Much like the supply chain as a whole, a fully functional warehouse has many moving parts. One misstep or snag and the entire operation could suffer.

Think best practices like having a well-trained staff and organized floor is enough to keep your warehouse operation running smoothly? Think again.

These five warehouse mistakes are common, but avoidable. Make sure your managers and staff are well versed in them to keep your operation at the top of its game.

functional warehouse

  1. Refusing to digitize your records

Smaller warehouse operations may choose to forego fancy picking or IoT technology, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a digital system in place to house their records. One lost document or misplaced pile of paperwork could spell disaster for your warehouse. If you make just one operational expenditure this year, make it a digital management system.

  1. Not prioritizing inventory reduction

The difference between hoarding and excess warehouse stock depends largely on how often and how diligent you are about cleaning out leftover inventory.  The more unsellable merchandise you have in your care, the less money you have available to run your business. Never buy in bulk simply to get a good price and know when it’s time to purge stagnant stock.

  1. Disorganized picking methods

A high and accurate picking rate is essential to any successful warehouse. The sooner you can get goods out the door and into the hands of your customers, the better. Employees that spend exorbitant amounts of time traversing the warehouse in search of product are sure to create lower overall picking rates and costs you more in the long run. At the very least, optimize routes and improve piece picking to increase your productivity and profitability.

  1. Lax safety procedures

With little oversight, the warehouse can be a dangerous place full of potential safety hazards. The fast pace, heavy inventory and oversized racking can be a recipe for disaster without the proper supervision. Keeping your employees safe from injury should remain top of mind. Whether this means continual safety refreshers or regular pallet rack inspections, make warehouse safety a priority.

  1. Clutter and disorganization

A disorganized warehouse floor is riddled with safety hazards. One forklift encounter with a stray ball of packing tape or box pile could have catastrophic fallout. Make sure aisles are always clean and checked again at the end of each day. You can also evaluate your rack equipment for ways to increase your overall storage capacity and remain organized.

Stay vigilant about these popular mistakes and take your place in the warehouse management hall of fame.