4 Tips for Warehouse Facility Management

Managing a warehouse is an important part of running a business. Inefficiencies within your warehouse can cost you thousands of dollars or more every year. Use the 4 following tips to keep your warehouse running smoothly.

Get Organized

All the inventory in the world is worth nothing if you can’t find it and ship it to customers in time. A disorganized warehouse will cost your business money in overstocked and understocked products as well as wasted time.

Organization is more than simply knowing where to find your product. The best warehouses include logic and sales information to guide its design. The fastest selling product should always be the most accessible.

Set Up a Proper Receiving Routine

With the right receiving routine, you can avoid larger problems later on in the process. As you receive products and materials, verify and inspect the incoming items. Take note of damaged products; you don’t want to end up sending damaged goods to a customer.

An efficient receiving process allows for a more accurate inventory count. Items often show up as available in inventory systems once they’ve been delivered. If a product is stuck in receiving due to an inefficient system, you might mistakenly assume there is a shortage based on empty inventory shelves.

Invest in the Right Software

Software can make or break your warehouse. Technology moves at a rapid pace; if you’re still using an old system, you may be missing out on opportunities for greater efficiency and accuracy.

Many management systems offer programs for inventory control, maintenance, shipping, tracking labor, etc. Evaluate the needs of your warehouse to see if your current system is truly meeting your needs.

Prioritize Safety

Accidents and injuries cost businesses time and money every year. Whatever small gains you might get from cutting corners are not worth it in the long run. The only acceptable goal is zero safety incidents, so invest in regular safety training to protect your employees.

If you work with heavy machinery, lay out clearly marked traffic lanes; train both machine operators and other warehouse staff to observe these lanes. Invest in proper lighting for increased safety.

With our Elite Ops’ warehousing services, we take care of all of this for you. As a trusted Utah distribution company, we have the experience, knowledge, and resources to exceed your warehousing expectations. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business.

5 Warehouse Management Solutions for Improving Your Business Efficiency

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It may seem like more work, but keeping your warehouse organized pays off a lot in the long run. It doesn’t require that much work as long as you stay on top of it. Many times, however, the vastness of a warehouse can feel overwhelming, and that gets in the way of regular maintenance.

Here are some tips for managing your warehouse in a way that will have your business running more efficiently in no time.

1. Maximize the space you have.

It may take a little creativity, but this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve efficiency. Before you jump to planning a warehouse expansion, make sure you’re getting the most out of the vertical space you already have. Invest in some taller storage units along with the proper equipment to retrieve inventory. Also, consider the shelving type you currently use. You should have a variety, because not all materials fit on the same type of rack. For instance, using pallets to store small items wastes space and makes it easy to lose something. Make sure there is sufficient space for forklifts and other machinery to maneuver around. Standardize how your bins are marked to avoid confusion. This keeps things looking uncluttered and orderly.

2. Use what technology has to offer.

Find a good warehouse management system (WMS), or an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with a decent WMS module. This type of technology boosts efficiency by figuring out the best routes for pickups and dropoffs, and keeping track of inventory using barcodes and radio frequency identification (RFID). This reduces selection errors, wasted time, and paper, and improves the accuracy of transactions. For example, Elite Ops utilizes the industry-leading Royal 4 WMS, along with a highly trained staff to keep track of clients’ products.

3. Use bin locations.

This system ensures fast, accurate location of inventory in your warehouse. Bin locations also make it possible for you to store product based on sales, which means you don’t have to travel as far to look for the top-selling products that appear on most orders. They also help you plan your warehouse layout more effectively—put the high-demand products close to reduce loading and unloading time.

4. Organization is everything.

It’s a good idea to inspect your locations regularly and go over how things are organized. It may have been well-organized when you last left it, but it could be a different story now. Is the inventory organized in a way that it’s easily and safely accessed by an employee? Make sure there’s a space set aside for damaged items, and that they are being taken care of every day. Without consistent maintenance, organization can quickly devolve into chaos. Don’t wait for a problem to arise before you do something—come up with a daily checklistfor your warehouse manager.

