Worst Inventory Practices- Part 2 of 2

Picking up where we left off. Below are some more worst inventory practices.

6.     On-the-job training of warehouse staff

Giving staff members a quick ½ hr overview of the system because it’s a ‘really simple system to use’ is just plain wrong. Take them into a classroom, start with the basics and then drill down to the exceptions and all the tricky stuff. In the end, give them documentation or access to it for what they just learned. These people are the last touch point before the product gets to the customer – that’s a big responsibility and deserves much more than just cursory training.  Arrange monthly or at the very least quarterly refresher courses where the users get updated on new system enhancements and even better speak with the developers on new program features or issues they’re having.

7.     Not Tracking Productivity

Who’s your best picker? What orders got out quickly and which ones didn’t? When you plan warehouse production what stats or rates are you using and when was the last time you really analyzed it? Take the time over the holiday to go over your numbers – you will likely find some big surprises and corresponding adjustments.

8.     Warehouse Safety becomes important because of an incident

Is your racking up to snuff? When was the last time you had your rack specialist or your equipment material handling rep through your facility? Over the course of a year, beams get bumped, equipment gets worn out, and people forget proper safety procedures – don’t wait until a WSIB incident forces your hand.

9.     Not enough time to do cycle counts

So instead you do a one big physical count. Just remember eating an elephant is a lot easier when you do it in small bites. Use the full year to cycle count everything using ABC criteria.

10.     No dedicated inventory replenishment and count staff

If your inventory is worth a million dollars and let’s say it turns over 12 times a year ,isn’t it worth it to pay someone $50k per year to ‘look after’ $12 million of inventory? His/her job will be to make sure inventory looks neat, is properly rotated, pick locations are full, and the counts are being organized and done. A smart investment that will pay for itself within a month.

There are many more but these are the ones which will give you the biggest bang with the least cost.

Check out the previous post  Worst Inventory Practices Part 1 of 2