Part of organizing your business is looking for areas where you can relieve manual work and frustrations from your team by creating easier processes. For AV and production companies, these common frustrations oftentimes occur in the warehouse. Losing equipment or optimizing storage space, are just a few of the warehouse challenges that businesses often face.
Your warehouse is a vital part of your business because this is where you will send equipment out to execute the events you worked hard to plan. If mistakes are made in the warehouse, this can have disastrous effects on your planned event and even your bottom line. Not only does this affect the overall business but also the productivity and performance of your employees.
We will take you through the most common challenges in warehouse management we hear from AV and production companies looking to better organize and improve efficiency in their warehouse and how dedicated software can help. These are:
Misplacing or Losing Equipment
No matter how organized your warehouse might be, if your equipment doesn’t come back or is misplaced, this can cause delays in your warehouse process and inventory management. Additionally, losing an expensive piece of gear can be very costly — especially if you have no idea where it was last. This makes retracing steps impossible and means you will have to invest more money to replace lost items.
The best way to combat these warehouse challenges and always know where your equipment is located, is to label everything with a QR code or barcode. You can then use dedicated software to scan the codes and record the movements of each item. If the equipment does not get scanned back, you will immediately know which item is missing and where it was last. For very expensive gear, the cost of implementing such a solution is minuscule compared to replacement costs. The next time you misplace your CDJ2000, you can trace it down more easily instead of immediately re-investing €1,500 - €2,000 (excl. tax) for a new one.
Additionally, software such as this allows you to organize your inventory and conduct regular inventory counts to ensure everything is in its right place before it is needed at an event.
Keeping up with last-minute changes
Last-minute changes in the AV industry are hard to avoid. Additionally, handling these changes can be very difficult if they are not communicated properly between the warehouse and office. For example, if equipment that was not planned needs to go out on a job, this needs to be recorded so those items are not planned on other projects.
Solving this is made easy by implementing a software solution that tracks changes to equipment in the warehouse. The solution you choose should serve as a central place to access information. This way, both the office and warehouse teams can work in sync with each other.
It is also beneficial if you implement a cloud-based warehouse solution as it will allow for real-time collaboration from any location. That way, you can also track changes to equipment on the go and not only when you are in the warehouse.
These effective management and communication solutions are essential in overcoming warehouse management problems and ensuring a streamlined workflow for your company.
Accidentally planning broken equipment
Picture this: you helped a customer put on an awesome summer festival. Everyone had a great time but upon returning to the warehouse, you realize the DJ got too excited and smashed the cue button of your CDJ2000 too hard (along with spilled about 4L of beer all over it).
Equipment is bound to get damaged whether in transport or by a customer at an event. Because of this, maintenance and repairs are an important part of any AV or production business. Even more importantly, is tracking what items are damaged and should not be sent out. If broken items get sent out, this can have implications such as:
- Lost time due to someone needing to bring the item back and bring a working piece back. This new item also needs to be re-set up.
- Looks unprofessional to your clients.
- An annoyance for the crew working on site - especially freelancers.
To avoid planning broken items, implement a warehouse software solution that allows you to record each item that is broken and remove it from availability in the warehouse. Bonus points if you can do this on the go while at an event or in transport. This will ensure the item can’t be planned on another job until it is fixed and mean you no longer have to hear “Oh yeah, I forgot to mention...” from a coworker when you come across broken items.
Pro Tip: By tracking which items are damaged in a dedicated software solution, you can build up a history of which items were damaged the most. Down the line, you can see which equipment has had the hardest life to ensure you maximize your inventory.
Warehouse space optimization
Warehouse space problems can be a common headache, especially for those operating in small or limited warehouse environments. Is your warehouse full or close to capacity? This is when optimizing warehouse space utilization becomes important.
So, how do you calculate space utilization in a warehouse? Begin by measuring your warehouse's total available space (length x width x height). Then, measure the space occupied by inventory, racks, and equipment. Calculate the utilization percentage by dividing the used space by the total space and multiplying by 100.
If your warehouse utilization is low, look for opportunities to maximize every square foot. Vertical storage, efficient shelving systems, and organization techniques can make a significant difference in small or limited warehouse spaces.
To solve space problems and avoid a messy warehouse, opt for advanced warehouse software solutions. These tools help track inventory, ensuring you know exactly where each item is located, reducing the risk of items going missing or unaccounted for in a crowded space.
Try out Rentman
Thousands of AV and Event companies have approached Rentman with these exact problems of warehousing and were looking for a better way to solve them. Rentman provides the perfect solution to planning, tracking, and maintaining your equipment.
Let Rentman take these common warehouse challenges away and leave room for more innovative warehouse processes. You can sign up for a free trial of Rentman to see how it can help make life easier for you and your team.