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10 Quick Tips to Minimise Downtime and Increase Warehouse Productivity

Filed under: Productivity

As you are aware, what happens within your warehouse has a significant effect on your bottom line. Downtime due to equipment damage or a lack of productivity due to inefficient processes can have a devastating result. There are numerous costs associated with downtime and inefficiency. These not only include upfront and visible costs, but also hidden costs, such as overtime, loss of revenue, emergency service calls and inefficient worker time, which can all lead to a very unsatisfied customer.

Follow these quick tips to ensure you avoid these situations within your warehouse.


1. Establish a regular maintenance plan

Machinery that continuously breaks down has an extremely negative impact on your business. Ensuring that all your machines are regularly serviced is an effective tool in preventing downtime. Introducing a rigorous inspection process ensures that problems are caught before they get too serious.

Forklift service

2. Replace out of date machinery

Out-dated machines slow the manufacturing process down. Installing new equipment is important in improving productivity within your warehouse. Too often companies make the mistake of servicing machinery that needs to be replaced even though purchasing replacement equipment would be less costly in the long run.

3. Utilise new technology

New ways of handling and processing materials are being developed every day. Ensure you stay competitive through being continually on the lookout for new and more productive materials handling equipment. You also must be willing to take the risk to use these technologies in your processes.


4. Track efficiency levels

Increasing efficiency doesn’t start with buying a new forklift or building. You must analyse the state of your operations. If you aren’t running at peak performance find out why this is. Efficiency relates directly to profit, but waiting to see how your profits are behaving means you are too late to maximise efficiency.

5. Improve warehouse layout

It seems obvious, but many warehouses can be improved by simple things such as warehouse layout. Many warehouses are laid out to maximise racking or pallet spaces. This severely impacts the flow through the warehouse and makes it inefficient. If aisles run the wrong way, product is located in the wrong place and pick and replenishment slots are inefficient. Therefore, the business needs to look at reducing the travel time within the warehouse.

Messy warehouse

6. Check inventory

Inventory accuracy is a vital measurement of the efficiency and reliability of any warehouse. Incorrect or lost inventory can result in missed sales and incorrect purchasing decisions, not to mention poor customer relations.

7. Involve employees

Employees are regularly involved in the work and therefore can provide insights on how to boost productivity. Begin with asking an employee to identify a task they perform daily, detailing what is involved. Then ask them what they think could be improved upon.

employee engagement

8. Improve packing operations

Ensure packers get complete orders; they should not be concerned with incomplete orders or looking around the warehouse for missing items.

9. Standardise the Process

Create a centralised location. Manage loading and unloading and implement effective plans for reducing time and inefficiency at each step within the process.


10. Consider different software options

There are many software options to help you track data better within your warehouse. This will enable you to make smarter decisions on your inventory. You will gain more feedback allowing computers to track and perform calculations on the supplies in your warehouse.

How have you minimised downtime and increased productivity within your warehouse?


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