Sometimes your WMS won’t have the capability to determine the most efficient routes, so you have to create them yourself. As mentioned earlier, it’s generally most effective to keep high-selling items up near the front to reduce travel time. You should also keep track of items that are commonly sold together, and store those items near each other. The basic idea is to reduce picking delays by storing products that you sell most often in the most accessible locations.

5. Predict inventory demand.

Most businesses have predictable “seasons”—periods when their products are in high demand, and periods when that demand dwindles. Unless there is a fairly stable demand for a product, it doesn’t make good business sense to keep the same level of inventory year-round. It wastes money and space. Your warehousing management process should involve using a company’s past sales trends to determine your stock amounts throughout the year.

Contact us today for more information about our warehousing management services.

4 Tips for Effective Inventory Management

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Managing inventory is an essential part of running a business. Doing a poor job or having inefficient protocols can lead to mistakes like missing orders, late orders, or sometimes even losing a customer.

A good system for inventory management is key for keeping a business running smoothly. You have to be aware of what products you have, which ones are in stock, and to be able to locate them quickly. With that in mind, here are four tips for effective inventory management.

1. Always use SKU numbers and UPC barcodes

An SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique number assigned to every product. Not only do these numbers make products quickly locatable, but they also make it easy to differentiate between two products from different companies that are both named “Blue Shirts,” for example.

Similarly, a UPC (Universal Product Code) is also expected, especially when you’re working with resellers. It’s the same idea as an SKU, but it’s in the form of a scannable barcode which is identified and stored in a database. A note: be sure to purchase UPCs from GS1, which is the globally recognized organization that develops worldwide standards for supply chains. The whole point of a UPC is to be scanned and located in a database, so you want your barcodes in the database that everyone uses to avoid confusion and frustrated customers.

2. Develop a good system for processing and fulfilling orders

Many businesses don’t have effective systems for processing and fulfilling their orders. Combat this before it becomes a problem by coming up with a checklist of tasks that must be done before an order can be marked as fully processed and fulfilled. Make sure that if you have other spaces where you manage inventory, or if you have a spreadsheet for inventory, adjust the values accordingly across the system.

3. Do monthly audits

Technology is a wonderful tool and makes so many once-tedious projects as easy as the tap of a button. Even so, inventory can get lost, damaged, thrown away, or stolen, so regular audits of your inventory is a good habit to get into to prevent major issues down the road.

A simple way to get this done is old-school: create a printout with the product names, SKU numbers, and the inventory numbers you have in your records, and write in your physically counted inventory numbers in the spaces beside them to see if they match.

4. Keep accurate records

You always want to be aware of which products are your biggest sellers, what customers spend the most money, which customers keep coming back, and what times of year are slow for business. Not keeping track of this information is basically driving with your eyes closed. Using your gut to make important business decisions can be disastrous, especially when it comes to measurable quantities like inventory and orders.

If you’re on the hunt for a business to take care of your inventory needs, Elite Ops is a Utah-based distribution company that has provided quality inventory management solutions for over 20 years. Give us a call to see how we can help: 855-553-5490.

5 Tips to Keep Your Warehouse Running Smooth During the Holidays

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With the holiday season in full swing, having a smooth-running warehouse is critical for the vitality of your business. Along with the hyper-production of goods comes an array of increased risks, considerations, and workloads – all which can catapult your warehouse into chaos if you’re not properly prepared. However, with these five tips, you can keep your employees safe and your warehouse running smooth.

  • Have Adequate Staffing

Even if you have a rockstar warehouse crew, chances are you’ll need additional help over the holidays. Hire seasonal employees in advance to help make production go smoother and give them time to get to understand how your warehouse is run.

  • Make Organization a Priority

Without an organized warehouse, you risk losing products, misplacing orders, and ultimately hindering the efficiency of production. While organization is key for warehouse operation year round, it’s even more vital during the holiday season. Therefore you must establish a system that keeps your materials in logical and defined order so that you can increase your efficiency by grouping and defining products.

  • Maintain Equipment

Warehouse injuries most often occur from equipment malfunction. Before your holiday season gets underway, conduct a detailed, thorough walkthrough to ensure all equipment is functioning properly.  

