Insight Into The Processes Of Your Warehouse In Few Steps

A smoothly running logistics process is important for both customer and supplier. The processes that take place in a warehouse are an important and determining part of this. Process optimization in your warehouse can ensure better coordination within the entire chain. Finding bottlenecks is not so much a difficult task, but gaining insight into warehouse processes proves to be a challenge in practice. In the 5 steps in this blog, we take you to insight into the processes of your warehouse.

Insight into warehouse processes provides company-wide benefits

Often there is only moderate insight into the processes that take place within the warehouse. This is a real shame, because this insight can bring countless benefits to your warehouse. Not only does insight into warehouse processes result in cost savings, it also affects the satisfaction of your customers. The speed you can achieve with this insight can even become your competitive advantage . In addition, mapping warehouse processes can support you in measuring, improving and realizing your business goals.

Insight into warehouse processes is also required for successful cooperation throughout the entire chain. It is the starting point for identifying (upcoming) problems. By finding and eliminating bottlenecks, you can better tailor your production to your suppliers and customers. As a warehouse owner, if you want a pleasant chain cooperation, this starts with your own warehouse.

Insight into warehouse processes can yield significant savings and is the basis for good chain cooperation. But why then do many warehouse keepers pass up opportunities? The challenge lies not in improving processes, but in gaining insight. In practice, this turns out to be a complex, time-consuming task. Warehouse owners do not know where to start and have no idea where to get the time.

We have set up a step-by-step plan to help you, as a warehouse owner, a step further and to gain insight into your warehouse process a little less time-consuming. This way you can still achieve the benefits of transparent processes with more knowledge and in less time.

How to gain insight

Now that you know the benefits, you can really get started. And we do this on the basis of five steps:

Step 1: From inbound, storage and outbound to concrete activities

The first step to gain insight into the processes of your warehouse is to translate inbound, storage and outbound into concrete activities. Map out which activities are actually carried out in your warehouse.

It is wise to schedule a meeting with every person who understands these activities and who is responsible for results. In this way you increase the chance of a complete picture of the activities. Don’t forget to include operational employees as well; they really are in the field.

 

Step 2: Determine which flows are running through your warehouse

The second step is to determine the flows that run through your warehouse. These flows include both traffic and goods flows. This concerns goods, means of transport, personnel and visitors. Consider, for example, the walking routes of your warehouse employees and the movement of goods that takes place in the warehouse.

Step 3: Combine the flows with the activities

In order to gain insight, the flows must be assigned to the logistics activities. The third step is therefore simply to list the flows per logistics activity.

Step 4: Visualize!

Then it is now time to visualize the information obtained. There are various application and software options for this, but it is also possible to draw this manually on, for example, a large whiteboard.

Step 5: Make the insight known throughout the organization

It is often thought that everyone knows what is happening inside and outside the warehouse. Yes, everyone has his or her own ideas about this, but it does encourage things to take on a life of their own. That is why the fifth step is to make the insight that has been obtained known across the organization. With this, own ideas are taken from the air and there is more clarity.

If you go through these steps, you are assured of a transparent warehouse process. You will notice that improvements are being discovered along the way. And you can undoubtedly work with the insight. Optimizing processes is then the next step.

We can devise fantastic processes on paper. I dare say that in practice, however, always differently. After all, a piece of paper is not under pressure from external factors and does not communicate with suppliers, customers or colleagues. Therefore, always test a process against reality.

Five types of clients you should avoid

When we start a business or have a short time in operation, we only think about one thing: get new customers. However, as entrepreneurship grows, we understand that it is not about selling to everyone, but rather focusing on the most profitable segments. And even, that there are consumers that can complicate the expansion, and that it is better to avoid.

One of the secrets of the most successful entrepreneurs is that they focus more on retaining their current customers and increasing their purchases than on going out to expand their market without any filter. And the reason is simple: acquiring new consumer costs five times more. And in addition, many of them can not only not mean any income, but even cause losses.

The questioner

This is the customer who spends hours touring a store and asking dozens of questions to a seller, but who, in the end, does not buy anything. Or that it may take months to make a purchase decision after a business proposal while asking for price adjustments or more details on the quote. These prospects not only mean a waste of time but are often employees of competing companies, looking for information. To avoid them, we must ask them at the outset what their expectations are and give them a clear answer about our real possibility of meeting them.

The stingy

Consumers with this profile have only one interest: price. So they are only looking for promotions and discounts, and they are not interested in quality, warranty, or user experience. Unless you sell consumer products and your strategy is to handle large volumes of sales, stay away from this target. If you do not, you will not only weaken the value proposition and profitability of the business but its future expansion. So train your sales and marketing team to sell smart.

The undecided

Although in the end, you can make a purchase decision, like the questioner, this type of customer is very demanding in time and money. And even once you have purchased a product and service, your level of demand may increase, which in the end makes the service process not only endless but also very expensive. That is why it is important that you clearly determine what the ideal cost of acquiring new customers for your company is, and that you establish clear limits from the outset for issues such as delivery conditions, refunds or guarantees.

The distrustful

These clients are the main enemy of new businesses since the first question they ask is what references or recommendations about our work we can offer. And generally, in the absence of sales or completed projects, they ask for discounts on the price of products, or special conditions in a quote. In addition to the negative effects on the productivity of sellers, this profile of consumers may end up affecting our value proposition and even the business model, despite the constant modifications we have to make to satisfy their demands.  

The eternal dissatisfied

Finally, this customer is the one who makes the profitability of any sale impossible. Even if it takes hours to explain the characteristics of a product or how it should be used, they will always complain about a problem. Or, in the case of the provision of a service, and despite having signed contracts that detail the steps of each process, they will always ask for something else or be dissatisfied with the attention of an employee. These people can be useful when we are just starting, as they are ideal for detecting process failures and opportunities for improvement. But over time, it is better to avoid them.