How to Organize a Warehouse
Warehouse organization is critical, and it is doubly so for the apparel industry. Businesses dealing in apparel need to be organized by product type and season. Without proper organization, it can be difficult to keep up with inventory levels and stock availability. N41, a leader in apparel ERP technology, is here to explain why it is important to organize inventory in a warehouse and how to do it effectively.
How to Organize a Warehouse for Apparel
There are a lot of inventory strategies you can use for your apparel business’s warehouse. The main goal is going to be organizing and storing inventory in a way that optimizes space, efficiency, safety, and accuracy. Read on for some of the most common and effective tips.
How to organize inventory in an apparel warehouse
The tips for organizing apparel items in your warehouse facility are as follows:
- Create a receiving department – Designate a specific area for items being received.
- Use a labeling system – Implement a labeling system that allows you to identify items quickly and easily. The following information should be programmed into the label maker:
- Item description
- Number of items the parcel contains
- Stock keeping units (SKUs), if applicable
- The size of items if they are tracked by this parameter
- Images – Photographs can be added to the labels for further identification.
- Use rack and shelf structure – To keep items organized, you should use a specific system of racks and shelves according to product type and season. Also, invest in the right shelving. Many vendors can help you match the correct shelving system that’s used for garments and other fashion items.
- Electronic Key for Storage – This is an electronic map of the facility, showing where each item is stored.
- Use vertical stacking – This is an effective way to store items when space is limited. Some apparel items will need to hang from racks because they are more fragile, but vertical stacking is useful for heavier items.
- Store similar items together – Items should be stored together in groups according to type, size, season, or color. This will make items easier to locate and manage.
- Leave enough room for movement – Make sure to leave enough room in between racks and shelves for easy accessibility when equipment and personnel are using the aisles. Also, OSHA recommends that the width of aisles be at least three feet wider than the largest equipment that’s going to be used there or a minimum of four feet.
- Continuously improve – As you gain experience with inventory management, you’ll be able to organize your warehouse better and make it even more efficient. Be sure to consult with your warehouse staff for ideas about warehouse organization. They live in the environment and probably have great ideas about how to continuously improve and manage the inventory optimally.
Importance of organizing inventory in a warehouse
Organizing inventory in a warehouse is essential for efficient operations and growth. When things are organized, they can be found quickly and easily. This makes the process of retrieving items much easier, reducing time and labor costs. It also helps prevent lost or damaged goods due to improper storage methods or lack of organization. Additionally, organizing inventory allows staff to determine stock levels and when items need to be replenished.
Challenges faced when organizing inventory in a warehouse
Organizing inventory in a warehouse can be challenging for many reasons. One of the biggest challenges is space constraints. Warehouses usually have limited space, so it’s important to make use of vertical storage solutions, implement efficient shelving systems, and maximize the use of aisles. Additionally, items continuously come in and out of warehouses, making it difficult to keep up with the facility’s organization.
How warehouse management systems and software solutions can improve your current inventory organization
It’s important to have the right tools and technology in place for inventory organization. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can help streamline warehouse operations, making it easier to receive, store, and access items.
How they work
A WMS software solution provides real-time visibility into inventory levels, stock availability, and other operational data. Additionally, it can automate the process of labeling items for easy identification and retrieval.
On the other hand, the design of ERP software works to automate processes across your entire apparel company. Processes that ERP software can automate and integrate include:
- Sales & Marketing – ERP platforms can provide data and analytics. The information gleaned from it can be used strategically to find out more about your client base and improve sales & marketing efforts. For instance, you can track customer orders, measure the impact of promotions and gain insight into consumer buying trends.
- Accounting & Financials – ERP solutions combined with accounting software can automate manual processes like payroll, accounts payable/receivable, and budgeting.
- Supply Chain Management – ERP systems can track the movement of products from manufacturers to warehouses and finally to the consignee (end customer). Large enterprises can also integrate ERP systems with supply chain management software to increase functionality and visibility.
- Human Resources – ERP software is often integrated with human resources tools to manage employee information and payroll.
- Procurement & Inventory – ERP solutions can be integrated with other software to manage and track inventory, order fulfillment and purchase orders.
- Sales channels and order tracking – ERP systems can be integrated with eCommerce and other sales channels to provide a comprehensive view of an organization’s sales channels and order tracking.
- Compliance – ERP software can also be integrated with compliance tools to ensure that the company is meeting all regulatory requirements.
What to Know about ERP and WMS Integration
One important thing to know about ERP systems is that they are usually not integrated with a comprehensive WMS. Instead, your warehouse generally forms one of the many minor modules within the ecosystem of the company.
To achieve a WMS that is warehouse-focused, functional and flexible, you’ll need to either have to add modules to your enterprise resource planning solution or custom-build a solution.
Additionally, it’s also common to see ERP solutions interface with top-notch warehouse management solutions that provide all of your business requirements in one package.
For instance, the N41 ERP platform integrates with Joor, a warehouse management platform designed to make ordering and shipping easier for apparel companies. With its mobile-friendly user interface, N41 Apparel ERP helps streamline processes such as order entry, tracking orders in real-time, receiving goods into inventory and invoicing customers quickly.
Other N41 ERP integrations include:
- NuOrder – Manages customer orders, inventory and pricing in real time.
- Shopify – Streamlines the eCommerce integration process.
- QuickBooks – Synchronizes, automates and reconciles accounting data.
- FashionGo – Allows users to purchase items with the click of a button.
- LA Showroom – Connects with buyers and vendors to provide a streamlined ordering process.
- CIT – Provides cutting-edge digital finance tools to manage cash flow.
- Bluebox – Lets resellers find wholesale accessories, clothing, jewelry, etc. at a low price.
- Magento 2 – Provides users with the ability to set up fully functional eCommerce sites quickly and easily.
- Fedex and UPS – Connects with the two major shipping services for quick and easy delivery of goods.
Why Choose WMS and ERP Inventory Management Software
WMS and ERP inventory management software provides a cost-effective way to improve warehouse operations. They streamline processes like receiving, stocking, shipping, order fulfillment, replenishment, stock tracking, and more. This type of software solution reduces the time and labor costs associated with manual processes, and it provides visibility into real-time data for better decision-making.
There are also other factors like choosing a WMS and ERP solution that is tailored to the needs of the apparel business or one that can help you scale up when needed. When you get platforms that are a good fit for your business, they can help improve overall inventory organization, product availability, and customer satisfaction.
In summary, organizing a warehouse is essential for efficient operations. The right tools and technology can make this process easier by streamlining processes and providing visibility into real-time data. WMS and ERP inventory management software are cost-effective solutions for improving warehouse operations and taking control of inventory organization. With the right system in place, you can ensure that your warehouse is organized effectively, and your apparel business will benefit from improved customer satisfaction and increased productivity.
How N41 ERP Can Help You Manage Your Apparel Warehouse
N41 Apparel ERP helps companies streamline their warehouse operations and improve inventory organization. With its mobile-friendly user interface, N41 Apparel ERP helps businesses manage orders in real time, receive goods into inventory quickly, and invoice customers efficiently. It also integrates with other platforms such as NuOrder, QuickBooks and Shopify to further simplify your warehouse operations.
Get in touch with our team today to schedule a demo and learn more about how N41 Apparel ERP can help you take control of your inventory organization and improve customer satisfaction.