Archive for 2016

December 10, 2016

How Going Mobile Can Benefit Your Warehouse

How often do you sit down at a desktop computer at home? For most people, it’s less and less often. We’re turning to our mobile devices to connect us to the internet on a daily basis while our desktop systems gather dust. Why the change from desktops to mobile computing?

  • They are more convenient. Instead of requiring a desk and potentially their own room, we can use mobile devices like our cell phone and tablets wherever we happen to be at the time. That could be sitting on the couch or out at a coffee shop. Desktops don’t offer that when it comes to computing.
  • They are cost effective. Instead of shelling out close to $1,000 (or more!) for a desktop, you can pick up a tablet or smartphone for a fraction of that price. This makes it a much more affordable option when it comes to connecting to the internet.
  • They are with us all the time. It’s tough to take your desktop with you wherever you go, but we’re willing to bet that you have a smartphone or tablet within your reach right now. We take them with us everywhere, which means we always have the power of the internet in our pockets.

If we’re depending on our smartphones and tablets this much in our daily lives, why are we still using desktops for warehouse management? Turns out, that’s something that is quickly changing within the warehouse environment and something our warehouse consultants are seeing move up the list of priorities for warehouse managers.

Mobile is the Future of Your Warehouse

More and more warehouse management is going to be done on mobile devices in the next 10 years. Everything from forecasting to scheduling to inventory control will be done on smartphones. The reasons for these changes are largely the same reasons why we’re using mobile devices at home more often, too!

  • Convenience. As a warehouse manager, you probably have your phone on you at all times. That makes being able to control your warehouse from your phone super convenient. You don’t have to be at your desk to make the changes needed to make your warehouse run more efficiently.
  • Cost. Supplying a warehouse manager with a smartphone is cheaper than buying him a desktop. And while you may still need a desktop for some things, the maintenance and IT costs can go down when you are relying more on mobile devices.
  • Time. If you can manage your warehouse on your phone, you can address issues 24 hours a day. That keeps your warehouse running smoothly even outside of normal business hours when you aren’t at your desk.

Is your warehouse ready for the mobile revolution? Our warehouse consultants can help you make sure. Optimizing and automating your warehouse can help make mobile integration easier. Let us help. Contact our team of warehouse consultants at DAK Equipment & Engineering and let us help you prepare your warehouse for mobile optimization. We can get to work right away. Give us a call or contact us through our website today.

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December 05, 2016

Common Warehouse Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

There are plenty of mistakes to be made in warehouse management, but the good news is that almost all of them are avoidable. We help warehouses all over the United States with their warehouse equipment, and we’ve seen it all when it comes to equipment mistakes. Here are some of the most common ones we’ve encountered in 2016…see if you recognize any in your own warehouse and learn how to rectify these mistakes in the New Year.

Recognize Any of These Common Mistakes?

Not routinely inspection your warehouse equipment.

You rely on your warehouse equipment on a daily basis. Because of that, everything from your pallet shelves to your forklifts to your dollies can take a serious beating. When these items are damaged, it can be a danger to your team and to your inventory. Make sure you are regularly inspection all of your equipment and taking steps to fix issues when you find them.

Ignoring “minor” housekeeping items.

Doing a seemingly minor chore such as sweeping or wiping down cartons might seem insignificant, but not doing these little things can add up to a very big problem. Encourage your team to keep up with these small tasks and check that they’ve been done. Not doing them can create a warehouse environment that’s messy, disorganized, and could even be a safety hazard.

Cluttering pallet shelves with old paperwork.

Warehouses seem to love hanging onto old paperwork. When warehouses call us to say they’ve run out of inventory storage in their warehouse, one of the first things we ask is how much old paperwork they are storing. Get familiar with the laws about how much paperwork you actually need to keep and how far back you need to keep records on hand. If you don’t need it, recycle it and get it off of your shelves.

Holding onto old inventory.

It’s too tempting to hold onto old inventory; after all, you paid for it, why would you get rid of it now? Because old inventory is taking up important space on your warehouse shelves. That’s costing you money. If you aren’t going to be selling the item again, you need to get rid of it. Chalk it up to waste and make space for inventory that’s actually going to make you money.

Not training staff regularly.

Don’t neglect the needs of your staff. Training is important not only to the safety of your warehouse but also to the development of your team. Help them improve their skill set through additional training and be sure you continually train them on safety matters. This will help improve the safety rates, lower costs, and improve the morale of your warehouse.

See any familiar mistakes on this list? Our warehouse team can help you rectify them and start with a clean slate in 2017. Get in touch with us today by giving us a call or contact us through our website to speak with a warehouse consultant about the services or warehouse equipment you need to start the year off right.

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November 30, 2016

Getting Better at Forecasting for Your Warehouse

Our warehouse consultants can help your warehouse get better at forecasting. Forecasting in your warehouse is the process of predicting inventory levels. It’s an invaluable tool to help you manage your inventory levels in a smarter, more proactive way. A few decades ago, the most accurate forecasting was primarily done through gut instinct and maybe some sales records from the previous years. Today’s forecasting has become a much more sophisticated process, and it’s one that can save your warehouse a ton of money while also boosting your bottom line and customer service.

Saving You Money

Forecasting helps you know the inventory trends that are happening in your warehouse. With an accurate forecast, you should know how much you need to have available of certain products and when. This eliminates too much wasteful inventory sitting on the shelves as well as helps you fulfill more customer order and avoid “out of stock” sale losses. Too much inventory sitting around is a waste of your company’s money.

Providing Better Customer Service

Customers want to be able to order what they want when they want it. If your warehouse is out of stock due to poor forecasting, it can result not only in the loss of that customer’s business on that particular order but the loss of their business forever. If they can find it at another store, they are much more likely to order from that store again. Inventory that you don’t have is costing your company money, too.

How to Be Better at Demand Forecasting

  1. Pick the right forecasting method. There are a variety of methods out there, but the key is to pick the one that’s right for your particular business. That might be Simple Moving Average or Exponential Moving Average. Our warehouse consultants can help you determine which one is right for your warehouse.
  2. Make sure you know when there is an exception to a rule. Forecasting is great, but you’ll still need to use some good old-fashioned common sense to really make it work. If there was a spike in demand suddenly, was a large one-time order? Or is it the sign of a growing trend that you need to keep up with? Look for exceptions to avoid costly mistakes.
  3. Automate your forecasting. This is an area where the power of computers can be your best friend. There are a variety of forecasting software packages available, and you may already have one built into your warehouse management software. Know how to use it and how to read the forecasting suggestions to make better inventory decisions for your warehouse.

Ready to improve your warehouse’s forecasting abilities? It only takes one phone call. Get in touch with the DAK Equipment & Engineering team and we’ll help you improve your inventory management so you can cut costs and increase your customer satisfaction along with your bottom line. Our warehouse consultants understand the demands of your warehouse and how to help you meet them. Give us a call or contact us through our website today.

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