In eCommerce fulfillment, inventory is everything and hence its security is crucial. How do you always ensure the security of your inventory and the safety of your staff? Periodic warehouse inspections aim to check on the protocols being followed and point out any drawbacks that need to be fixed for seamless operations behind the scenes.
What Are Warehouse Inspections and Why Do We Need Them?
Warehouse inspections are pre-planned and documented safety procedures conducted to certify the continued and future safety of employees, security of inventory, and seamless operations fully utilizing the capacity of the warehouse. It involves a thorough check of how all operations roll out by testing for any potential hazards, assessing the functioning of the digital warehouse and evaluating the various processes involved in order fulfillment.
Depending on the size of the warehouse and the resources within, thorough warehouse inspections must be carried out at least quarterly if not monthly. However, inspections for overall security and cleanliness must be conducted daily.
Needless to say, all businesses strive for smooth inventory management and optimized supply chain processes, and these require periodic inspections that ensure safety and general protocols are being followed. These inspections help in identifying faults and wastefulness, that would otherwise go unnoticed. It takes a lot of time to inspect with thorough attention to detail, however, it’s beneficial in the long run via ensuring employee and equipment safety as well as boosting dock to stock efficiency.
Checklist for Necessary Warehouse Inspection Steps
It is highly encouraged to follow the correct protocol to ensure a thoroughly conducted inspection by making use of a checklist. Read on to learn more about the steps that are essential for a methodical and detailed inspection.
Inspection for FDA-regulated Products
Retailers dealing in items that may raise safety concerns or perishable products need to ensure that their warehouse storage methods and operations are in alliance with FDA regulations. Some of the product categories that come under FDA regulations are:
Food and beverages
Vitamins and supplements
Household cleaning items
Inspection for Warehouse Cleanliness
Cleanliness is a must and has always been on top of the list, however, since the pandemic it has become a top-notch priority. Cleanliness and sanitation inspections need to be conducted daily, at least once. This includes:
- Enforcing equipment handling and sanitization standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- Posting guidelines to encourage basic hygiene
- Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to all personnel entering the warehouse
- Timely restocking cleaning supplies
- Training the work staff for handling any hazardous materials
Inspection for Warehouse Receiving
Your warehouse receiving process is crucial for ensuring dock to stock efficiency. Therefore, you must frequently inspect the procedure and ensure:
- The products delivered are in conformance with the description and quantity mentioned on the procurement order
- Product codes are present
- The seals are intact
Inspection of the Loading Bay
The loading bay and the loading dock are the busy zones of the warehouse and the most prone to accidents and injuries. While inspecting, ensure:
- The dock plate is capable of supporting the load
- Visual warnings have been posted
- Forklifts are being driven slowly and carefully
Inspection of Warehouse Working Conditions
Warehouses are busy and noisy zones, while it can be hard to avoid the traffic and the noise, you can invest in minimizing its negative effect on your employees by:
- Providing noise-cancelling headphones to your employees and make it mandatory to wear those in the noisy zones
- Investing in good lighting
- Enforcing a proper dress code that includes appropriate footwear and helmets where applicable
Inspection of Waste Disposal
With pollution being a major concern of today’s world, an inspection wouldn’t be thorough if the storage and disposal of waste wasn’t monitored. Ensure the disposal process doesn’t pose a safety hazard for the employees or environment in general. At ShipBots, we ensure that your waste disposal procedure complies with the US EPA standards.
Inspection of Inventory Management System
Properly organizing the inventory is essential for avoiding inventory losses that might be occurring due to poor documentation, internal theft or swindling from the vendor’s end. E-commerce fulfillment experts utilize WMS and intelligent digital inventory systems to track inventory levels in real time and monitor the location and performance of the different SKUs across multiple channels from a single, integrated dashboard.
Best Practices for Warehouse Inspection
Following the best practices for warehouse inspections can make the whole process a bit less overwhelming and more thorough
- Make use of an updated warehouse safety checklist to ensure you don’t miss out any important step.
- the warehouse condition, look out for any damage that requires immediate maintenance and repair.
- Evaluate the storage protocols for different types of inventory, for instance check whether the storage of flammable and hazardous items is such that reduces any potential dangers. Check for labels and coding.
- Assess your inventory management process for any procedures that need to be eliminated or replaced, and consider replacing tradition inventory management systems with digital automation (if you haven’t already).
- Talk to the warehouse personnel to get their perspective on the working environment and get an insight into how the current workflow can be further improved.
ShipBots’ Approach to Warehouse Inspection
While warehouse inspections are essential, they can be time-consuming which often can prevent owners from working on further growing their business. Luckily for the business owners, this can be fixed simply by collaborating with a third party logistics (3PL) provider such as ShipBots who specializes in warehousing services. Once partnered up with ShipBots, you will no longer need to worry about your eCommerce warehousing and shipping procedures or packaging and shipping of goods and instead be able to focus on other aspects of your business.
ShipBots efficiently manages warehouse inspections, enables digital inventory tracking in real-time, ensures seamless workflows and operations through by splitting inventory across multiple 3PL warehouses. Read on for a detailed insight into ShipBots warehouse inspection protocol.
If your business is experiencing repetitive issues of the similar sort or with a particular Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) or you just want to enforce better quality standards, ShipBots can conduct a previously-unscheduled warehouse inspection on request. With ShipBots catering to the warehousing needs of your business, you can be certain that your products will be efficiently stored and timely packaged and shipped.
Inspections of Returns
ShipBots has a team of experts who provide end-to-end ecommerce solutions for your business including properly managing returned items. Damaged and unfit goods are disposed of, thereby preventing them from being shipped to a future customer, while items in suitable condition undergo proper organization in the warehouse storage.