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5 Steps to Modernizing Your Warehouse

Warehouse Modernization is More Achievable Than Ever

A successful warehouse is one that’s managed efficiently. But your warehouse is only as efficient as the technology you’re using. Tracking inventory via memory or with a pen and paper doesn’t cut it anymore. And the good news is those methods no longer have to.

Implementing a warehouse management system to automate your facility is a great step toward modernization. However, many warehouse operators have avoided automation because of a misperception around the cost of implementation.

“I would estimate that 45-50 percent of warehouses don’t use automation,” said Ken LeBlanc, senior business development manager at ID Label. “For many of these facilities, the primary reason for hesitation is cost. But we’ve recently seen smaller companies automate because the cost has been driven down over the years. Modernization is more achievable than ever before, regardless of your facility’s size.”

Many facilities do not yet have any automation implemented. However, modernizing your warehouse is more accessible and cost-effective than ever before, regardless of facility size.

“Modernizing with a WMS gives you a real-time number of what’s sitting in your facility,” LeBlanc said. “It also helps you determine what’s coming in and moving quickly, as opposed to what’s sitting for an extended period of time and tying up your money.”

– Ken LeBlanc, ID Label

Here’s What Your Warehouse is Missing

There are plenty of benefits associated with an automated WMS, which helps eliminate the need for guesswork.

“Modernizing with a WMS gives you a real-time number of what’s sitting in your facility,” LeBlanc said. “It also helps you determine what’s coming in and moving quickly, as opposed to what’s sitting for an extended period of time and tying up your money.”

A warehouse management system also allows you to evaluate the efficiency of your employees. You can monitor the number of transactions an employee is executing, and tailor training toward helping them improve performance.

The 5 Steps to Modernizing Your Warehouse

The transition to automation doesn’t happen overnight. But here are five steps to follow as you take your facility into the future.

1. Evaluate where you are right now

Look within your warehouse operations and give an honest assessment of your facility. Does your warehouse use any automation at all? Does it possess an enterprise resource planning system for manufacturing and accounting?

Implementing a warehouse management system will be much easier if these platforms already exist. And if they don’t, keep in mind that, while the automation transition might be an undertaking, it’ll ensure greater long-term efficiency and profitability.

warehouse worker with barcode scan gun
warehouse racks with inventory

2. Optimize your layout

Physical layout plays an enormous role in your warehouse’s shift to modernization. If your warehouse footprint isn’t organized efficiently, your people will waste precious time traveling around the facility on their pick routes. And more time spent traveling hurts your warehouse’s profitability.

For example, make sure your highest volume items are as easily accessible as possible. Place fast-moving inventory closest to your dock doors.

A warehouse management system can be even more powerful with an organized layout.

3. Find the right WMS for you

It’s critical to pick a warehouse management system that meshes with your facility’s layout, as well as your data collection process.

If you don’t feel your facility’s layout is quite ready for automation, you can also install permanent location identifiers, including zone, aisle and dock signage, as a starting point. Once you’ve optimized your site’s layout, you can seamlessly transfer the logic and data from those identifiers to your chosen system.

warehouse aisle location marker
Warehouse workers with barcode scanner checking inventory

4. Get your people on board early

A warehouse management system is a strong investment for any operation. But it will still be a transition for your employees nonetheless. That’s why it’s critical to get them involved and get their buy-in right away.

“The biggest challenge to implementing a WMS can be getting your people to accept the new technology being brought in,” LeBlanc said. “People may see a WMS as a threat. However, it’s not going to put them out of a job. It’s actually going to make the operation more efficient, and hopefully more profitable for everyone.”

The earlier you can bring your people into the process, the easier it’ll be when you go live. Get your workers acclimated early, and test the system constantly to ensure they’re comfortable.

5. Choose a labeling partner that makes everything easier

Labeling goes a long way in getting the most out of your new automation process. ID Label works with you to create custom labels that meet your warehouse’s needs and work efficiently with your WMS system.

Our Clean Release™ repositionable labels were designed with modern warehouses in mind. These semi-permanent labels allow for long-term identification as well as a clean, residue-free removal should your facility need reconfiguring. Clean Release™ will help promote a faster, more efficient operation without any mess left behind.

Beam Renew™ is also an ideal choice for automated warehouses. This permanent, opaque cover-up material is available in a wide variety of colors with a specialized, easy-release laminate that is placed over existing labels or old racking. Beam Renew™ gives you a fresh surface to work with when re-labeling your facility. And labels placed on top of Beam Renew™ can be easily removed down the road, reducing the time, expenses and messes associated with traditional label removal.

Ready to make the move to warehouse modernization? ID Label is here to fulfill your warehouse’s labeling needs as you transition to automation.

ID Label Inc. Logo

The ID Label Advantage

ID Label manufactures custom, durable warehouse labels. Our materials have been tested and used in warehouse operations around the globe.

We also provide warehouse signage and turnkey nationwide installation services to provide a complete solution to our many clients who rely on us for all their warehousing needs.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

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