A lean approach to managing a warehouse means reducing inventory to avoid overstocking and focusing on the optimal use of your floor space. The benefits of lean warehouse management are both significant and immediate. It can lead to reduced waste, lowered costs, and increased productivity. Keep reading to learn more about how this approach might be right for your warehouse.
For most warehouse managers and business owners, the primary benefit of using a lean approach to their supply chain is the drastic reduction in inventory costs. At every step, the lean approach reduces the quantities of inventory and raw materials that are kept within a warehouse. This approach also frees up substantial floor space. In many cases, reducing inventory opens doors to moving into a smaller, more cost-effective facility.
In addition to lowering costs, another benefit of lean warehouse management is limiting waste. This process can begin as soon as a warehouse operator begins value stream mapping the supply chain. Value stream mapping gives warehouse managers a clear view of which steps in their workflow are efficient and which ones are bottlenecks.
Viewing the supply chain as a stream of processes also allows management to review how each step therein interacts with the next. In some cases, two otherwise efficient steps could become problematic when they occur in succession.
A lean warehouse also reduces waste simply by limiting the amount of inventory or raw materials that are needed at any given time. Running a tighter ship makes it easier for a warehouse operator to avoid wasteful errors.
A lean warehouse can also be a happy warehouse. An overfilled warehouse that is hard to keep clean and orderly is not an ideal workspace for anyone. Alternatively, a lean warehouse is smaller and efficient. While it increases the responsibility of warehouse workers, it also provides an opportunity for them to improve the culture of the warehouse by working together for a common goal. As the benefits of lean warehouse management become tangible, workers can share in that success.
A lean approach to managing a warehouse can also greatly improve product quality and customer service. This is because it can reduce the amount of time workers spend on wasted efforts like dealing with overstock or addressing improperly stored inventory. A lean management system will give workers more time to focus on their tasks and ensure that quality work is taking place. It also allows more time to ensure that customer service is more than just an afterthought. As the supply stream becomes faster and more efficient, the customer will experience fewer delays, meaning the benefits of lean warehouse management flow down to both employees and customers alike.
The lean approach to warehouse management promotes efficiency and, as a result, provides ample benefits. As a warehouse manager, this approach can help you meet the needs of your customers while avoiding waste or excess inventory. Making use of skilled flex labor fits neatly into this approach.
HapiGig can help you leverage the gig labor market to ensure you fill your flex needs during busy seasons. HapiGig is an online platform that connects flex warehouse workers with managers like you. Consider registering as a HapiEmployer today.