Most construction companies these days have built their warehouses using their supplies, tools and manpower. Having a warehouse has become necessary, and everybody agrees that a lot of work is needed to run and manage it successfully. Two critical factors come into play when you want to run your warehouse successfully, cost-effective and efficient – continuous improvement of warehouse operations and strong leadership.
Having a deep understanding of present operational processes and emerging/future technological trends allows your construction company to keep up with current demands while eyeing changes that might help streamline processes. Over the years, what remained the same is the principles of excellent warehouse efficiency, regardless of the size of warehouse operations.
With that being said, here are twelve cost-effective ways to ensure warehouse efficiency improvement.
1. Employ a Maintenance Plan
A maintenance plan is a primary key to prevent downtime. It is crucial to create and maintain a schedule for tune-up and routine care for construction equipment. Deploy checklists and use construction scheduling software to ensure weekly and monthly maintenance tasks are monitored and completed. You must stick to that maintenance schedule because even one missed task may lead to massive and expensive issues down the line.
2. Decide on the Storing Method for Construction Supplies
You and anyone you appointed in the warehouse should need to understand the many ways you will store these items. Here’s how:
- Choose the right storage method – depending on the product type. You need to pick the right method to store these items and supplies. For instance, if you have small-size tools such as hand gloves and measurement tapes, you might opt to use a large storage box to store these construction tools.
- Consider the item type – you have to consider the item type because construction items have to be sorted and kept properly in this environment. For instance, if you have construction items made from delicate materials and very fragile, you have to consider using a lockable safe that is much secure.
- Ensure the storage can hold your inventory – make sure to hold all of the items and supplies you have in your inventory. In this way, you will encounter fewer problems with these items moving around or unexpected getting damaged.
3. Review design and organization
Change is inevitable. And even the most efficient designs might need to have adjustments while your construction business evolves, grows and thrives. Hence, as a part of the regular upkeep, it is crucial to assess and reassess this particular element – the effectiveness of warehouse layout as well as construction inventory management system.
4. Use Cycle Counts
Do you utilize cycle counts? Counting a particular subset of your purchased products, construction items, and supplies can quarterly raise your inventory’s accuracy. A cycle count is less disruptive than a full physical inventory, which interrupts or stalls warehouse operations. A business owner like you must focus cycle counts on those supplies, items and stock with higher or increasing sales and values.
When you make use of cycle counts, your inventory stays sorted between full inventory counts.
5. Secure the Warehouse
It is crucial to safeguard your warehouse facilities by strictly prohibiting unauthorized individuals inside or near the inventory. Doing so protects the property, your stocks and also your employees—post signs in the areas where only selected personnel are allowed to enter. Make sure to install physical barriers and any safety upgrades in several key areas. Consider also uniforms and badges so that authorized crew can be easily identified.
Your inventory is the lifeblood of the warehouse. That is why you have to be sure to safeguard it all the time! You can track and monitor every warehouse operation using the best construction inventory management software.
6. Lighting Assessments
Lighting is a major component of all construction projects, whether for renovations or new projects. Variable LED compatibility, complex controls, and integration with building management systems make it more essential for your warehouse manager to be very well-versed in both project management for construction and other technical aspects.
7. Streamline receiving
One of the most hectic areas of the warehouse is the receiving area. This specific area is typically brimming with activity and always filled with employees from different departments. Hence, it is crucial to devote sufficient space to your warehouse’s receiving area.
Cluttered and cramped conditions will lead to injuries, errors, or any dangers. And as most business owners know, any mistakes in this area tend to escalate, continuously rising and becoming more complex as the issues migrate downstream.
8. Invest in labels and signs
Once your warehouse is already organized, make it easier to navigate and explore by labeling everything from construction items to rows to entire corners of your warehouse. Have your construction inventory list prepared to track everything. Make sure to have a map or floor plan so that every employee and crew can be familiar with the actual layout. Add emphasis and clear signage for your company to achieve a more organized and much efficient system.
9. Shelf-storage and inventory optimization
Having construction materials around the site, not adequately protected and not even accounted for, can make unproductive trips by crews on the construction site. The fear of running out of construction items and not knowing where they are often creates over-purchasing and over-ordering. This is where you should consider partnering with a strategic distributor who can ultimately help you develop a method to keep all your stocks and materials convenient to the construction and installation area.
Optimizing your shelf storage is also an essential technique for creating significant value from your existing investments. Thus, consider using shelf-storage bins to increase the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) you are able to store on every rack. Always remember also that not all SKUs might need to be readily available all the time.
Construction materials can be packaged in customized kits depending on the size. These kits only contain what is needed for a specific area of a construction project. The distributor can work with your contractor to do and complete the pre-work. The collaborative effort between the distributor and your contractor facilitates quicker delivery and installation on-site. Additionally, it reduces the amount of waste needed to be carried away.
11. Have a Waste Disposal System
Starting small is an excellent way to achieve a quick improvement in your warehouse operations. You got to focus first on disposing of unnecessary items and waste. Make sure that your methods for disposing of all packing waste are more efficient in a way that your employees are using them effectively.
12. Consider the Flooring
Lastly, you have to consider the flooring in your warehouse. The flooring is very important, most especially if you have tons of traffic inside your warehouse. The floors have to be strong and durable enough to take the weight of all your supplies and items.
In fact, maintaining warehouse floors is vital to prevent any form of accidents in the storage facility. The following are some safety precautions you can apply:
- Proper staff training
- Installing anti-slip warehouse floor coating
- Implementing safety protocols
- Managing space more efficiently
To keep all your construction supplies and tools, you must consider having proper ventilation and drainage solely for your warehouse to keep your products in excellent working condition. In order to take care of such issues, you have to hire someone to be a warehouse manager, or you can designate one of your crew members to lead the warehouse. Either way, you can get the maximum benefit and assured that you’re getting a more excellent value for your warehouse management operations.
Achieving End-to-End Inventory Visibility Using Inventory Management Software
Your construction business has been facing vast outside stressors. Tracking high-value assets is quite a challenging task. And with additional strains from trade uncertainties and market swings, your construction company should find ways to adapt and minimize operating costs to stay profitable.
Using specialized inventory software can offset any of the stressors and even increase your profit margins. You should start investing in inventory technology to achieve profound visibility and much-needed control for your warehouse operations.
In fact, almost eight percent of construction professionals say that mobile tech is a high priority. So if your company is handling large volumes of inventory every day across multiple sites and cities, use this specialized software tool. This software solution is not only for inventory but also for project management purposes. Here are its other excellent benefits:
- Provides an all-in-one platform
- Improves team collaboration and communication
- Easy task designation
- Project scheduling and resource allocation
- File sharing and control
- Time-tracking feature
- Inventory management in construction
- Cloud-based storage
- Accessible anytime and anywhere