Symptoms of an Inefficient Warehouse

Symptoms of an Inefficient Warehouse

Running a warehouse requires juggling numerous factors, from receiving deliveries, processing and storing inventory, and sending materials out for delivery. Along the way, there can be any number of issues that negatively affect workflow and productivity. You must be aware of the symptoms of an inefficient warehouse to identify the root cause of problems that are holding your operations back.

Constant Errors in Orders

Check to see if your warehouse is constantly hearing complaints about errors in orders you are sending out. Make note if the discrepancies are in quality, quantity, or location because that information can let you know where in the process the mistakes are being made.

Consider Retraining

Once you identify exactly where the problems are, if workers are sending out the wrong quantity of materials or if someone is consistently sending items to the wrong location, then you need to retrain staff to ensure that mistakes are corrected. If employees are not made aware of their mistakes, they may continue to cause problems unknowingly.

Inventory Shrinkage

Losing inventory loses your warehouse money, and the culprit can be any number of things, both obvious and subtle.


Employees may steal inventory off the floor when they believe that no one is looking or if they think that there are no cameras around to spot them. If you notice items disappearing from certain areas, then that may be a blind spot in your security system that a worker is exploiting. While full camera coverage may not be financially possible, ensure that you have the coverage you need in high-theft areas.


Mishandling inventory to the point it results in damage is the second common loss of inventory. Find ways to reduce the damage done to items on the floor if the damage is a result of improper use of equipment or issues with storage.

Clutter Throughout Facility

Whether the clutter is due to trash that has no clear disposal area or inventory that doesn’t have a place on the racks, clutter can be a sign of several mismanagement mistakes in the warehouse.


If there are excess bags of trash throughout the warehouse at workstations and along walkways, your processes to dispose of garbage should be evaluated. Identify if the issue is the lack of easily accessible areas to drop off trash, or if workers lack the time to leave their workstations to dispose of garbage.

Institute Changes

Once the issues have been identified, you can get to work on making the necessary corrections. Sometimes it means firing employees who are stealing inventory or retraining workers, while other times, you need a critical view of management and administration. The earlier you make the changes, the sooner your warehouse will see an improvement in its efficiency.