Complete Guide to Lean Warehousing Management

Complete Guide to Lean Warehousing Management

If you’ve looked into ways to improve your warehouse, you might have come across the term ‘lean warehousing.’ However, people often tend to recommend the practice without properly explaining it! As such, we’ve prepared a complete guide to lean warehousing management to help you figure it out.

Understanding the term lean warehouse management

Lean warehousing management relies on a simple concept: optimize your warehouse. It is a mindset, rather than an actual system, that requires you to look for inefficiencies in your warehouse and eliminate them. Now, there are steps you can follow to do this, but you will need to objectively assess your warehouse first and go from there. Some of the benefits of lean warehousing are reduced operational costs, better use of space, faster task completion, and increased ability to deal with time crunches. If you know what you’re doing, it can even improve sustainability in warehousing!

Tidy up your warehouse

There are actually two different parts to this step of lean warehousing management. First, you need to sort out your warehouse, which means you need to remove all unnecessary items that are cluttering your space. Note that this includes supplies, tools, and even equipment you rarely use or don’t use. This will not just help you with lean warehousing but also go a long way to eliminating concerns such as your warehouse storage capacity. The second part of the process is zeroing in on ‘wasteful’ practices in your warehouse. If a method of doing something inefficient and wasteful, such as having to unload arriving goods in one section and then moving them to their destination without your warehouse, you need to abandon it.

Organize things optimally

The second step of lean warehousing management is organizing your warehouse! As the experts from like to point out, a properly organized workplace will tremendously boost your effectiveness and productivity. Remember how we mentioned having to move goods several times before? Well, if you just properly organize your warehouse into sectors where certain goods are to be stored, you can almost certainly get ahead of this! Similarly, you need to place more frequently moved and used goods in easily reachable areas. On the other hand, you can afford to leave less popular stock ‘in the back.’

Keep your warehouse clean

It sounds silly to insist on having an immaculate warehouse if all we’re discussing is lean warehousing management, doesn’t it? On the contrary, it’s all part of helping your employees achieve the right mindset. If the warehouse is spotless and everything is in its place, they will feel much more motivated to show the same level of organization in their work. On the other hand, a messy and slovenly warehouse is likely to provoke apathy if you start insisting in perfectly running everything. You can’t expect the utmost performance in one field if you show apparent disregard for other aspects of running your warehouse!

Implement standard operating procedures

If your employees were there when you started implementing lean warehousing, they would likely catch on quickly and perform to specification. However, what happens when you get new employees? Even if they have some experience and training, they would likely not do things as efficiently as your old employees, which would quickly cause your lean warehousing system to start breaking down. As such, you need to have clear and standardized work procedures. The rules are there to facilitate the running of your warehouse, and if everyone is taught correctly, your warehouse will run like a dream!

Keep the good things going

The final thing you need to do to implement lean warehousing management properly sounds simple in theory. Namely, you just need to keep things running smoothly and according to the new rules! However, the one difference between reliable and successful logistics providers and less desirable logistics companies is the ability to motivate their employees to follow set rules. If you allow your employees to start slipping, some of your new practices will slowly fall out of use again. As such, you really need to stay on top of things and not let things regress! At least until they finally become a regular part of your employees’ route.

Improving your warehouse one step at a time

With our complete guide to lean warehousing management, you can really improve your warehouse. The benefits of lean warehouse management are such that you will suddenly find that your required budget for running your warehouses will actually decrease! And this is just one of the benefits of this type of warehouse management.

For over 30 years, 18 Wheels Logistics has strived to be the most customer-centric trucking, warehousing, and logistics company around. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 Wheels relies on experience and integrity to make customers happy and remain on the cutting edge of shipping and logistics management.

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to us about your shipping needs, please call us at (604) 439-8938.