This article describes steps of business process optimization in a warehouse at the very peak season of sales. General methods are mentioned and basic decisions are offered.
The first step: defining of problems and setting of objectives on business process optimization in a warehouse
Management of companies set the following objectives:
- Optimization of business processes on order processing. Very often there is only one person responsible for warehouse operation. And usually this employee is not able to monitor all processes, and responsibilities of all employees of the warehouse are not delegated properly.
- Reducing of the number of corrections of orders up to 1%. Order correction supposes changing or withdrawing of an item due to the reasons not depending on customers. For example, very often managers have to change items due to the lack of products in the warehouse. This problem can be caused by false information on products on the website. As a result, many customers are not ready to wait or to change their orders and conditions of cooperation and they go to competitors.
- Providing of a quick adaptation of new employees. According to a seasonal nature of sales, many companies need to recruit a large number of new employees for peak seasons. In this case, it is highly important to provide a quick adaptation of new employees and to optimize business processes of the warehouse in a way it was convenient to work in it.
The second step: gathering of information. Observation method
Gathering of information includes the method of observation. Each employee of the company or an outside expert is able observe business processes of the warehouse. All members of project team observe business processes and make notes in order to discuss weak points of non-optimized business processes.
The third step: description of business processes of the warehouse
The project team arranges briefings and discusses weak points of non-optimized business processes of the warehouse. Also, members of the project team describe business processes of the warehouse as they are and compare them with the plan of business process optimization.
The fourth step: making of a list of main problems and correction of the warehouse
Before taking any actions, the project team should define reasons of ineffectiveness of business processes. The analysis of business processes as they are taking into consideration the results of observations should be provided.
The fifth step: defining of cause-and-effect relationship
- Factors on which the result depends are getting gathered;
- Factors grouping by 5 blocks: machinery, employees, materials, measurements, methods.
- Grading of factors of each block;
- Defining of factors which cannot be influenced on.
The sixth step: implementation of changes
- Explanation of principles of warehouse operation
- Division of responsibilities
- Warehouse zoning according to business processes
- Developing of KPI for each group of employees.