Boosting Warehouse Efficiency by Taking Inventory of Processes

How can you be sure your warehouse is working at maximum efficiency? While it’s always the goal, few of us get there. The more efficient your warehouse works, the greater your gains in productivity and profit. Here are a few common-sense tips to improve efficiency.

Taking Inventory: A Warehouse Efficiency Exercise

While keeping accurate product inventory is critical in warehousing and distribution, many companies don’t take inventory of their processes. This is one of the best ways to discover efficiencies and cost savings.

Think about it. Have you moved to a new space or started handling different types of products? To find out how to do things more efficiently, you’ll need to do a thorough analysis of:

  • How your product enters the facility
  • How it’s moved within your warehouse
  • How it goes out
  • The height of your shelves/racking
  • The width of your aisles
  • The average weight of your typical and heaviest pallets

Once you’ve done this analysis, move to focusing on the factors you can change to create greater efficiency.

Key factors that impact warehouse efficiency

By making a few small adjustments, you can greatly increase efficiency. Here are a few areas you may want to start with.

Aisle width

Are aisles too narrow for equipment, or are they so wide that they result in wasted space? Consider rearranging space for maximization or purchasing narrow aisle forklift equipment designed to maneuver well in tight spaces.

Vertical space

Are you losing valuable vertical space? Maybe your facility has 32-foot ceilings, but half of that space isn’t being utilized because your equipment doesn’t reach it. Consider buying equipment that could reach this space or adding an additional level to your facility.


Are you minimizing the wear and tear on your workers? Be sure to employ ergonomic solutions that reduce injuries in the workplace and promote productivity. These include things like lift tables, hand trucks, overhead cranes, scissor lifts, and pallet positioners.


Can you reduce the number of touches products go through once they enter the warehouse? Reducing that number is an uncomplicated way to increase efficiency. Trace your product and see where new systems could create a smoother and speedier workflow.


Automating certain functions is another way to boost efficiency and reduce touches. Consider looking at innovative technologies to help you manage your workflow. For example, logistics management software can give you transparency in stock management and inventory control. Check out robotic picking, like the Swisslog Automated Picking System, or Alibaba’s smart warehouse.

The practice of conducting an internal efficiency audit will yield insights that will enable you to work smarter and more productively. If you are looking to partner with a company that has a commitment to increasing efficiency, Langham Logistics is a smart choice to handle your 3PL needs.

Three Logistics E-Commerce Trends to Watch in 2018

As e-commerce continues its meteoric rise, more and more companies need to significantly increase their logistics performance. How can that impact your business? For businesses that want to grow their position in the supply chain, understanding key trends in logistics is critical to success. Here are a few to watch for in 2018.

Digitalization and Automation

While people talk about automation and digitalization as though they are magic pills, it’s’ not as simple as buying the latest PC for employees, adding a tracking feature, installing corporate software or extending corporate website functionality. Companies need to follow trends in electronic logistics and implement emerging technologies before their competitors do.

Companies should use Big Data to make their services faster and more convenient.

Some of today’s latest trends include:

  • Incorporate more convenient digital payment methods
  • Use software to predict market behavior
  • Mobile integration
  • Delivery process point automation

Managers also need to be sure their teams are well-educated in all the technologies being implemented in the company for maximum efficiency.

Unusual Delivery Methods

Everything from drones to self-driving transports are being considered for delivery. While this may not yet be practical for smaller companies; larger companies like Amazon are pursuing more futuristic delivery models. Keep an eye on these new methods as they will become the norm faster than anticipated.

Customer Personalization

What client doesn’t like to get exclusive offers that seem to be designed especially for them? That is just the first step in the personal approach now being used to attract and keep more clients.

In order to improve communication with clients, companies should consider the following to enhance the client experience:

  • Personalize their newsfeed and offers.
  • Employ 24-hour support in order to help customers solve their problems quickly and get the necessary information they need.
  • Use chatbots to solve problems before people from the support team can do it.
  • Use same-day and next-day delivery
  • Enact a rewards program to engender customer loyalty

By staying ahead of the trends, companies not only keep their competitive edge but develop stronger customer relationships which encourage brand loyalty.

3 Key Benefits of Outsourcing to a 3PL

When expanding their business, many business leaders find that continuing to use an in-house fulfillment system is no longer feasible. Scaling your workforce and warehouse to fluctuating demands can not only be costly and imperfect but can lead to errors and unhappy clients. Along with that, foreign regulations, customs, languages, licensures, currency distinctions, and finding local suppliers are just a few of the issues that arise as you expand your reach into global markets. Continue reading…

Understanding Fulfillment of Subscription Box Services

According to Forbes, subscription box services like Birchbox, Barkbox and Winebox are “one of the fastest growing trends in the start-up world.” Consumers love them for a variety of reasons.  They are great for gifts because they can be tailored specifically to someone’s personal interest and are the gifts that keep on giving.  Many customers prefer subscription boxes for convenience sake, specifically for products that are repeatedly purchased.  Other subscription boxes contain samples of new products, allowing customers to try different brands that they otherwise might not have access to.   Subscription boxes range in cost from $10 to over a $100, but successful subscription box services offer high value for the monthly fee.  However, the most desired, best value subscription box service will fail if they are unable to manage the logistical demands of the daily operations of the businesses.  Late, broken, or otherwise substandard packages are a disaster for your ecommerce business.  How important is quality fulfillment of your subscription box service?  It could literally make or break you. Continue reading…

Be on the Lookout for these Supply Chain Trends

It can be easy to dismiss trends as just that – trends. However, some of the supply chain trends that were just catching on five to ten years ago are now common place, such as the use of digital technology. It’s important to take note because the last thing you want is to not miss a trend that can help bolster productivity and could become vital to all supply chain. Continue reading…

How you can reap the benefits of the Panama Canal Expansion

“I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also.” – Theodore Roosevelt  

The Panama Canal is one of the busiest waterways in the world. It sees significant daily shipping traffic; moving 6% of the global commerce, the Panama Canal will continue to expand to allow growth.

The 5.4 billion dollar expansion of the Panama Canal was completed June 26, 2016, and is expected to largely decrease the instances of bottlenecks, lower than average transit times by raising capacity and allow for the transit of Post-Panamax vessels. The expansion is one of the most important infrastructure projects for logistics in over a century.

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The Future Of Logistics, Drones, Robots and More

A new era of logistics is coming. With more advanced technology and additional tech companies breaking into the shipping and logistics sector, we wanted to get a view of what these companies think about the future. From driverless trucks to your personal delivery bot, here are some world-changing innovations on the horizon.

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The Logistics of Black Friday/Cyber Monday

As a retail company, distribution of goods, and keeping up with orders, especially on holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, should be your only goal. On the heaviest shipping days of the year, your logistic partners must help you establish and maintain a competitive edge. Delivering not only the goods, and products, but delivering profits for your company.

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SUPPLY CHAIN SUSTAINABILITY: How We’re Making an Impact (and saving too!)

We don’t necessarily believe in global warming, but we do believe in being green. Along with the altruistic reasons to save the environment for our grandchildren, there are good business reasons for being green. With so many products and services to choose from in logistics or any of our businesses, it makes sense to find increased opportunities to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Going green is a great way to stand out. The following are some simple steps Langham Logistics has taken that you and your company can take today to save money and decrease negative impacts on the environment.

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