8 Best Ways to Boost Warehouse Performance

What practices contribute to stellar warehouse performance? To determine this, ARC in conjunction with DC Velocity, did a survey designed to tease out the key factors that drive warehouse performance.  A successful warehouse is a warehouse that is productive, safe, contributes to high customer service, and retains its employees. Excellence was defined for each of these areas. In looking for best practices surrounding warehouse performance, we were looking at what high-performing warehouses were doing that is different from other distribution operations. The best warehouses perform well in all these dimensions. This is a follow up to an article published last week on the best ways to retain warehouse workers.

Balanced Scorecard Approach to Warehouse Performance

The eight best practices that helped companies improve warehouse performance included:

  • Having a well-lit and clean warehouse
  • Paying at least 50 percent more than minimum wage to brand new employees
  • Non-financial remuneration (food, time off, etc.) for high performance
  • Use of high-speed conveyors and sortation
  • Having managers frequently monitor individuals as they do their jobs and provide positive, on-the-spot reinforcement
  • Having a continuous improvement program in place
  • Engaging in 360-degree reviews of managers
  • Providing training to managers on how to provide effective feedback to subordinates
  • Monitoring workers at least once a month to make sure standard operating practices and best practices are being used

Management matters! More than half the practices that contribute to excellence across all the key performance dimensions are related to good management. Good management is something that can be learned. Being trained in giving effective feedback helps. And 360-degree reviews where managers see what their superiors, subordinates, and peers say about them help managers learn what is working and what is not.

In addition to adopting the eight best practices listed above, companies could simply encourage their managers to be diligent. A good warehouse manager is not sitting in his office; he is out on the floor observing and interacting with people.

If you’d like a copy of the full report, please contact Conrad Hanf at chanf@arcweb.com.

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