Where technological advances have made the warehouse more interconnected, a growing consumer culture has made distribution centers a critical piece of the supply chain. This means the materials handling systems and storage equipment that help it to run efficiently are equally critical.

The trick is to figure out how to get the most out of these technologies and when to optimize or replace them? Staying on top of essential equipment by modernizing and replacing obsolete or damaged systems can directly impact your ability to meet demanding production schedules. But the buck doesn’t stop there.

warehouse inspections holiday order fulfillment

Flickr/Jude Freeman

Maximizing productivity and supporting peak performance is no easy feat. Fortunately you can do both by fine-tuning your distribution center.

Below are three ways you can refine your warehouse operations by optimizing your in-house equipment:

Replace and upgrade damaged or obsolete systems

Start by making sure your material handling systems, be it storage systems or inventory technologies, are up-to-date and damage-free. Not only are they a worthy monetary investment, they are also a great investment of your time. This means conducting regular checks and assessing for physical damage, system updates, etc.

For instance, try as you might to prevent pallet rack damage, at some point it’s likely to occur. Deciding whether to replace or repair a damaged rack is the only appropriate course of action if you want your DC to continue running smoothly.

Don’t hesitate to hire a consultant

Keeping up with industry best practices is a good rule of thumb if you want your warehouse to remain productive. Still, with all you have only your plate it may be hard to carve out the proper time to research what your competitors and thought leaders are doing.

When you do find a strategy or new system you want to implement, it can be difficult to predict and account for how an equipment change will effect your operation.

Reaching out to a knowledgeable partner such as a consultant, can streamline the process when investing in new systems. With a clear picture of your product lifecycles and end goals, they can help you map out the life expectancy of your vital systems and can reflect an impartial view of your overall operation. This valuable insight into what’s working well and what could stand improvement is often hard to come by when immersed in your day-to-day.

Continually train staff on safety and equipment use

Training new staff is inevitable. But maintaining maximum output also depends on arming existing employees with safety refreshers and system updates. After all, how can anyone be expected to safely and efficiently use a system them don’t understand?

Whether it’s a lesson in how to operate a pallet jack or a strategic approach to employee training on warehouse safety hazards, trainings are key when attempting to maintain and optimize your materials handling systems.

Looking to ensure a smooth trip along the supply chain? It all starts with fine-tuning your warehouse operations.

Experienced professionals like those at Rack Express can help you maximize and optimize your distribution center, no matter the size. Take the first steps to increase your warehouse productivity by contacting the experts today.