6 Essentials of Effective Retail Warehouses
To manage your retail product warehouse effectively, there are several essential items you need. Here are six absolutely necessary items for an effective, efficient retail chain warehouse:
- Layout map – Let’s start with how your warehouse is laid out. You need need a map, or a chart, to keep it organized and know where everything is. Your employees need a warehouse map so they can remember where you keep each product, and you need an easy way to look up the products you store in the warehouse. Warehouse organization is essential to retail success.
- Forklifts – Forklifts are essential tools for any warehouse. Your products will arrive on pallets. You’ll need to move those pallets around to stay organized. Even if you take your merchandise off the pallets to shelve them, you’ll need to move them around and maneuver them to the location where this happens.
- Foreman – A foreman, or manager, is the one person who is responsible for ensuring you are organized and operations are run efficiently. Someone needs to be in charge and take responsibility.
- Metrics – Metrics tell you how you’re doing. Whatever key metrics you track should be logged and recorded, then reported. It’s the metrics that tell you whether performance is on track or not.
- Employees – Every warehouse needs employees. How many employees you need depends on the size of your warehouse, the size of your retail chain, and how much product you are moving around in the system. At the very least, you need a few stockers–production hands that make sure your product gets moved from pallets to the shelves and are loaded on trucks for shipment to stores–product receivers, and more.
- Communication devices – Every retail chain product storage system needs a way to communicate between employees. Whether its walkie-talkies, telephones, tablets, email and chat, or a combination of these depends on your retail chain. But your employees need a way to communicate.
These are not the only items you need, but this is a bare minimum. Warehouse management software can help you keep your production on target and track your products.