  • Utilize Necessary Technology

In today’s era, there is a ton of technology you can use to help ensure your warehouse runs smoothly. Consider implementing software for material handling, warehouse management, inventory control, labor, equipment maintenance, shipping and much more. You can also use technology to help streamline your returns’ process and optimize your reverse logistics.

  • Safety First

Develop and implement a safety-check policy where all equipment is surveyed daily to ensure everything is in safe, working condition. Maintain a clean environment that’s free of obstacles and debris. Most importantly, create a “Safety First” warehouse environment to encourage all employees to take safety seriously.

Contact Elite OPS today to learn more about effective warehousing strategies. As a leading Utah distribution company, Elite OPS can help you expand your warehouse operations in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible.

5 Tips and Tricks to Simplify Inventory Management

high-bay-408222_1280Managing your own business is time-consuming, and when you try to take on everything alone, you’ll oftentimes find yourself running into problems. In reality, managing your inventory is a multi-person process. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you manage your inventory more efficiently, and avoid some of the most common problems experienced by small and large businesses alike.

1. Implement a Good Software System

When managing inventory, the most important thing you can do is implement an inventory management software system that you feel comfortable with. Depending on the size of your operation, you may be shipping out just a few items a week, or several hundred boxes. The use of a system to keep track of every aspect of your inventory allows you to save time and resources by automating tasks and reducing redundancy. You can also have peace of mind knowing exactly what you have in your inventory, and what you have coming in and out at any moment.

2. Label Everything

Labeling is absolutely essential to help keep track of where things are in your warehouse. A software system can tell you what you have, but without proper labeling, you may not be able to locate it within your facility. This is especially important if you are receiving shipments from other companies—you will lose inventory faster than you think if it’s not properly labeled with a unique SKU code.

3. Keep Everyone on the Same Page

Especially when you’re managing a larger inventory, delegation is key. And with delegation comes the importance of excellent communication—everyone working to manage your inventory needs to be kept on the same page and know exactly what their job is within the facility. Mistakes happen when people are improperly trained on their job functions, so make sure everyone understands the part they play in the larger picture.

4. Monitor Inventory

Regardless of the type of products you sell, it’s likely you can see trends in which items are most popular, and which are not. Make sure you are properly logging your inventory, and set notifications to alert you when certain items become low. Monitoring inventory this way will also save you money by preventing you from producing or purchasing too many of the items that don’t sell.

5. Use a Warehouse Management Service

Although these tips will help you manage your inventory, the best thing you can do to decrease your workload and avoid any problems or confusion with inventory management is to outsource your warehousing needs. At Elite Ops, we have decades of experience managing inventory for a variety of companies and have the resources necessary to properly keep track of yours.

Contact us today to learn more about our operation and how we can help you manage your inventory more efficiently.

These Productivity Apps Will Help Double Your Daily Achievements

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Running a business is an incredibly busy and time-consuming job. With so many tasks to accomplish, it can be difficult to manage your priorities, employees, and time. Save yourself from wasting effort and track all your work time with a helpful productivity app.

Slack

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Reduce the amount of time spent constructing group messages or accidentally replying to an old group message that has already been resolved by using the revolutionary communication app Slack. Slack is a real-time communications tool that lets you chat, share files, and discuss topics in different virtual channels with one or more coworkers at once.

Glympse

Are you or your employees always on the go? Glympse is a productivity app that allows you to share your location with people for up to 4 hours at a time without having to manually update. Invitees get a text or email with a link they can use to track you without even having to download the app themselves.

Quip

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You’ll never have to waste time waiting for a colleague to stop working on a form or spreadsheet in order to work on your section. Quip is a document and spreadsheet app that allows you to work at the same time and even connects you with your coworkers with a live chat system to share updates while working on the document.

Canvas

Skip paper and avoid reinventing the wheel by using the custom forms app Canvas. Utilize over 5,000 pre-built forms or create custom invoices, expense reports, work orders and more with signature capture capabilities.

Second CRM

Enhance your customer service by using Second CRM which allows your whole customer support team to gain access to the customer information no matter where they are located. Quotes, invoices, and last interaction notes can be accessed in real-time through encrypted technology to keep information accessible and safe.

