Multi-Category Storage Support: Warehouse Transfer Insights From An Industry Player

In his current role, Nakul spearheads the warehousing and logistics operations, finance, HR, and administrative departments. Armed with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Agra University, Nakul began his career as a freelancer and later moved to, a digital platform for local service businesses in India, where he was a part of their business development team.

Warehouses play a crucial role in sustaining an effective and smooth supply chain. In fact, it can either make or break a business. Organizing an effective warehouse takes a lot of effort and planning. A warehouse should always ideally be in sync with the organization's goals and should ensure an increase in productivity, optimizing space, reducing costs, and delivering superior customer service. A well-managed warehouse can save money and time and keep the customers happy.

Vehicle entry
Talking about effective and efficient inbound best practices for a multi-storage warehouse, one should always start from scratch, like vehicle entry. The vehicle entry should always be planned in terms of time and place to avoid detention. One should also make it a habit to check and reconfirm the products from ASN / Purchase Order / Vendor Invoice to ensure that the correct material is received from the client or vendor. Driver details should also be checked and verified at the gate entry itself and lastly, separate halting spaces should be designated to ensure its smooth and uninterrupted movement.

Bay operations
Then comes crucial activities at the bay operation. Segmentation and segregation should be done at the bay itself along with the first level of quality check. This saves a lot of time and ensures smooth operations towards the next activities under inbound operations. Apart from this, a stacker should be used to minimize DEPS at Loading or unloading and it should be reported at the bay itself to reduce discrepancies.

While packing, order number or tracking number should be scanned at system with item bar-code to avoid the wrong shipment and an image and video should be captured for future quality check references

GRN & Quality check
After completing the bay operations, one should generate a unique bar-code for each item to fix item level accountability, and bar codes should also be scanned using the HHT to map it with the client. After the first level of quality check at the bay, an inbound quality check should then include segregation of the products as per their quality. They can be segregated as good, bad, or quarantine items. To keep a visual record, an image should be captured of the segregated products and a video should also be made which will come in handy during an internal audit on inbound materials. After that, the Sl NO / IMEI / Unique code should be updated in the warehouse management system.

Lastly comes the activity of put-away. Having a put-away system simplifies the process of storing items, reduces the risk of misplacing or losing them, and keeps the warehouse clean and organized. Put-away should be done through HHT while following the client / SKU-wise segregation. Apart from this, an agent should be assigned for put-away based on location proximity to ensure smooth operations.

Outbound activity
For an effective outbound activity, one should first and foremost focus on the collection/picking point. Order sequencing should be done based on the location proximity/order priority for the same. To ensure cleanliness bins should be placed on each floor so that dropped items can be stacked and put-away during free time to their original space.

Also, there should be a proper and well-organized system such as FIFO / LIFO / LEFO / SKU check at the picking point itself. One can also resort to mixed picking to speed up the picking process. Lastly, to ensure the correct product is unloaded at the right station, the packing station bar-code should be scanned at the time of cart unloading.

While packing, order number or tracking number should be scanned at system with item bar-code to avoid the wrong shipment and an image and video should be captured for future quality check references. Then comes manifestation which should be done client-wise. But for a couple of marketplaces, it should be done transporter-wise. Lastly for the handover, a separate cage or box should be designated for each transporter to ensure speedy handover and to avoid the last-minute hassle. These boxes should also be scanned so that the right order goes to the right transporter.

Lastly, for the overall smooth functioning of a warehouse, monthly or quarterly records of inventory-In vs Inventory-Out should be maintained for a successful audit. Periodic sanitization and pest control are also a must and should be done fortnightly. All bad stocks should be discarded from the premise to maintain hygiene and all air vents should be secured with strong mashes to prevent the entry of unwanted rodents or birds.

Apart from this, all products should be segregated as per the nature of the products and temperature-controlled areas should be regularly monitored to prevent any kind of damages. For high value items separate lock-in areas should be designated which should be managed with a high-security CCTV network and lastly, storage should be kept within the secure limits, overloading of racks, shelves, pallets, etc., should be strictly avoided.

Ensuring the aforementioned steps are simple yet effective practices that will facilitate efficient multi-storage warehouses and allow businesses to focus on growth and progress.