Streamlining Your Distribution System

An effective distribution system is one of the most vital parts of a successful business. You can have sensational products, top-rate management, and quality marketing, but if you can’t get your items to your customers, none of that matters. Keeping your warehouse organized and streamlined will help boost every other aspect of your company, from customer service to product development. If you need help organizing your distribution system, here are three things to try.

Digital Management

The first thing to try to streamline your distribution system is a bit of digital management. A Warehouse management system works with your managers to help keep things running smoothly. These programs often have a major online component, such as time sheets, inventory tables, and training resources. While you can find each of these components individually, having one system that brings them all together can keep you and your warehouse managers organized.

Another perk of digital management is that it saves your management team time. One of the greatest challenges in any distribution system is time management. If your management team is spending half their day trying to figure out multiple systems, they can’t be out on the floor helping run things and getting your products out. By bringing a digital management system into your process, you can reduce the time spent on busy work, allowing your employees to make the most of the hours they’re clocked in.

Improved Teamwork

The second way to streamline your distribution center involves the personnel you have working with you. If your staff isn’t working as a team, chances are that your warehouse isn’t functioning at its best. You may be seeing a decrease in productivity, lower customer service scores, or simply tasks not getting done. By improving the teamwork in your warehouse or distribution center, you can streamline things from the inside out, keeping your business on the right track.

So how do you encourage better teamwork among your staff? One of the simplest foundations that a company spirit is built on is communication. If your warehouse managers aren’t communicating with their team, things will fall apart.

Next, keeping tasks and roles clear and well-laid out can reduce frustration and overlap in your warehouse. If everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing, it’ll be far easier for them to work together.

Third, you should encourage continuous learning for both your staff and your management team. The business world is always changing. When your team learns about these changes together, they’ll be far more likely to work together. Additionally, when your warehouse managers commit to learning about better management styles, they show the people under them that they’re invested in their morale and productivity. Leading from the front will increase productivity and streamline your warehouse.

Short and Long-Term Goals

The final way to streamline your distribution is by having both short and long-term goals. Just like with any other department in your company, your warehouse team needs to know what general direction they’re heading toward. Are you pushing for more deliveries? Do you want quicker response times? Does inventory need to be done?

Things like inventory, organization, and specific orders are all worthy short-term goals for you and your team. These goals give your staff something to work toward during their shifts, whether they’re doing tasks dedicated to the goals or finishing current projects so they can push more time to the team goals.

On the flip side, tasks like increased delivery numbers, faster shipping speed, and less inventory waste are all good long-term goals for your distribution center team. These goals require more than one person to achieve, promoting increased teamwork and cooperation in your warehouse. Additionally, having long-term goals that your short-term goals build up to gives people a sense of accomplishment, further driving up morale.

Overall, your warehouse should be one of the most streamlined departments in your company. If yours is struggling, these three tips should help you get back on track and streamline your process.