Forest

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The Forest app creates a visual representation of your progress and accomplishments in the form of trees. When staying focused on a task for 30 minutes, the tree fully blooms and leaving your task causes the tree to die. Work toward the goal of a whole forest full of completed tasks.

 

Don’t do it all yourself; the technology exists through many productivity apps to ensure you and your employees remain on task.

Looking for more ways to increase productivity? Free up your time by switching to a fulfillment center for all your inventory and product fulfillment needs.

 

How to Start a Business in 7 Easy Steps

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Some people assume that it takes an expert to be an entrepreneur or business owner, but you might be surprised to know that all it takes to start a business is an idea and determination. Really, that’s it.

If you have a great idea for a business, you’re already halfway there! Just follow these seven simple steps for starting your own business and turning your passion into a source of income.

1.Solidify Your Concept and Write Up a Business Plan

If you’re having a hard time getting your idea down into writing, check out these lists of business ideas that may help get your gears turning. Once you know exactly what it is you’ll be narrowing in on, it’s time to write up a business plan to organize your concept into an actual workable business. You can start with this simple one-page business plan from The $100 Startup to get started.

2. Scope out the Competition

Once you’ve mapped out your business plan, it’s time to scope out the competition. Start by looking up the top 5-10 companies in your niche. Take notes on what makes them successful, but also think of improvements that you notice could be made. Look up consumer reviews to see what their customers like and dislike, and see if you can implement a solution in your own business and product to get an edge. If you notice that there are significantly more than 5-10 similar businesses out there, you may be better off going with a different idea in a less saturated market.

3. Choose a Name and Logo

There’s more to a business name than something catchy or memorable – it must also be marketable. This means that it’s different from your competition and has web availability. As you brainstorm name ideas, search on godaddy.com or other website domain sites to see if the names are available as websites. Once you find one, it’s time to turn it into a logo. You can design your own logo or hire a designer to create one for you. You can also purchase pre-made logos online from these awesome resources.

4. Build a Website

Now you need a place to sell your product or service. Purchase your domain and start building your website. There are several user-friendly systems that allow you to build your own website without any prior experience, such as WordPress, SquareSpace, and Wix.

5. Secure Inventory

As you build your website, it’s important that you are also securing your inventory so that you have something to sell when the website is ready to go live. It would be fruitless to start spreading the word if those who hear it can’t act on it. If you’re selling a product on a broad scale, checkout Alibaba or Aliexpress to buy wholesale. If you want creative and memorable packaging, checkout packlane to customize your packaging materials. You can also handle your own packaging at a low cost by using plain boxes from a home improvement store and creating your own labels through VistaPrint.com.

6. Manage the Money

Before you’re ready to sell, you must also have a financial plan in place. Calculate your expenses and your projected revenue. Keep in mind the cost of your own time and labor, and also any hired help you may need. Make any adjustments needed to ensure your margins are reasonable and allow for growth. Setup an account that integrates well with your website’s shopping cart, such as a free PayPal business account.

7. Spread the Word

Now that your product is stocked and your website is live, you’re ready to spread the word like wildfire! Marketing is a whole business in and of itself, but there are a lot of inexpensive ways to handle your own marketing, such as through online ads with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you’re new to the marketing world, checkout this helpful resource to get started.

As your business grows, you may need to start delegating some of your tasks to others in order to keep up. You can hand off your inventory and order management to a fulfillment center like Elite Ops and enjoy a nearly automated source of income without much work from your end.

12 Best Apps Every Business Owner Should Use

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Managing a small business is hard work and can often leave you feeling as though it’s not possible that you’ll ever have enough hours in the day to get everything done. We have compiled a list of the 12 best business apps available that will not only change the way you do business, but also give you back time in your schedule to focus on more than just your growing business. With the help of these apps, you’ll never again have to worry about managing everything on your own.

1. Evernote

Evernote allows you to sync notes across all desktop and mobile computer devices within your company, making it possible to have instant access to the same information, and allowing for easy file sharing.

2. RescueTime

RescueTime is a helpful app to utilize when you’d like to keep tabs on the way that your employees and you are spending time online. Having access to this information can help you identify time wasting issues, and block specific sites at your discretion.

