver 3X faster, decrease the shipping costs by 20 to 30%, and lower weight discrepancy issues and RTO.
Not just this, you can reduce your order to ship time and fulfill more orders in a shorter period. This empowers your business and helps you expand to the next level.
Warehouse assessment is an essential factor for the success of your eCommerce business. Make sure you do not skip the steps as it will ensure maximum efficiency of operations. If you have any other tips regarding your warehouse’s assessment, drop them in the comments below.