Running a Warehouse

Top 3 Strategies for Greening Your Warehouse

If you’re thinking of going green in your warehouse, you’re not alone. Surveys have shown that organisations of all sizes are introducing sustainability practices throughout their entire supply chain to reduce costs and environmental impact and to improve brand image and customer satisfaction. While there are countless ways to go green, the warehouse, with its vital role in the supply chain, is one of the best places to get started in greening your business. From upgrading equipment to redesigning facilities such as shelving systems, any organisation can reduce their environmental impact and reduce operating costs by greening their warehouse.

Step 1. Assess Your Warehouse Operations

The first step in greening your warehouse is to asses your current facilities and operations. In basic terms this means to take stock of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Sometimes it’s helpful to go through your warehouse operations with a green specialist to get a second opinion.

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5 Step Guide to Reducing Packaging Costs

Reducing packaging is not only better for the environment, it can be a great way to significantly reduce operating costs. The computer giant Dell was reported to have saved around US$8 million over four years by simply redesigning packaging for its PCs. In this article, we look at some of the best ways to reduce packaging for your products.

Packaging Categories

There are three key types of packaging:

  • Tertiary packaging – usually the level of packaging that allows a product to be securely transported in bulk and stored. An example would be the pallets and pallet wraps that allow the product to be stored on pallet racking.
  • Secondary packaging – with secondary packaging, the product can be easily grouped until its sold.
  • Primary packaging – packaging that’s used at the point of sale and as the product is consumed. An example would be the tissue box for a tissue.

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How to Choose a Barcode System

A barcode system lets you keep track of the stock in the shelving systems in your warehouse and the movement of your stock levels. A typical system will have some hardware devices that allows you to scan individual items and relay that to some kind of central management software. The software allows you to analyse the data and print out more barcode labels. Barcode systems can be complex or relatively simple, depending on your needs. Here are five quick tips to choosing the right barcode system for your warehouse needs.

Identify Your Business Requirements

The first step in choosing any system is to identify your business requirements.
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Five Tips for Improving Order Picking Efficiency

Order picking is the process of retrieval of items from storage and shelving systems, usually to meet individual customer orders. Studies have found that order picking tends to be the most labour intensive activity in any warehouse. Order picking has been found to form as much as 55 per cent of the operation costs of any distribution centre, compared to the shipping, storage, and receiving stages which typically make up under 20 per cent of costs. Order picking efficiency has a clear and direct influence on the timely fulfilment of orders. While there are many complicated software and technology solutions and consultants who can provide professional advice on optimising your warehouse procedures, these practical tips can be used by anyone seeking to cut warehouses operating costs by boosting the efficiency of your order picking.
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Four Strategies for Improving Loading Dock Safety

The loading dock is a key area of any warehouse, being the point of access for shipping and receiving stock. A well-design loading dock and load dock procedures minimises delays, damage to goods, and ensures the safety of your staff. Like shelving systems, loading docks can be designed to optimise productivity and the smooth running of your warehouse.

Key Hazards and Process Points

Common loading dock hazards arise from slippery floors, falls, unsecured dock plates, exposure to air and noise pollution from trucks, lifting injuries, as well as injuries from incorrect operation of material handling equipment. Slipping, tripping and falling are some of the most common causes of injury at loading docks.
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Six Online Retail Business Success Stories

Of the fastest growing Australian online retail business stories, many are bricks and mortars businesses selling physical goods rather than services or experiences. Here, we look at some of the top online retailers in the past five years, not counting auction sites.


DealsDirect is one of the best known and largest online department stores in Australia. With comprehensive shelving systems in a warehouse space of over 40,000 square metres, DealsDirect has delivered over 4 million parcels to happy customers since its founding in October 2004. Based in Western Sydney, the company started out as an eBay-based retailer and now employs over 120 staff members. Specialising in retail goods at a heavily discounted rate, Deals Direct has won many awards for its reputedly outstanding customer service and brand recall among consumers.
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Five Essential Tips for Negotiating with Suppliers

A good negotiation means research, preparation, and building a clear strategy for the negotiation itself, well before you need to consider storage issues, such as shelving systems for your goods. Use these practical and proven tips for a successful negotiation.

Set Fixed and Flexible Objectives

Before you (and your team) enter into the negotiation process, draw up a table of your objectives. Where possible, set out a range rather than a specific number, and think about how flexible you could be about compromises being made across different objectives.
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How to Find the Best Overseas Supplier

With the Australian dollar at an all-time high, sourcing goods for sale from overseas has never been more attractive. The internet has made finding and connecting with overseas manufacturers and traders much easier but the process remains complicated and importers should take care when dealing with overseas parties. These are the key steps not to miss when you set out to find an overseas supplier.

1. Research and Sources

The internet is a great place to start as it gives you virtually unlimited reach in connecting with potential overseas partners. However, you need to choose your suppliers with caution for the same reason. There’s no way of verifying the information supplied to you unless you visit suppliers in person or make thorough reference checks. You may choose to do these further down the line, and well before you start getting organised with the other elements of your business like warehousing or storage options, such as pallet racking.
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Four Strategies for Starting Import/Export Businesses

The Australian import/export industries are worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Behind these enormous figures are large multinational companies, medium sized enterprises, as well as small businesses. With lots of research, a clear business plan, effective relationship building, and lots of persistence, anyone can start an import/export business provided they can find the right product and match it to a market. From starting with a great product or market, to good logistics and storage, such as ensuring that you have adequate shelving systems, these are four practical strategies for import/export success.

Find a Product or Find a Market

Whether you’re bringing a product you’ve already found to a market, or finding a product to meet a demand in the market you’ve identified, the key reasons for importing or exporting are usually one or more of the following three:
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Five Steps to Wholesale Business Success

While maintaining good relationships with retailers is one of the key to succeeding in the wholesale industry, there are other ways to boost business growth and turn your company into a business success story. From building relationships, to using great shelving systems, to watching margins, use these five proven strategies to enhance the performance of your wholesale business.

1. Commitment to Your Product

Finding products you can be passionate about helps you stay focused and motivated during the drive to distribute. Very few products actually do sell themselves. If you’re indifferent about your goods, then your lack of passion will show and it may be that much more difficult to demonstrate its relevance and potential in the retail market. To sell a product, you have to know how it can bring value to others.
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