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.

Why Cold Chain Pharma is So Hot Right Now

When we think cold chain, we most often think of food. However, as the pharmaceutical industry continues its consistent growth, there are more and more drugs being produced which require cold chain services with multi-touchpoints to ensure viability and safety. Continue reading…

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…

Hoosiers Helping Houston collects $600,000 in supplies

Lilly Endowment has approved $30 million in grants to assist relief efforts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The grants from the Indianapolis-based philanthropic foundation will support the American Red Cross ($10 million), Salvation Army ($10 million), United Way Worldwide ($5 million) and United Way of Greater Houston ($5 million) as they help residents across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and U.S. territories in the Caribbean recover from the storms that devastated communities. Continue reading…

IMPORTANT UPDATE: U.S. Southeast ports hunker down for Hurricane Irma

Hi everyone,

As you well know, it has been a horrific week weather-wise. A lot of LTL and small package, as well as truckload carriers are not taking shipments destined for much of the southeast or Houston.  Unfortunately, the impact is significant and may last for a while, especially for industries that use plastics and packaging materials.  Like many of you, Langham is doing what we can to aid the storm victims.  We will keep you advised as we are updated, and please let us know (24/7) how we can help you. Continue reading…

Interview with Cathy Langham on Building and Leading Langham Logistics

Cathy Langham is interviewed as part of the North Central High School Alumnus’ Panther Profile for which she attended and graduated before attending Indiana University. In the interview, Cathy discusses her start in a sector that was mostly dominated by men as well as how she overcame both personal and professional challenges to build one of the most successful logistics companies in Indiana.

The company has continued to grow and has expanded to air freight, warehousing and, today, analytics. Evolving from a moving business to a full-service operations manager, the art of maximizing the supply chain for businesses has become the foundation of the industry. With 150 employees today and $45 million in business, Langham Logistics is now the standard bearer for the industry in central Indiana.

You can find the blog post and interview here.