Practical tips to minimise your inventory damage

Managing a warehouse holding large quantities of inventory, worth millions of Rands day after day, is no easy feat. A warehouse manager’s job is riddled with daily challenges that can make life a little tricky.  Weighing high on the scale of challenges is damaged warehouse inventory, a problem which is difficult to avoid, taking into account all the movement required within the warehouse process. This can have a negative effect on order fulfilment and achieving service level agreements. Below are a few tips which will help you keep your warehouse inventory levels to a bare minimum:

Regular upkeep

Frequent inspection and review of how organised a warehouse is can lead to increased productivity, reducing inventory loss and injury. Neglecting regular upkeep can result in an orderly warehouse fast becoming disorganised and increases the likelihood of inventory damage.

Be mindful of weight and shape

It is common for inventory to sustain damage while stored on shelving, be it from careless handling while storing, or from harsh contact with material handling equipment. When designing racking it is important to be mindful of weight and shape. Racking that does not correspond with the products stored in it can result in overhanging inventory which can easily be damaged or cause injury.    

Offer protection for your racking

Racking protection in crucial areas is an essential part of preventing inventory damage. Column protectors for example are necessary in spaces where vehicles often travel. Rack guards, aisle shields, and pallet supports can also offer protection against damage.

Prepare for Capacity

It is extremely important to plan for capacity as it assists in preventing the ordering of too much inventory. Excess inventory in the warehouse can greatly increase the chances of damage, inventory variances and theft.

Build a Safety Culture

The number one cause of inventory damage is said to be lack of training. Training warehouse staff on the correct way of handling pallets using forklifts, and labelling perishable and non-perishable goods, etc., can reduce product damage.

While damaged warehouse inventory is unavoidable to some extent, it can be overcome. Inventory management techniques and processes, make it possible to maintain damaged warehouse inventory levels at a bare minimum.


Contributed by the team at Barloworld Logistics