Small businesses have never before had the reach that the internet gives them. Competing in a world marketplace lets everyone from one guy in a studio to the Amazon behemoth the chance to reach an audience with products and services that fill needs and wants with equal speed. The problems – for small businesses – are those of scale once the studio and garage warehouse are outgrown. How can a company grow without having that growth become a disruptive factor in itself? The answer is planning infrastructure and getting it in place before the problems start.
Small Business Growing Pains
When a business is first starting out, there’s a mentality that is particular to all startups. “Move fast and break things” or “Fake it ’til you make it” are in the playbook, but when you have to go backward and fix things while producing results, it’s an unsustainable model. Planning for growth even from the garage or studio makes thinking ahead a vital management skill.
Warehouse management is a good place to start for the very simple reason that it’s one of the biggest resource hogs. The warehouse contains inventory, the infrastructure that supports it, the staff to service it, and is eating dollars per square foot. Managing order fulfillment practices from the receiving desk to the shipping dock is part of getting on top of early growth.
Picking Accuracy and Speed
Picking and put-away are two of the time-consuming operations that need to enter the 21st century in order to make smaller businesses more competitive.
The front office might have the latest and greatest tools for success, but it’s going to grind and lurch like a car with a bad transmission if the warehouse is still pulling to an Industrial Revolution speed and standard.
Using a pick-to-light solution helps to make order picking more accurate and at the same time can kick up warehouse KPIs in receiving, stocking, and shipping. Staff hours are spent productively instead of hunting SKUs, improving utilization of staff and other resources.
Impress your boss with the 7 Things Your Boss Expects You to Know About Pick-to-Light.
Time is Money
The clock is ticking not only on the payroll but also on overhead and turnaround. Hearing from sales that a client has cancelled an order because of turnaround issues is a concern. That canceled order doesn’t mean that you’re at zero, it’s less cash flow to address overhead costs. That means that the money comes from somewhere else. The problem in that there is no somewhere else, the money will be shorted to A to make up for B.
Improving turnaround time will improve cash flow by moving orders out to the customer more quickly.
Putting the infrastructure in place now means not have to go backward and fix things in the future. Working with Voodoo Robotics doesn’t take an Amazon level of resources. The starter kit is available as a low-cost entry point and can be scaled up as the flow of goods and orders dictates. Learn what Voodoo can do with a free consultation – call today!