Love is in the air — unless you find your warehouse operations struggling. In that case, Valentine's Day might be only a bitter reminder of that first puppy love you had with your warehouse, when the possibilities for orders fulfilled seemed endless. In the spirit of this romatic holiday, we turned to our operations love guru to answer a nagging question from many of our readers: how can I fall back in love with my warehouse?
When I first set out to start my business, I was so excited, and I fell in love with pretty much every aspect. The offices, the inventory, the logistics. Even some of the employees! And I’m still in love with most of it, but lately my warehouse has really been pushing the limits on what I will tolerate in a relationship. So chaotic! I used to know where everything was… now I can guess, but I’m wrong just as often as I’m right. And even when I do get a handle on where stuff is, just as soon as I know how much inventory I have, orders come through and then my totals are all off again! It’s so frustrating.
As my business grows and inventory moves more quickly in and out of my warehouse, I’m really struggling to find the balance between how much work I have to put into our relationship and how much my warehouse should just give me. I mean, we’re business partners, right? We should love to be together. But lately, I just want a break. How do I fall in love with my warehouse all over again?
Lost in the Racks
So sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your warehouse. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but with the right tricks up your sleeve, you can provide both yourself and your warehouse with some sure-fire ways to keep you both smiling.
First of all, if you’re feeling frustrated, chances are that your warehouse is feeling the same way. Are you only tracking your inventory, or are you managing it? Depending on your warehouse’s needs, this could be a big source of stress for the both of you. It’s important to understand what your warehouse is looking for from you as it strives to meet your expectations.
Have you considered introducing some barcoding software? Barcoding can be a fun way to spice things up in the aisles. It cuts down on mindless inventory maintenance tasks, plus it’s a great way to ensure accuracy in your inventory levels. Depending on what software you decide to go with, too, you could introduce other time-saving advantages, such as the ability to sign sales documents right there on the mobile device. Do some research to determine if barcoding is something that you and your warehouse could benefit from, then work on picking out the best software together! It’s a great way to start a healthy dialogue, and hey — it can be fun too. You could get a nice dinner, maybe pop open a bottle of wine, and see where the research takes you.
There are no hard and fast rules to making a relationship between you and your warehouse work. Every warehouse is different, just like every human is different. But I hope some of these suggestions will get the ball rolling for the two of you, so that you can fall in love together all over again.