Warehouse operations – 10 recommendations for improving 

May 22, 2019 | Supply Chain Management

Warehouse operations – 10 recommendations for improving

1. Important is to see and control the hidden costs. As they usually provide opportunities to improve. Hidden costs examples are (some examples):

a) Damaged goods

b) Waiting time for charging any equipment in the warehouse (scanners, forklifts, …)

c) Repair costs for equipment

d) Waiting time of transport 

2. Capacity planning of the warehouse. Do you have a track of the times spent for operations and per categories of received and shipped materials? If they are correctly tracked, analyzed and based on reliable data, you can plan accordingly the capacities for different days and shifts. This give an overview for the needed personnel resources and equipment resources.

3. Do you have the time windows for arrivals and departures planned and controlled for the transport? Better – to have this visualized with a board. This would give a clear understanding of the team and management about the real and forecasted steps, and a plan.

4. Inventory check. You should clearly know which item, which quantity, on which location is on your inventory. Not only according your system, but in real life, to have the data in your systems trustful. For this a performing a rolling inventory is a good solution. Day by day your team have to perform a check. The check should be done by scanners, without work on papers. Let’s work with facts instead of mistypes, or other possible mistakes

5. Create and manage a category of items, which is “interesting to steal”. In a lot of cases you should be careful with them, otherwise – count with loss. And apply additional safety, to be sure that they are under control. Examples of safety:

a) Security camera’s

b) Hidden cameras

c) Frequent inventory check for this positions

d) Hidden RFID’s on this materials

f) Closed storing solutions with limited access

6. Avoid “MUDA”. The wastes within warehouse. This is possible with clear understanding of parts categories, ways of move, how they can cross each other, … In case of need in support – feel free to contact me directly.

7. Health and safety in the warehouse is very important. Keeping the rules are extremely important for the team. And this is also coming indirectly to the result of the warehouse work. 

8. Type of racks – which kind? Be prepared to be flexible. This is the most important rule. I saw a lot of solutions, which were obsolete after a year or two. And the costs were not returned. Because it’s life, and the orders, products, processes are changing. And the racks – plan them in the way, that you can change. Another possibility – is a flat storage. However, this one is not applicable for everything.

9. Clear visualizations – for safety, for routs, for positions, for rules in the warehouse, the ways of forklifts, pedestrian ways, places for charging, etc.

10. Management should make a “GEMBA” walk at least once a day, but in different times. To be on the shop floor – is giving an understanding about reality. Figures are not providing a full picture. 



  • Efficiency measurement is possible by tracking the times for operations (categories of operations) through the system. And we should compare comparable. For example – one shift the same operation with other shift. It gives a clear understanding, which processes works good, and which not really, and we have to have a look for them and improve.
  • Make a clear ranking of the arriving and shipping the trucks. In case if you have Suppliers, Customers trucks, which does not arrive in-time, that eats your resources. And could cause delays/bottlenecks. In such cases statistics should help you to improve by communication with your supplier/customer/forwarder.


Hope you enjoyed



Viktor Mikla
Expert in Business Development and Business Processes