There is one truth that shines through all matters of warehouse efficiency: you can't improve your warehouse without measuring your activity. Warehouse replenishment comes with its own set of metrics and guidelines that you should be keeping an eye on. Hopefully, your WMS helps you accomplish this by providing a handy dashboard for tracking trends and important stats.Selecting Your Metrics
As you take the first step toward monitoring your warehouse replenishment, you need to decide which metrics are most important to your overall effectiveness. You should choose 3 or 4 main metrics to track each month. If you choose too many metrics you will be left juggling too many numbers at once. You'll notice that you will make small improvements in one area, only to see another area start to slide. By focusing on 3 to 4 key items, you should be able to make improvements and see clear results. In addition, accuracy should always be one of these metrics. When you focus on building up your accuracy, all other metrics tend to improve at the same time.
In order for your metrics to be useful, you need to decide where you want them to be. Make sure your goals are realistic but set numbers. Your accuracy should be 98% or higher. Meanwhile, you should also look at fill rates, inventory build up, and on-time deliveries. Each of these metrics will help your replenishment team deliver goods to your picking team more effectively, which in turn, serves your end customer better.
Improving your warehouse replenishment process is not a one-time task. It will require ongoing check ups. This will tell you if you are starting to lose your edge in one area, or if you are consistently beating your goals. If so, it's time to reassess your goals and set new milestones. Make sure you have a plan in place for revisiting your metrics and setting new goals. Once you've mastered the 3 to 4 items you started with, you may decide to change one of your metrics out for something new that needs work. Just make sure you don't change your goals too abruptly or you could lose all of your progress.
These tips will help you get started monitoring your warehouse replenishment activities and focus on improving key performance indicators. As you make progress toward your goals, you will need to evaluate which direction you need to go next and how you can further serve your team members and customers in the end.