• Overview

  • The 7 Fundamental Warehouse Processes

  • Best Practices for Warehouse Processes

Warehouse Processes 

Improvement comes from simplifying warehouse processes and procedures. Aligning processes make sure they work optimally and increase warehouse efficiency. As a result, this also reduces cost within the warehouse. Further, companies who understand these processes exhibit the best practices.  In this article, the seven fundamental warehouse processes will be discussed. In addition, best practices will also be shared for each process. 

The 7 Fundamental Warehouse Processes  

1. Receiving

Receiving is the most crucial step in fundamental warehouse processes. During this step, staff must verify that the product is: 

  • the right product
  • it is the right quantity
  • it comes in the right condition
  • it arrives at the right time

To some, this is known as supplier compliance. Discovering wrong or faulty products later on can disrupt the whole process. As such, it is important that there is little to no errors in receiving. Staff should filter out damaged goods. Once the warehouse receives the products, the accountability falls on them. They are responsible for the product’s condition from picking to shipping. 

2. Put-Away

Put-away refers to the movement of goods. In particular, from the receiving dock to the optimal warehouse location. Ideal location is important for lean warehousing practices as well. Having the ideal location means increased efficiency and decreased waste. This fundamental warehouse process helps: 

  • Store cargo faster and more efficiently
  • Minimize travel time
  • Maximise warehouse space
  • Keep track of assets easier

3. Picking

In this stage, staff collect products from where they are stored in the warehouse to fulfill customer orders. Then, they take the products to a staging area. Here, the product is prepared and finalised for delivery. The picking process is the costliest process in the warehouse. It accounts for 55% of operational expenses. Applying best practices and adopting a warehouse management system can make this more cost-efficient. 

4. Packing

Packing consolidates all products for an order and prepares them for shipment. This process also makes sure that damages are minimised when goods leave the warehouse. Additionally, this process takes into consideration the packaging of the product. It should be light enough so as not to add too much weight to the goods in order to maintain costs. 

5. Dispatching

Some people consider shipping or dispatching to be the final step in warehouse processes. Shipping is only successful when the right order makes it to the right customer on time. Since items come in real-time or in waves, the orders must be ready when the delivery trucks arrive. However, having the orders ready too early will clutter staging areas and cause delay. As such, the manager must balance packing and dispatching with carrier pick-ups. 

6. Returns

Returns are an unavoidable part of warehouse processes. Some companies wish returns would disappear. As such, they are not usually considered to be part of fundamental warehouse processes. But, it’s better to be prepared for situations such as these. 

7. Value-Adding

Value-adding refers to any work done to prepare the products for sale. This could mean the products are produced, kitted, assembled, relabelled, modified. It also involves putting together different items to form a new product. As such, some consider this process very complex. Yet, systems evolved over the years to assist in this task. 

Best Practices for Warehouse Processes 

Conveyor Systems

Receiving

Optimising this warehouse process is to receive cargo quickly and efficiently. Therefore, it would be useful to have conveyors to unload cargo. This way, the dock will also be clear for other drop-offs happening. 

Picking

As mentioned, picking is one of the costliest warehouse processes. Having a conveyor system will not only lessen foot traffic, but also make picking more efficient. 

DWS System 

Receiving 

DWS systems are useful in measuring the weight and dimensions of parcels.  This certifies the measurements of the items and accelerates the receiving process. 

Dispatching

DWS systems also come in handy for shipping out products. They take the weight and measurement of the parcels to maintain costs. 

Management Softwares

Management softwares are useful in almost any of the warehouse processes. Labor management softwares and scheduling help you allocate the proper amount of laborers to a certain task. This is especially useful in receiving when items arrive on a certain schedule. Softwares also help in put-away and storage as they store data and update a centralised dashboard of any changes or vacancies. They also assign optimal places for a streamlined put-away process. 

There are many warehouse processes that happen on a daily basis. Not only is it essential to have the proper equipment. But having the proper warehouse management system also helps. For more information on warehouse management systems, conveyors, DWS and tailor-made solutions, contact Qbasis today!