How to Improve Warehouse Efficiency and Reduce Costs Drastically with a Fleet System

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Singapore has over 280 warehouses, and to stand out from this crowd, yours needs to be as efficient as possible. 

If your warehouse isn’t efficient, you’re at risk of financial loss, safety risks, and low productivity levels. 

Read on to learn how you can take your warehouse operations from acceptable to exceptional with Cartrack’s fleet management solutions.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn what warehouse efficiency is
  • Uncover the link between supply chain management and warehouse efficiency
  • Delve into the importance of an efficient warehouse
  • Explore how fleet management boosts efficiency with supply chain management
  • Discover how Cartrack is your secret to an efficient, cost-saving warehouse

What is warehouse efficiency?

Before we tackle warehouse efficiency, let’s see what efficiency is. The word efficiency describes the ability of a business to achieve a goal with little to no waste, energy, or effort.

From a warehouse perspective, efficiency refers to how quickly a company can receive, store, and ship goods. To ensure this, warehouse efficiency covers all inbound, inventory, and outbound efforts, regardless of who you’re receiving or shipping products to. But it’s way more than just getting products delivered on time; it’s about maximising productivity while saving you time and money.

What role does supply chain management play in warehouse management?

A supply chain is a network of people, businesses, resources, and activities involved in creating and delivering a finished product to customers. Supply chain management is managing the flow of goods and services, starting from the raw components to delivering the final product to consumers. The main purpose of this process is to ensure that there is a constant, uninterrupted flow of goods, from the collection of raw materials to the manufacture of the products to the actual manufacturing process and distribution. 

Warehouses are the link between production and distribution in the supply chain. Their main function is to store products from production until they are distributed to customers. However, their role extends beyond storage. Let’s see how:

  • Storage and inventory management:

    Warehouses help businesses mitigate the risk of stock running out, ensuring customer needs are effectively met. Essentially, they act as the middleman between supply and demand fluctuations. This benefits the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food industries.
  • Risk mitigation:

    Warehouses help businesses keep their goods in a secure environment, helping them protect their stock from theft, damage, and bad weather.
  • Extra value-added services:

    Warehouses don’t just store stock for businesses. They can also provide a wide range of value-added services, such as packaging, labelling, and product customisation.

Why is it so important to have an efficient warehouse?

An efficient warehouse makes the most of what it has to boost its overall productivity. Let’s dive into the top three reasons you should be keeping your warehouse as efficient as possible:

  1. Reducing warehouse costs:

    Warehouse costs include everything from human labour and storage space to equipment and inventory. One way an efficient warehouse can reduce your overall costs is by optimising warehouse space. When it comes to warehouse space, every square meter counts. Warehouse efficiency plays a big role in warehouse optimisation, a practice that helps you make the most of your space. It does this by helping you store more items in less space and improving your day-to-day operations, making your warehouse easy to navigate with little to no congestion. This increases your warehouse flexibility, saving you time and money lost by errors.
  2. Improving customer satisfaction:

    If you want to keep your customers happy, you need to ensure that they receive their orders on time. One way you can ensure this is by improving inventory visibility. An efficient warehouse makes keeping a close eye on all your inventories easier. Inventory visibility is crucial to helping you meet consumer demand, helping you identify exactly how much stock you have and if there’s enough to meet customer expectations. If this is not prioritised, a business loses valuable clients, resulting in financial loss.
  3. Increasing productivity:

    Improved customer satisfaction and reduced warehouse costs come together to boost overall warehouse productivity and help you keep track of performance, such as how long it takes for a task to complete a task. Warehouse efficiency is the key to unlocking this for your warehouse, taking its productivity to the next level.


What are the challenges surrounding not having an efficient warehouse?

Inefficiency is a recipe for disaster for your warehouse’s overall productivity and profitability. Let’s explore the four key reasons why this is a risk you shouldn’t be taking:

  • Inefficient use of warehouse space:

    You can have a warehouse that’s as large as a football field, but if you’re not making the most of it, all that space is gone to waste. Inefficient use of warehouse space increases handling time and reduces productivity, which has a direct impact on your ability to successfully meet your customers demands. The safety risks associated with inefficient use of space include objects overturning, equipment damage due to not having a clear, straight operational path, and run-overs due to inefficient placement of objects.
  • Poor inventory management:

    At first glance, you might think inventory management is just tracking warehouse stock, but it's way more. Inventory management refers to keeping track of the specific parts needed to build your products, managing your suppliers, and maintaining a steady flow of inventory in the event of a surge in demand. Poor inventory management is the inability to effectively manage the flow of goods into, within, and out of a business.
  • Poor time management:

    Poor time management in a warehouse can be risky by affecting your staff and other businesses using your warehouse. Stemming from a lack of planning, poor communication, and staff not getting adequate training, poor time management in a warehouse can result in missed deadlines, low-quality output, employee burnout, customer service issues, increased operating costs, and staff conflict.
  • Traceability issues:

    You may think traceability is just about keeping tabs on all the raw materials your warehouse needs to store and tracking their journey from production to distribution. But it’s way more than that, as it is important to keep an eye on quality control, fair labour practices, and environmental impact. This is also crucial in food recall situations, as it can help you pinpoint exactly where initial food contamination took place, helping you contain the product before unsuspecting customers consume it.

The repercussions of not optimising your warehouse shouldn’t be taken lightly. But what can you do to keep your warehouse efficient? Let’s see below.

What improvements can you make to ensure warehouse efficiency?

