The Ultimate Guide to Warehouse Labelling in 2022
Warehouse labelling and signs are one of the most important aspects of efficient warehouse management. Labelling can refer to identifying products within a storage facility so that they can be easily stacked and found again, or for other warehouse equipment such as pallet racking, shelving systems, aisles and loading areas.
Some, if not all warehouse labels need to be bespoke to your requirements and this is where Oakway Storage can help. As the warehouse optimisation experts, we’ve worked with businesses across the UK in order to solve their storage problems and we head into 2022 with the same goal.
In this guide, we will compile all the information you need when searching for warehouse labelling so that you can see whether you need them in your storage facility.
Different types of warehouse labels
Warehouse labels are grouped on the basis of the purpose of identification they satisfy – RFID tags, barcode labels, painted labels and retro-reflective labels. With technology in 2022 poised to make big leaps, the adoption of invisible barcodes is expected to gather pace, so these will soon be grouped with the likes of traditional barcodes.
Usually, warehouse labels are divided into the following categories:
Floor labels and markings (location labels)
Once you have identified the areas inside your warehouse as per the layout, they are marked with the help of markings, labels and signs. Using colour-coded labels and markings will help differentiate the proximity to the gates. The use of arrows on your warehouse floor and/or hanging signs will help workers efficiently navigate their way through the storage facility.
Warehouse pallet labels
These types of paper labels are used to track items that move around in a warehouse, like those on pallets, or in cartons/bins – these are also known as license plate number (LPN) labels. If you want to track where your items are as they make their way through the warehouse from the time they enter to the time they leave, this is the label you need.
Warehouse rack labels
You will most commonly find these labels on warehouse racks. They mark and identify each bay’s location and typically use barcodes for scanning, but can also have letters and numbers on for workers to easily identify contents without scanning. This type of warehouse label is usually made of polyester or similar material to ensure better durability.
Warehouse tote and bin labels
This type of warehouse label are usually barcodes or RFID tags that are placed on bins, totes, and other containers. Many storage facilities will use this type of label to store individual items, but they can also use them to keep collections of small, individual items, like nails and screws. Note that these labels will need to be removed and replaced as the containers they are placed on are reusable.
Why do I need warehouse labels?
With businesses constantly expanding and needing help with their storage solutions, the question ‘why do I need warehouse labels’ often comes up. If you haven’t got any warehouse labels already in place, then now is the time to change that.
The reasons below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to warehouse labelling.
Get rid of the manual labour
Manually writing down and keeping notes of your inventory is common amongst start-ups and smaller warehouses. This not only increases the likelihood of mistakes, but it’s also highly inefficient. Save time and make your warehouse operate smoother by implementing rack, magnetic and location labels.
Your workers are confused
If warehouse operators don’t know where to find inventory, then you have a serious problem on your hands. Without labels, signs and markings, workers will struggle to navigate their way around your facility, meaning they spend less time doing the important things.
Benefits of warehouse labels and signs
Now you know the reasons why you need warehouse labels, you may be wondering what the benefits are. The first benefit to having labels for your storage facility in 2022, is that the below are applicable to almost all sizes of warehouses…
Better inventory management
Warehouse labelling has a direct effect on your inventory management – you have greater control over stock movement and the process of moving your inventory inside the facility. Having labels in place can also help optimise your storage space in your warehouse.
Having signs and markings makes for prompt navigation and curbs confusion among workers. Clear and easy to see navigation signs improves efficiency and with up to 50% of time spent travelling when picking items, this is a crucial part of your operation.
Reduce errors and lag time
If you’re manually keeping notes of inventory, then it’s time to change. Having labels on racking and other storage equipment will help reduce errors and with systems being interlinked, the lag time is significantly reduced so that you can be sure you know what’s in your warehouse at all times.
Linked with the second benefit, workers will know exactly what goes where when unloading, and vice versa when stock picking.
If you’re struggling with inventory management within your storage facility, then this guide should help you understand the fundamentals of warehouse labels, signs and markings when going into 2022. The bottom line is that no matter what size or type of warehouse you operate, you should have a labelling system in place (can be magnetic or paper-based), whether that be for your racking, shelving systems or aisles.
Oakway Storage has a plethora of experience helping businesses in similar situations to you. To discuss your warehouse labelling issues, contact us to speak to one of our warehouse optimisation experts.