What makes a good warehouse? Is it the ideal location? Is it the many tools used to automate warehouse management processes? Is it the smart layout?
It is all of the above. But still, they are not enough. One important factor warehouse managers tend to overlook a lot, then keep finding themselves going back to improve is the communication within the warehouse. An efficient warehouse relies heavily not only on a good workflow but also on effective communication. Good communication brings about numerous benefits. More often than not, it is even a bottom-line problem. In this article, we will explain why it is so crucial, what its challenges are and what you can do to improve the communication within your warehouse.
Advantages of efficient warehouse communication
There are many reasons why one should put hard work into achieving strong communication skills in the warehouse. Below are some of the notable benefits of effective warehouse communication worth your attention.
- Fewer errors: Constant, effective communication and follow-ups ensure staff is equipped with the necessary training and receives timely assistance if any incidents come up. Effective communication also allows staff to keep the workflow running smoothly and have an overview of what is happening in the warehouse. Communication makes room for suggestions and improvements to lessen the error rate, too.
- Improved performance: With a lower rate of errors, workers work more efficiently. Moreover, with the clear expectations set from the beginning along with the key information delivered, workers have a clear idea of what they need to do and accomplish. In a working environment where communication is valued and encouraged, employees would feel comfortable reaching out to ask managers for help, keeping them productive for a longer period. This works the other way around, too: managers can communicate the standard procedures to the staff to perform the task well.
- Improved safety: Effective communication informs employees of the possible dangers, allowing them to be more careful and aware of potential accidents. When an unfortunate accident happens, a good warehouse communication system also allows for faster help.
- Worker satisfaction: In a company with efficient communication culture, employees are encouraged to connect with each other, increasing coordination between staff members. Efficient communication between managers and employees also allows managers to have constructive reviews and listen to any concerns from the staff.
- Satisfied customers: Every improved aspect in the warehouse operation translates to the final product: customers may receive their package much faster with significantly fewer delays and unwanted errors.
If you and your team want to reap the benefits of strong warehouse communication, read on to understand ways to improve it.
Improving Warehouse Communication
First, we need to understand what possible problems your warehouse communication may have. There are many issues, but we will only focus on three problems we believe are the most common. Then, we will suggest a solution.
One of the biggest problems warehouses face is the absence of a clear communication guideline: who should the staff contact if a problem comes up? Who is of higher authority? The time wasted in looking for someone in charge delays a task significantly.
Next, managers often have trouble locating specific workers in the warehouse due to the enormous facility size. Again, the result is wasted time.
Lastly is the unequal information distribution among workers. Some may be behind the newest changes or have never heard about the newest standards, resulting in costly back-and-forth corrections.
Below are some suggestions for making improvements in your warehouse communication:
- Provide your staff with the necessary tools
Some warehouses can be extremely large, up to 25,000 feet square. Communication tools are important to communicate effectively and quickly locate your team members. These days, many warehouses provide staff with a smartphone. However, it isn’t always the best choice due to the heavy-duty work and unstable cellular connection. Consider equipping workers with two-way radios, they are quicker, more durable, and more reliable during emergencies.
- Utilize a PA system
Choose a PA system for mass communication. The system’s speakers can be set up all around the warehouse, ensuring every worker gets the message. It is the best way to coordinate your staff during emergencies or training. It is also possible to set up a strict chain of command for the system to limit who has access to the system to prevent any false announcements.
- Design a coherent communication guideline
Make sure your workers know who to talk to when any problem comes up. Your team members can save a lot of time when they know who they need to come to for advice or guidance. Furthermore, it is a way to ensure the right action is taken when a problem arises and the managers have an idea of what is going on inside the warehouse and how it is dealt with.
If possible, hold face-to-face meetings to better understand your staff’s concerns and assist them in time. This is also for you to follow up with the process and convey any information or message as clearly as possible.
- Use a warehouse management system
It is always a good idea to use the right tools to assist your communication system. By utilizing a warehouse management system, not only does the system helps your team in accepting orders, assigning the next tasks, and checking inventory level, but it also updates data in real-time and allows easy access for your staff. With the ready data, your staff will not have to scramble to find the information when handing over tasks or asking for further guidance.
All in all, communication within the warehouse is crucial. Strong communication saves your company money, time, and labor in the long run. Properly setting up the communication guidelines allows you to reap as much benefit as automating your processes or allowing your labor to reach its full potential.
If you are looking for automation tools to assist your communication system, let SCS Solutions help you! Contact us anytime via our website https://www.scssolutions.io/, Linkedin, or Facebook. We are always happy to hear from you.