You can implement several solutions to ensure that your warehouse remains productive and as efficient as possible. These solutions include:

  • Speed up deliveries:

    A warehouse needs to prioritise getting completed goods to customers. By ensuring timely deliveries, customer satisfaction is improved, leaving a lasting, positive impact on the business and the warehouse supporting it.
  • Monitor data and analytics:

    Data is power waiting to be utilised. Warehouses must ensure they implement strategies that allow them to not only collect data, but also analyse trends and identify areas where performance needs to be improved.
  • Implement quality control procedures:

    Warehouses need to ensure that they have quality control measures in place. Effective quality control measures are important to helping warehouses identify and rectify problems at an early stage of the supply chain process. Quality control measures significantly decrease the likelihood of delivering damaged products to customers.
  • Implement real-time location systems:

    A warehouse needs to keep a close eye on objects and interactions as they happen. With accurate tracking capabilities, warehouses can optimise their inventory levels, reduce delivery times, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency.
  • Digitise warehouse management:

    From autonomous vehicles to deliveries, everything in the world is taking on an automated, digital approach. With the rise of e-commerce supply chains, warehouses have had to adapt to the fast-paced landscape, leading to the rise of digital warehouse management. Digital warehousing involves the streamlining and automation of typically manual processes through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). This maximises efficiency, productivity and cost reduction.

To maintain its efficiency, your warehouse needs to prioritise supply chain management, as all the listed improvements are connected to it. But how can you do this? Two words: fleet management.


The role of fleet management in maintaining warehouse efficiency

Supply chain management is the driving force behind an optimised warehouse, and the secret to success in it is a fleet management system. Fleet management is the process of keeping a fleet of vehicles running efficiently and profitably, and a fleet management system streamlines this entire process. Let’s see how this can help you optimise your operations and elevate efficiency:

  1. Simplifying real-time tracking:

    Warehouse vehicles are carrying around precious cargo, and the last thing you want is for it to go M.I.A. This is where the importance of real-time tracking comes in, helping you see where all your vehicles are at all times, activating a new level of fleet safety and visibility.

    Let’s look at John, who is in charge of overseeing a warehouse. He doesn't use real-time vehicle tracking, so he needs to continuously call his drivers to determine their whereabouts, an activity that consumes time and money. However, with a fleet management system, you can get all this information on demand at the tap of a button or screen.
  2. Automating tracking your operation costs:

    Warehouse vehicles can be expensive, and if they’re not closely monitored, they can impact your warehouse’s overall efficiency and success. To keep your warehouse operations running smoothly, you need to know exactly how much your vehicles cost you, ranging from fuel and maintenance to insurance and toll gate charges.

    The saying goes, “assumptions are the mother of all mess-ups”, and this is true in John’s case. Since John doesn't have a cost management system, he is left playing the guessing game to determine how much money his fleet needs to stay running. With calculation methods prone to human error, inaccuracies can happen, significantly impacting his warehouse's efficiency.
  3. Optimising your delivery routes:

    Warehouse vehicles are constantly on the road, delivering and picking up goods. Routes should be optimised according to every task drivers needs to complete to ensure little to no costly delays.

    John’s drivers have to make a handful of deliveries. Unfortunately, his delivery operations aren’t optimised to the real-time day-to-day demands, leading to his drivers constantly using unoptimised routes. The extra time on the road increases fuel costs, and wear and tear due to vehicle overuse.

Don’t be like John. Making your warehouse efficient doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it’s all thanks to Cartrack and our next-level fleet management solutions.

Elevate your warehouse operations with Cartrack’s fleet solutions

  1. GPS tracking:

    Say goodbye to countless calls for driver location updates, and welcome accurate, real-time updates with Cartrack’s GPS tracking. Our IoT devices give you in-depth insight into each of your vehicle’s locations and speed, helping you know where your vehicles and cargo are at all times. This information is a simple click away via our fleet management platform or mobile app. 
  2. Reefer temperature monitoring:

    Keep temperature-sensitive goods as fresh as the moment they leave the warehouse with our temperature monitoring sensors. Monitor the temperature conditions in your refrigerated trucks or trailers and receive live alerts when any temperature fluctuations are detected. This ensures that your perishable cargo stays as fresh as its manufacturing date, leading to happy customers and businesses alike.
  3. Preventative maintenance:

    Keep your vehicles running like well-oiled machines with Cartrack’s preventative maintenance software. This proactive software monitors potential maintenance issues, such as worn brake pads, before they spiral into costly, more serious issues. It can even tailor a maintenance plan for you using historical data and smart analytics. All of this helps you avoid unplanned downtime, ensuring your deliveries are on time and goods remain fresh.
  4. Driver behaviour monitoring:

    Ensure your drivers are on their best behaviour with Cartrack’s driver behaviour monitoring systems. Use Live Vision AI cameras (our cloud-connected video management software) to provide your drivers with real-time, audible alerts as soon as signs of distracted and dangerous driving are detected, such as smoking, yawning, and phone use. Use our advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) to give your drivers full awareness of their surroundings by alerting them if their vehicle approaches another vehicle or obstacle too quickly. This helps them avoid obstacles and prevents costly accidents that can be detrimental to your warehouse operations.
  5. Cost management:

    Keep your warehouse operations cost-effective with MiFleet, Cartrack’s cost management system. Our in-depth system helps you know exactly how much money your vehicles are costing you, including fuel expenses, maintenance costs, toll gate fees, and more. With this information, you can spot your biggest cost drainages, giving you the tools you need to keep your fleet profitable.

Flip the switch on inefficient warehouse functions with Cartrack

Warehouses are the backbone of multiple businesses across various industries. Your efficiency affects the productivity of these businesses, making it crucial that you are on top of your game. With an efficient supply chain management system, your warehouse functions can be a true standout star.

Contact us today and bid inefficiency, cost-drainages and safety risks farewell with our fleet solutions.

To reduce financial loss, safety risks and productivity issues, you need to make sure your warehouse stays efficient. Click here to find out how you can.