3. Basecamp

Basecamp essentially acts as a home base for every aspect of project management, allowing you to invite collaborators and subcontractors to the program, giving you a space to chat with each other, attach files, create checklists, and track the progress of every task you manage.

4. Asana

Asana is another excellent project management app that allows you to create tasks and subtasks, set due dates, track projects, and communicate with each other within each project. Complete with a personalized dashboard, everyone can easily keep up to date on the current status of any given project.

5. Slack

Slack is an instant messaging platform that allows you and your employees to communicate in a very convenient way, and share files and images with the click of a button. Conversations can even be marked public or private, making it easy to control who sees them.

6. Insightly

Insightly offers you a new and easy way to manage relationships, giving you a space to store and organize all of your contacts, create and track tasks, and even manage leads.

7. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online offers you a simple way to manage your business finances. With this app, you can easily keep track of account balances so you never again have to wonder how much money you have available or where your money has gone.

8. PayPal

PayPal gives you a simple way to send and receive money instantly for goods and services. While this app does provide you a convenient way to pay and be paid, PayPal administers a nominal fee for business payments received.

9. Expensify

Expensify makes it easy to keep track of your business trip spending, which in turn makes creating an expense report easier than ever before. For added convenience, you can link your credit and debit cards to the app, or take pictures of your receipts, and the app sorts through and calculates the expenses for you.

10. MailChimp

MailChimp helps you manage contacts by allowing you to build and manage your mailing lists, with options available to create customized templates for your business correspondence. As a bonus, you can also create performance reports.

11. Dropbox

Dropbox provides a way to instantly share files with other people, both inside of your company, or outside of it. This app is an excellent option for photographers looking to share images, and any company offering file sharing services.

12. LocalVox

LocalVox makes marketing online easy for businesses that are not web-based. With the help of this app, you can easily announce deals and events, and publish news about your business. It even helps you optimize organic searches, offering you an easy way to build your web presence.

Contact Us

Looking for another way to help streamline all of your business needs? At Elite Ops, we can help!

 

Contact us today to learn how switching to a fulfillment center will allow you to integrate your inventory and order-related business tracking in one convenient location.

 

Warehouse Management Solutions for Every Business

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Whether you’ve just started your business, or find yourself managing a business that is growing faster than you can keep up with, choosing to outsource your shipping services to a warehouse management company is an excellent idea. A warehouse management company can offer you help with storing, assembling, kitting, packaging, and shipping your products. At Elite OPS, we have the resources needed to manage this portion of your business in its entirety so you can focus on the hundreds of other items that need your attention.

A Well-Equipped Environment

Here at Elite OPS, we have ample space to house your company’s products, regardless of their size. Our 200,000 square foot facility is equipped with an industry-leading management system that makes our business transparent to you, offering you the ability to view your products as they sit in our facility 24-hours a day via our client portal. We have fire and theft monitors that ensure your products are kept safe. We even offer special storage options in the event your inventory is an unusual size or requires a special climate to preserve it.

Personalized Attention

With Elite OPS, not only does your product receive the attention it needs, but you do too. We provide all of our customers with a personal account manager who is available to answer questions and offer assistance you when you need it most. Our entire team is well-trained in customer service, and we promise to offer only the best for you and your business.

Assembly and Kitting

If your business requires products from several origins to be placed in a single kit, we are happy to help complete the assembly prior to shipping your product. Our staff is experienced in working with many businesses requiring this service, and we understand the importance of ensuring every shipment is complete. We always make sure the correct number of items are present in each package to avoid issues when your product is delivered to your customer.

Save Money

You already have enough things to worry about when it comes to running your small business. As you’re building your clientele and establishing your company’s reputation, you should find ways to delegate when you can. Choosing to use our warehousing services will not only eliminate the headache of managing inventory and shipping, but it will also save you money in the long run.

Think of the long hours you won’t have to put in because we will be doing the work for you. With our help, you can work more efficiently and focus on building your business rather than worrying about shipments going out on time.

Call Us Today!

At Elite OPS, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help your company succeed.

Contact us today to find out how our warehouse management services can help your business.