29 September 2017
4 top tips to reduce warehouse downtime
Reducing downtime should be an obvious objective for any
warehouse-reliant business, regardless of sector. With so many pitfalls to
avoid, though, keeping everything going at full speed is often a much harder
task than it first seems.
Thankfully, we’re here to help you change your warehouse
operations for the better. Below are four top tips to help you on the road to
complete logistical optimisation.
Focus on decision-making
Every day you’ll make near-countless decisions that impact
your business and its success. Choosing a certain product or supplier; hiring
one candidate over another; adjusting what seems like a minor process – these
choices have consequences, and all can indirectly lead to unnecessary downtime.
It’s important, therefore, to think carefully about what influences your
With so much technology around, it’s easy to get your hands
on a wealth of invaluable data. From handheld scanners and mobile computers in
the warehouse itself to the GPS systems attached to your delivery fleet – it
all generates information, in real-time, that can easily be turned into
Firstly, invest in the latest technologies where possible;
but also ensure your equipment is properly connected at all times. The more
recent your information, the more relevant your insight and the better your
decisions will be.
Invest in people – not just tech
The presence of technology in warehouses has grown rapidly
in recent years. And, while you might have adapted just fine, you shouldn’t
expect the same from every worker.
Take the time to help staff understand the hardware and
software you introduce into their working environment - they’re the ones using
it every day, after all. As well as training them in how to use it, explain the benefits of using it at all; if they can
appreciate the reasons for your investment, they’re much less likely to resist
the change or cut corners.
Feedback is another powerful tool here: find out what your
staff think of the tools they use, and how their days are affected. You can use
the information to optimise processes even further.
Avoid the domino effect
Not all downtime is avoidable – a mobile
device could go missing, for example, or a staff member might fall ill.
Rather than dwell on them, it’s crucial that you limit the impact these kinds
of instances have on your operation.
Any initial loss of productivity could be extended by a poor
response from you and the team. Say a worker fails to report the missing device
and moves onto something else, for instance – the issue is not solved and could
cause further hassle down the line. The wrong reaction, however simple, could
delay deliveries and impact your customers.
Ensure the culture in your warehouse is one of reactive
problem-solving, even before you invest in new technologies. Make sure you have
back-up plans in place for when things do
Enlist the right help
If it hasn’t happened already, it’s inevitable that
game-changing technologies will soon infiltrate your warehouse – after all, the
benefits are too great to ignore. It’s not enough to just invest in the
equipment and wait for the results, though. Firstly, you – and your staff –
must know how to use it, but what if something goes wrong? Or what if you have
It’s crucial that you have the right support at all times;
someone to troubleshoot, advise and
answer your queries whenever they arise. Any delays in getting help could mean
more downtime for your warehouse operations.
Look for an experienced UK-based support team that’ll be
ready to help you around the clock, whatever the issue. Remote assistance and
rapid call-outs should be available too, and everything must be made as easy as
possible for you. TouchStar offers all of this and more, and we’re always happy
to chat. Get in
touch today to learn about the bespoke solutions
support available for your business.