Audit Your Operation with the 21 Point Warehouse Audit Report
Is your warehouse operation continuing to grow, or are you perhaps struggling to keep up with current demands? Since warehouse operations run such a tight staff, there is rarely any time to take a step back and proactively plan for the future of your warehouse operation. It is easy to feel trapped doing the same processes in the same fashion with the same systems, but this does not have to continue. To make the most use of the warehouse leadership’s limited time it is most effective to use the Warehouse Audit Report to evaluate the entire state of your operations. The Warehouse Audit Report provides a means to quickly evaluate the entire state of operations to identify the most impactful opportunities.
What is a Warehouse Audit Report?
The Warehouse Audit Report provides a high-level assessment of all operations with specific areas identified to focus on the operation’s most pressing and impactful pain points. A Warehouse Audit Report is a standard reporting form used to audit warehouse facilities and operations for a standard set of impactful operations audit points.
The Warehouse Audit Report evaluates all functions of the warehouse at a high level, and leaves opportunity to more deeply pursue the audit points deemed most pressing, lacking, or impactful to your operation. The audit report reviews operations in regard to best practices, inbound processing, outbound processing, metrics and measurements, equipment and resources, technology use, and staff training and culture. Auditing your warehouse operations is vital to maintaining best in class operations.
Why do a Warehouse Audit?
The Warehouse Audit enables diverse individuals to evaluate your operations with the same areas of focus from diverse perspectives. Diversely viewing, approaching, and tackling the warehouse audit points improve the likelihood that pain points will be identified and that opportunities will be presented for both significant and marginal gains. Regularly auditing your warehouse operation continuously delivers results over time and ensures continuous improvement is maintained within operations.
The warehouse audit identifies the current state of operations and specific opportunities within the operation for improvements and/or cost savings. In addition to identifying where your operation excels and needs works, the warehouse audit helps to prioritize the order that you implement future changes. The warehouse audit is an opportunity for your team to criticize and improve upon all operations, systems, and processes.
Who Completes a Warehouse Audit?
A Warehouse Audit is completed by either knowledgeable on-site staff and management, or by external warehousing and operations experts. Although seeking external experts to conduct a warehouse audit is more costly, you will certainly receive better quality feedback and more exact direction to resolve existing pain points per industry best practices. If your staff is highly skilled, your pain points are very simple, or your revenue is very low then completing the warehouse audit with on-site staff and management may be most effective. Regardless of whether the warehouse auditing staff is composed of on-site staff, these auditing personnel should be deeply knowledgeable on standard operating practices and technologies.
Even if external parties are brought in for the warehouse audit, key stakeholders (managers, supervisors, leads, and similar) of the warehouse operation must actively participate in the warehouse audit to:
- Ensure the auditors understand the operations, processes, and requirements that they are observing,
- Provide their own deep insight to the operations that they are intimately familiar with, and
- Ultimately ensure that they buy into the feedback and guidance received from the warehouse auditing staff.
Ultimately the on-site stakeholders of the warehouse are the only ones that fully understand operation requirements or limitations. Furthermore they are the ones that will implement and maintain change, so their buy in and expertise is necessary to realize value from a warehouse audit.
When to Complete a Warehouse Audit Report?
The Warehouse Audit Report can be completed at any time, but there are certain moments when it is most impactful and makes the most sense for facilities to fully audit their operations. The Warehouse Audit Report provides the team with a framework to identify opportunities across the facility, so it makes the most sense to complete a Warehouse Audit Report at a time when the company is considering or requiring change to occur (directly or indirectly). Similarly when a company is undergoing change, they desire the greatest total impact from that change. The Warehouse Audit Report can be used to ensure the greatest impact from the change is realized by the operation.
Companies should considering completing Warehouse Audit Reports at frequencies similar to those recommended below.
- When undergoing pain points.
- The warehouse audit can be used to assess operations, and to identify the root cause of current pains.
- When evaluating growth opportunities.
- The warehouse audit helps you decide where to focus on growth, and what to prioritize to maximize opportunities.
- When considering disruptive changes such as implementing new technologies.
- The warehouse audit identifies opportunities and areas that need improvement in the operation. Before implementing disruptive changes, be sure to audit your entire operation to get the most out of your future disruption.
- Over a fixed time period – Quarterly, Bi-Annual, or Annually.
- Regularly conduct a warehouse audit over a fixed time period to ensure your operation is continually improving based on the identified pain points and goals. We recommend conducting a Quarterly Warehouse Audit of your operation.
How to Use the Warehouse Audit Report?
The Warehouse Audit Report is simple to use, and serves as a guide for the auditing staff to think about and evaluate impactful components of your warehouse operation. The Warehouse Audit Report is a form with 21 warehouse criteria that are evaluated within the operation as ranking either 1) Below Average, 2) Average, or 3) Above Average.
Then beyond the simple ranking per audit point, specific detailed Findings are written per each Warehouse Audit Point to explain why the corresponding rating was provided. The Findings must then specifically note current pains and opportunities to improve upon per point. The simple Warehouse Audit Point Ranking is meant to trigger the mind to justify the rating, and then explain how the operation can perform and rate better.
Want to audit your warehouse operation to identify opportunities for cost savings and higher volumes, but not sure where to start? Access Warehousing Etc’s FREE 21 Point Warehouse Audit Report to start evaluating your operation with your in-house staff and resources.
Simply print the Form and start evaluating your operation!
No qualified on-site staff to conduct the warehouse audit? No problem! Contact Us to schedule an on-site warehouse audit by our qualified warehouse experts.
Bringing it all together
Regardless of the pain points in your current warehouse operation, the Warehouse Audit Report provides a simple method to evaluate your operations for impactful opportunities of improvement and cost savings. In most situations, the on-site staff is not properly equipped to complete the most effective warehouse audit without seeking guidance from external expert parties. The cost of seeking external warehouse expertise is negligible as the costs often pay for themselves through improved operations and throughputs. Warehouse Audits can be completed at any time, but it is most impactful to complete an audit when the warehouse is preparing to undergo change.