What is a warehouse strategy? 15 warehouse optimization tips, and an incredible example of real-world warehousing strategy.
Warehouse Shipping Mistakes – How to Avoid and Correct Them
Problems in the shipping process can be costly and can cause negative customer satisfaction. Not only that, but shipping costs are not easily recovered, so any errors tend to cost a lot. So how can you avoid them or better yet, prevent them?
Table of Contents
Common Warehouse Shipping Mistakes
The following areas are the most common mistakes that happen in warehouse management, but especially the shipping and receiving operations.
One of the most common errors in the shipping process is incorrect data. This can be caused by human error, such as entering the wrong information into a system, or it can be due to incorrect scans of items as they come in and out of the warehouse. Either way, it can cause problems with order accuracy and customer satisfaction.
Mislabeling is a common warehouse shipping mistake in which the wrong item is shipped to the customer. Or, a mislabeling mistake can result in the customer’s item shipping somewhere else entirely.
Sometimes the wrong thing is shipped to a customer. Errors like these happen because the worker put the wrong item in the package or because they wrote down the wrong information.
Improper Packing and Packaging
Another very common warehouse mistake in shipping is improper packing and packaging. This happens when the worker does not pack the item correctly, which can lead to it being damaged in transit.
Improper Shipping Method
Sometimes people use the wrong shipping method when they are sending things. This can mean that the thing gets damaged during transport or even that it arrives late.
Late carriers can have a significant impact on the order fulfillment process. They can cause missed deadlines, missed shipments, and ultimately customer dissatisfaction. In some cases, late carriers can even lead to lost sales.
Causes of Warehouse Shipping Mistakes
No Inventory Management
One of the main causes of mistakes in warehouse shipping is improper or non-existent inventory management. Good management of inventory helps reduce shipping errors because it ensures you keep material in stock and ship out the correct items.
Additionally, inventory management makes it easier to see when items are running low so that you can order more before you run out. This means that you are less likely to run out of stock and have to order more, which results in a more robust supply chain.
No Picking Method
One of the main ways to ensure order accuracy is to employ a specific picking method.
When items are picked for orders, the same process must be used each time so that the picker is consistent. This helps to avoid mistakes, such as picking the wrong item or picking too many or too few items.
Adopting a method for picking orders also ensures that the picker knows what to do and when to do it. A good picking process will also help to speed up the picking process, which can be beneficial in a warehouse with a lot of orders to pick.
Traditional Order and Inventory Tracking
In a warehouse operation, human error is one of the main enemies. Any time warehouse managers can automate or eliminate human input, the chances of a mistake happening reduces.
A digital inventory system can help reduce human error by providing accurate information about what needs to be shipped. The automation of information entry (adding and removing inventory) is an immensely helpful tool to reduce warehouse shipping mistakes. With accurate information, the picker will know what to pick and when to pick it, and purchasing teams can even order according to accurate inventory levels.
Warehouse layout can play a big role in the number of shipping mistakes that occur. A poor layout can cause confusion and chaos, which leads to mistakes being made. Warehouses all have a limited amount of space, so make sure you use it as efficient as possible.
In addition, a poor layout can lead to employees having to walk long distances to get to the items they need, which can lead to fatigue and errors. A good layout should be easy to navigate and should allow employees to move around easily. This will help reduce the chances of errors happening.
Tips to improve warehouse layout:
- Don’t underestimate receiving area size needs.
- Separate shipping and receiving areas (or at least separate docks).
- Optimize lanes and locations in the warehouse for picking.
- Clearly label everything.
- Create a warehouse map.
Basic Warehouse Shipping Procedures
If you do not follow shipping procedures correctly, you can end up losing or damaging your products. Improper packaging can lead to damage during shipping, and using the wrong shipping carrier can also lead to problems. Make sure you track your packages to ensure they arrive safely and on time. Following shipping procedures is critical to ensuring your products arrive intact and on schedule.
Get a Warehouse Management System (WMS)
A warehouse management system is a type of digital inventory system that tracks all of your order picking, inventory levels, shipping, and receiving processes for you. This relieves your staff from manually tracking data which is highly inefficient and prone to errors.
Properly Weigh Packages
Weighing packages is important in warehouse order fulfillment because it ensures that the packages are within the weight limit for the carrier. When a package is overweight, the carrier can charge an overweight fee. This can be expensive and can cause delays in delivering the package.
If a package is too heavy, it could also cause damage to the products during shipping. At a certain point, it makes more sense to palletize and ship via LTL rather than small parcel. Weighing packages helps you decide which type of shipping to use to avoid damage.
Get Proper Packaging and Packing Materials
Packaging is important when shipping products from a warehouse. If you do not pack your products correctly, they can be damaged during shipping. Improper packaging can lead to products being crushed, squished, or even wet. Make sure you have the correct shipping supplies and pack your products correctly to avoid any damage during shipping.
Label Packages Correctly
One way to make sure to label your packages correctly is to use the correct shipping labels. A warehouse management system is an immensely helpful tool in getting labeling more accurate and efficient. That’s because it automatically moves information from the order to the printer which eliminates human errors.
Ship With the Correct Carrier
When shipping products from a warehouse, it is important to use the correct carrier. Using the wrong carrier can lead to problems, such as lost or damaged packages. Make sure you research the different carriers and select the one that is best for your needs.
The most common carriers are USPS, FedEx, and UPS. Each of these carriers has their own strengths and weaknesses. When selecting a carrier, make sure to consider the cost, speed, and reliability of the service.
Once you have selected a carrier, it is important to make sure you understand their shipping procedures. Make sure you package your products correctly and use the correct shipping labels. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid any errors during shipping.
Track Your Packages
It is also important to track your packages so you can see where they are and when they are scheduled to arrive. Most carriers offer tracking services that allow you to see the status of your package.
This information can be helpful in case there are any problems with your shipment. Make sure to track your packages regularly so you can stay on top of their progress.
Hopefully the tips in this article have helped you identify and begin to extinguish packing and shipping errors or other problems in your warehousing processes. Following these tips will help you reduce costs, improve stock levels, and increase your efficiency in order picking, storage space, on-time delivery, and other warehousing operations.
What is the difference between shared warehouse and dedicated warehousing and which one is right for your business?
There was a time when businesses revolved centrally around the customer and their needs. Decisions were made based on what is best for the customer first. People did what they said they would, and jobs were completed on time. AMS carries on the tradition of customer service today.