Warehouse logistics - what is it and what ensures its effectiveness?

6 July, 2022 |

Co to jest fulfillment?

Warehouse logistics I focus on the optimization of transport, the flow of goods and the optimal location of positions and storage places in logistics processes.

Its effectiveness is ensured by processes and technologies that fulfill their functions in an enterprise providing warehouse logistics services.

What is warehouse logistics and what does it mean for companies?

Warehouse logistics is all processes taking place in a warehouse and subordinate units (e.g. within a logistics center), the task of which is to minimize costs and shorten the time of operation or the flow of goods.

The use of this type of logistics is of key importance for enterprises: in terms of finance, economy or warehousing. Correct use of it provides benefits such as saving funds and maximum use of warehouse space.

What are the goals of warehouse logistics?

  • Achieving the expected efficiency within logistics
  • Lowering the costs of operations and goods storage
  • Optimization and integration of logistics processes
  • Raising the level of customer service
  • Process execution time reduction

What are the challenges of warehouse logistics?

The biggest challenge of warehouse logistics is the emphasis on reducing the time needed to complete the processes (e.g. shipping an order to the end recipient). Shorter order processing time translates into a greater number of completed processes in the warehouse – and this translates into profit, so TIME = MONEY.

In addition to reducing the time, the developed method of order fulfillment must meet the high standards expected by customers, end recipients and other sides of the process path (e.g. manufacturer -> warehouse -> carrier -> customer)

The main areas of warehouse logistics management

The logistics services provided should cover such areas as: storage, transport, management and security. All these areas must connect with each other so as to integrate the processes taking place at the execution site or in the system supervising each of them. In the following section you will find the main areas that testify to how effective warehouse logistics is.

Warehouse design

The warehouse and its usable space must reflect all the processes that are to take place within it and inside. From accepting the delivery to packing and issuing the order. The design must take into account not only the processes taking place in it, but also the storage of goods and their internal transport.

The arrangement of the lines where goods are received, sorted or packed must be planned in terms of goods and in the order of planned operations, which increases the difficulty of warehouse design and shows that its area as well as the location of gates or access roads have an impact on the implementation of processes.

Management of goods in the warehouse with the use of appropriate storage devices and systems

Organization of work and logistics would not be possible without warehouse management systems (WMS). It is the basic work tool of each employee dealing with the processes taking place in the warehouse. Thanks to the WMS, you receive, for example, information on the quantity of goods in the warehouse, the status of receipt and release of goods, and their location.

The devices in the warehouse fulfill specific roles designed for logistic operations. Some of them are used only for the transport of goods and its relocation, another is used to send information to systems such as WMS – e.g. scanners or other peripheral devices.

The use of systems and devices is designed to bring the processes to their completion in the scheduled time and minimize errors at every stage of the order.

Ensuring high standards of safety for employees and goods

Managing logistics processes in the shortest possible time and on the optimal warehouse space with the use of specially selected devices cannot be at the expense of the safety of employees and goods. At the stage of designing a warehouse or process path – all units responsible for their stage also take into account the critical factors having a large impact on the risk.

Security of goods:

  • monitoring
  • Alarm Systems
  • fire extinguishing systems
  • location based on dimensions and weight (high bay racks)
  • insurance of goods
  • quality control

Employee safety:

  • fire systems
  • thrust switches
  • passageways adapted to safety requirements
  • inspections carried out by health and safety inspectors
  • training

What processes are part of warehouse logistics and how to increase their efficiency?

The most popular division of warehouse logistics is the one that describes 4 stages – all of them are related to the goods and the activities performed. Each of them is equally important and fulfills its role, creating a reliable organism.

Unloading and acceptance of goods

This is the stage at which you need to specify the quantity of goods to be in the warehouse. From the number of pieces of each item to the units specified in cartons, pallets or containers. Sending information about the number of warehouse units and the date of arrival of the delivery is called notification. The delivery of the advice note allows the warehouse to determine when it can perform logistic operations and handle the entered quantity of goods. This process is registered in the WMS.

How to increase efficiency: This stage must be planned in time in relation to the quantity and needs (e.g. counting and checking the goods). Analyze the amount of time to complete the task.

Storage of goods

Here, the goods are placed in the warehouse space, and their quantity and location are visible in the warehouse management system. The warehouse also manages the location of each of the goods during storage, so as to take full advantage of the available space.

How to increase efficiency: Using a warehouse is sometimes like a Tetris game, and an experienced warehouse management team will always find additional space.

Completion of goods

The process in which the goods are picked up in a certain amount from the shelf in the indicated location and transported to the point where they will be packed for shipment.

How to increase efficiency: Use a proven WMS to have control over the amount of goods issued and its location – you will avoid errors and downtime in implementation.

Preparation of goods for shipment and their release

The last stage in which the goods are packed in accordance with the instructions of the customer / carrier / recipient and handed over for release. The implementation time and adaptation to the recipient are important – timely preparation means faster delivery to the end recipient.

How to increase efficiency: Processes must aim for fast and complete order fulfillment. Also adjust the lead times to the carrier.

What is the importance of the WMS system in warehouse logistics management?

The WMS system is the information center for goods and operations. Its importance is greater than a well-designed warehouse that is more difficult to adapt to changes in operations.

WMS allows you to define each of the stages of operations performed in the warehouse, from receipt, through storage, to the delivery of a ready-made package to the courier.

Thanks to the WMS, you can define a lot of important information for you and the customer – e.g. the time of order fulfillment, how the order is processed or what the monthly turnover of goods / number of operations looks like.

When is it worth entrusting warehouse logistics to an external operator?

A red flag is asking yourself if, as a seller, you can save money on storage and order fulfillment. Running your own warehouse with the WMS system requires a lot of funds, which you have to transfer to your client anyway – an external operator with many clients means that when you use his services, systems or warehouses you will not feel the amount of fees for operations or storage to the same extent as in the case of private warehouse.

A separate case is for small companies that do not use the WMS system and rely only on random inventory control in their own warehouse. The problem for such businesses is often the lack of control over their own inventory, looking for goods on shelves for a very long time or losing goods that did not arrive in the previous delivery from the manufacturer. By handing over your goods and operations – you can be sure about the condition of the goods and how many goods have entered the warehouse, how many are in it and how many items left the warehouse.

What are the advantages of outsourcing warehouse logistics?

You are resting.

Transferring warehouse operations, packing, disassembling and checking goods to an external service provider.

You save time.

The transfer of activities related to warehouse logistics allows you to focus on other areas of business development – e.g. marketing or better contact with the customer.

Additional services.

Checking the condition of goods, handling returns, preparing delivery to sales platforms, you do not have to worry about all of these, because these and many other operations are handled by specialized units of the logistics center.

Saving money.

You don’t need to rent or maintain a warehouse. You also don’t need more employees or packaging materials.

You do not need to have your own contracts with carriers.

A logistics center offering warehouse logistics services has financially beneficial contracts with couriers and fixed collection hours, which ensures lower costs and a guarantee of faster delivery of the parcel to the end recipient.