Whether you’re running a small operation, or you own a large shipping company, you can improve your business by optimizing your processes. In 2020, the size of the global cargo shipping market was 10.85 billion tons. According to research, it is projected to grow to 13.19 billion tons and is estimated to be worth over $15 billion dollars by 2028. These staggering figures come down to the demand and growth of the market, which is excellent news for people within the shipping industry. To capitalize on the projected growth, business owners should be on top of their current workload and have processes in place that allow them to take on more with ease.
There are plenty of ways you can improve the infrastructure of your business. From making warehouse organization a priority to choosing the right packaging for your products, switching up the way you approach your business can help you fine-tune your operations. Here are a few top tips to help you keep up with demand and elevate your shipping process.
Change Up the Layout of Your Warehouse
When it comes to optimizing shipping processes, an efficient place to start is the warehouse. If the layout of your warehouse isn’t right, it can hinder the productivity of your workforce. Organize it in a way that maximizes space for products and is easy for warehouse workers to navigate. Re-think the positioning of your equipment and make sure they are arranged in a way that helps streamline workflow.
Adopt Automated Software
Those who oversee a large operation will benefit from automated software systems. These systems are designed to monitor your processes and keep everything running smoothly. Automated software can pinpoint shipping issues much quicker than if you or a dedicated employee with a manual system could. Many types of systems account for weather conditions, the cost of fuel and traffic to help drivers find the most efficient route to take. In turn, this will help you save time and money. Automated software systems can also be programmed to identify potential problems before they occur. For example, it will remind you of repairs and routine maintenance work that needs to be done. This type of system helps you avoid delays and breakdowns and will help you manage potentially problematic issues more efficiently.
Using automated equipment in the warehouse to undertake repetitive work will help eradicate problems caused by human error. It is human to make mistakes. Unfortunately, mistakes made in the warehouse can result in serious consequences, such as delayed shipments and products shipped to the wrong location. It will also reduce the number of accidents and injuries that take place in the warehouse.
Establish an Operating Procedure with a Difference
All successful shipping businesses have a standard operating procedure in place for their warehouse. Use this as a standard to keep your warehouse running smoothly. It will help guide warehouse workers and help them work better as a team. Your standard operating procedure should have a clear outline of your shipping process, health and safety procedures, and product guides. Furthermore, you should include information about employee job roles and shift-change procedures.
Focus on Inventory Management
Focus on inventory management so that you can account for every item in your warehouse. Fine-tune your inventory management skills and place focus on organizing the products. As a shipping business owner, you should be able to find any product with ease. Erect clear signage and make sure each product is checked and labeled correctly as soon as they hit your warehouse. To simplify things even more, you can separate items according to seasonal and promotional use. Smoothing out your picking and sorting processes will help ensure everything is in its rightful place and can be found easily.
Stay on Top of Inventory Control
Staying on top of inventory control will ensure you know exactly what you have in your warehouse at any given time. You can do this manually by entering everything in a spreadsheet, or you can adopt a smart inventory management system. These systems can assist with fast and accurate order fulfillment, and they will help you keep track of all deliveries, sales, and inventory. Ship ware delivers shipping solutions and offers audit and consulting services to businesses of all sizes. Their services include data processing and licensing, distribution spend analysis, carrier updates, and logistics efficiency metrics reporting. Their team of experts can help save you money on your yearly shipping costs by improving your procedures and optimizing your shipping processes.
Choose Your Packaging Materials Wisely
With the growth of the global cargo shipping market on the rise, it is a good idea to think about the packaging materials you choose for your products. When choosing materials, you should consider the types of products you have andhow they need to be stored. Perishable goods and items that are fragile need special materials to keep them protected. Guidelines in your standard operating procedures should offer warehouse workers clear instructions about the materials needed to pack each item, and how each item should be packed.
Check and Maintain Equipment Regularly
Regularly maintaining and reviewing your warehouse equipment is incredibly important in terms of the efficiency, productivity, and safety of your warehouse team. Make sure you have processes in place that ensure every type of equipment is checked regularly. After all, an employee who is on top of their game can only do so much if they’re working with dated equipment. Getting into the habit of checking each piece of equipment will ensure you spot defective equipment before it becomes an issue. Not only will replacing or repairing equipment help keep productivity levels high, but it will also help prevent accidents from occurring.
Be Transparent with Your Customers
When it comes to keeping customers happy, transparency is key. You can be more transparent with your customers by creating a system that notifies them when their order is received, is estimated to arrive, and when it has left the warehouse. Being informed about the shipment progress will ensure good customer service, and it will help increase the chance of the customer doing business with you again.