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Eight ways to optimize your warehouse in India

"Someone once asked me why McDonald’s is so successful. I said, ‘Our bathrooms are always clean.’

‘Sure,’ he said, ‘But that’s easy.’

‘Well,’ I replied, ‘Are your bathrooms clean?’"

- Ray Kroc

Ray Croc served as the CEO of McDonald’s from 1967-1973. Proper warehouse management is like clean bathrooms; people don’t notice it often and may not compliment you for it, but it is essential to become successful as a small business.

Warehouse Management can help you reduce the processing times and ensure that all the orders are delivered faster. Over 1.4 million products are available for next day delivery in Amazon India. It is essential to focus on seller warehouse optimisation and cut time losses to fulfill promises.

Here are eight simple ways in which you can optimise your seller Warehouse:

1. Know your Warehouse

The first step to optimise your Warehouse is to record its current capabilities precisely. This will be helpful to make a well-informed plan and also serve for comparison.

  • Calculate the entire area of your warehouse and the space used to store warehouse items to know better about the capacity utilisation.

  • Study the register at your warehouse and notice which warehouse items move the fastest and take the most time.

  • Record the number of people required to move certain items and how that affects the delivery.

Record all these findings carefully and analyse them before making a seller warehouse management plan.

2. Divide and Rule Knowing exactly where everything is in the warehouse is very important to mitigate time losses and process orders faster. The best way to do this to compartmentalise. Divide your warehouse into sections and subsections and place everything strategically. Organise your seller warehouse like an Amazon warehouse. It is cheaper in the long run than Amazon fulfilment.

  • Put heavier warehouse items in the back and the lighter ones nearer to the exit.

  • Group warehouse items not only according to category but size as well. Smaller ones should be stored in bulk to avoid losing them.

  • Sort warehouse items according to the date of delivery deadlines and keep the nearest ones in the front.

3. Set Up a Monitoring System

After you read this article, you may feel inspired just to sort out your entire seller warehouse in one day. Even if you manage to do so, remember it will only last two days. The key to optimising your warehouse is not in where you place the warehouse items at the beginning of it all but where they are found in the end. It is necessary to set up a basic system for everyone to follow daily. Keep one hour of each day before work to monitor the warehouse, make sure everything is in place and find reasons behind, if they are not. It is not a milestone to achieve but a practice to follow.

4. Ensure quality and maintain it

Running an Amazon store depends on consistency. Producing and buying quality products is not enough. To deliver quality products, you must maintain their quality while in the seller warehouse or the Amazon warehouse. In India, warehouses (primarily agricultural) are regulated and governed under The Warehousing (Regulatory and Development) Act, 2007. Failing to ascertain quality is an offence under the act, and thus you should take proper steps to maintain the required temperature and moisture conditions specified for each product.

5. Review. Review. Review

There are plenty of Amazon stores in India. But only a few succeed in making noteworthy sales. The key lies in reviewing the conditions of the seller warehouse. Schedule monthly and weekly reviews of the warehouse to always be on top of your knowledge. With the growth of IoT technology, real-time monitoring of the warehouse is a possibility. You can also install cameras in the warehouse to keep things in check and constantly review the warehouse. It is essential to use cameras and other technologies just as tools in your review and not depend on them entirely to optimise the warehouse. You have to review everything and take steps as needed periodically.

6. Talk to your staff

Managing a warehouse becomes more manageable if you involve the people who work there in the decision-making. Instead of doing it all yourself, ask your people what issues they are facing in the warehouse. If there are delays, ask them what factors are causing them. These are the people that spend the most time in that warehouse, and they can give the best and specific suggestions on how to manage it better. Also, monitor the efficiency of the people involved in the warehouse.

7. Use vertical space

The average size of warehouses in India has gone up to 2-3 lakh sq km for some of the biggest players in the eCommerce sector. However, most small businesses do not have that luxury. Thus, it is essential to use the space available judiciously. Making proper use of the vertical space is an integral part of it. You can construct slabs near the roof to store the old inventory and create higher racks.

8. Use Warehouse Management System

A warehouse management system can digitise the monitoring and review operations and assist in effective warehouse management. You should use a WMS to limit your time spent managing the warehouse and instead use that time to talk to potential customers and make sales.

The warehousing market in India valued at INR 1,050 Bn in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~14.86% between 2021 and 2025. Despite this, Supply chains remain one of the most ineffective parts of businesses in India. We must balance the technology and people to utilise the significant eCommerce opportunities lying ahead as Tier-2 effectively and Tier-3 Indian cities are rapidly warming up to online shopping.

Powerhouse91 is a brand operator exclusively for eCommerce brands which are listed on Amazon and Flipkart. With a combined experience of 30 years across Ecommerce, Marketing, Technology and Supply Chain, they are experts in growing a brand online. They buy and operate the best brands on Amazon and Flipkart.

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