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Warehouse Management

24 Essential Warehouse Metrics and KPIs

24 essential warehouse metrics and KPIs including warehouse productivity metrics, order fulfillment metrics, shipping metrics, and more with their formulas

Team Hopstack
April 5, 2024

In this blog

In the rapidly evolving world of supply chain management, warehouse operations are a critical component. To ensure efficient and effective operations, it's essential to track and measure performance using a set of warehouse metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 

There are numerous warehouse KPI metrics that can help the warehouse managers to track and improve performance of their warehouses. 

Let’s understand what warehouse metrics and KPIs are. 

Understanding Warehouse Metrics and KPIs

Warehouse metrics and Warehouse KPIs are quantifiable measurements used to assess, compare, and track the performance of warehouse operations over time. These warehouse performance metrics are pivotal in identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and opportunities for improvement. 

These warehouse productivity metrics and warehouse efficiency metrics provide insight into the operational health of the warehouse, enabling managers to make data-driven decisions and strategic adjustments.

This article explores some of the most critical warehouse metrics and KPIs and discusses how they can be leveraged to drive efficiency and profitability.

24 Most Important Warehouse Metrics and KPIs

The value of these warehouse metrics and KPIs lies in their ability to provide actionable insights. 

1. Receiving Efficiency

This warehouse efficiency metrics measures the effectiveness of the goods receiving process. Receiving efficiency measures how effectively items are received and inspected upon arrival at the warehouse.

A higher warehouse receiving efficiency indicates less time spent on the receiving process, which can lead to higher productivity and cost savings.

Formula: Number of Items (inventory) Received and Inspected / Total Time Taken

2. Put-away Time

Put-away time is one of the key warehouse productivity metrics measures the duration between an item's arrival and its storage in the warehouse. A shorter putaway time signifies more efficient operations, reducing storage and labor costs. 

High put-away times may indicate inefficiencies in storage allocation or warehouse layout, necessitating process improvements or physical changes.

Formula: Total Time from Receiving to Storage / Number of Items

3. Order Picking Accuracy

This metric measures the accuracy of the picking process through the percentage of items picked correctly in an order. It helps assess the accuracy of the picking process and identify opportunities to reduce errors and improve efficiency.

Formula: (Number of Accurately Picked Orders / Total Number of Orders Picked) * 100%

4. Order Cycle Time

Cycle time refers to the total time from the moment an order is received to when it's shipped. This metric encompasses several processes, including picking, packing, and shipping. 

Lower order cycle times mean orders are fulfilled faster, improving customer satisfaction and potentially leading to higher sales.

Formula: Sum of Total Order Processing Time / Number of Orders

5. Inventory Turnover

Inventory turnover is one of the warehouse KPI metrics that measures how often inventory is sold and replaced over a specific period. High inventory turnover indicates efficient inventory management and strong sales, while low turnover might signify overstocking or slow-moving items.

Formula: Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory Value

6. Carrying Cost of Inventory

This metric calculates the total cost of holding inventory, including storage, insurance, and potential depreciation. Lower carrying costs represent more efficient inventory management, freeing up capital for other investments.

Formula: (Inventory Holding Cost + Cost of Goods Sold) / Total Inventory Value

7. Order Accuracy Rate

Order accuracy measures the percentage of orders that are fulfilled correctly without errors. It reflects the warehouse's ability to pick, pack, and ship the right products to customers, ensuring customer satisfaction and minimizing returns.

Formula: (Number of Error-Free Orders / Total Number of Orders Shipped) * 100%

8. Backorder Rate

This is one of the warehouse efficiency metrics. The Backorder rate warehouse metrics shows the number of orders that cannot be filled at the time of request. Having high backorder rate leads to loss of sales, high customer churn, and order cancellations due to poor customer experience. 

Formula: (Number of Backorders / Total Number of Orders) * 100%

9. Return Rate 

Return rate measures the percentage of products returned by customers. A high return rate may indicate issues with product quality, inaccurate descriptions, or ineffective order fulfillment processes.

Formula: (Number of Returned Orders / Total Number of Orders Shipped) * 100%

10. Warehouse Capacity Usage

Warehouse capacity utilization measures the percentage of available warehouse space that is currently being used. Optimizing warehouse capacity ensures efficient space utilization, reduces costs, and allows for future growth.

Formula: (Used Warehouse Space / Total Warehouse Space) * 100%

Warehouse Metrics KPIs - WMS Software CTA

11. Perfect Order Rate

The perfect order rate is one of the warehouse management metrics that measures the percentage of orders that are delivered on time, complete, and without any damages or errors. It provides a comprehensive view of the warehouse's performance in delivering flawless orders to customers.

Formula: (Number of Perfect Orders / Total Number of Orders) * 100%

12. Dock-to-Stock Cycle Time

Dock-to-stock cycle time is one of the warehouse metrics that measures the time it takes for incoming goods to be received, inspected, and made available for order fulfillment. A shorter cycle time indicates faster inventory turnaround and reduced lead times.

Formula: Total Time from Dock to Stock / Number of Shipments

13. Inventory Accuracy

Inventory accuracy measures how closely the physical inventory matches the recorded inventory in the warehouse management system (WMS). This warehouse metrics helps prevent stockouts, reduce carrying costs, and optimize inventory levels.

Formula: (Book Inventory / Physical Inventory) * 100%

14. Order Lead Time

Order lead time measures the time it takes to fulfill a customer's order from the moment it is placed until it is shipped. Reducing lead time improves customer satisfaction and enables faster order processing.

Formula: Sum of Total Time from Order to Delivery / Number of Orders

15. Stock-Out Rate

Stock out rate measures the frequency of out-of-stock items. Having the high frequency of out of stock items can lead to reduction in overall sales, poor customer experience, reduced brand visibility and negative impact on brand image. 

Formula: (Number of Stock-Outs / Total Number of SKU) * 100%

16. Average Cost per Order

Average cost associated with processing an order is one of the warehouse efficiency metrics. Lower costs per order fulfillment means having higher profit margins and vice versa. Optimizing the warehouse processes can lead to better efficiency and less avg. cost per order. 

Formula: Total Order Processing Cost / Number of Orders

17. Labor Cost per Order

The labor cost is one of the key warehouse management metrics which is associated with the human effort put in by the warehouse staff and managers to fulfill the orders. The higher the average labor cost is per order, the lesser profit margins there will be.

Automated warehouse systems like warehouse picking automation, inventory management software, automated warehouse receiving process, etc. can reduce labor cost.

Formula: Total Labor Cost / Number of Orders

18. Fill Rate

Fill rate measures the percentage of customer orders that are fulfilled completely on the first shipment. It indicates the warehouse's ability to meet customer demands without backorders or partial shipments.

Formula: Total order fulfilled in first shipment/ Total number of order fulfilled *100%

19. On-Time Shipment Rate

The on-time shipment rate is one of the most important warehouse metrics. It measures the percentage of orders shipped on or before the promised shipping date. Better customer satisfaction and repeat purchases can be achieved through high on-time shipment rate. 

Formula: (Total on-time shipments / Total orders) * 100

On-time shipments are where cycle time is less than promised delivery SLA

20. Damage Rate

Damage rate is one of the warehouse metrics that measures the percentage of goods received or shipped that are damaged. Having a high rate of damage can lead to loss of clients, negative impact on profit margins, and less warehouse workflow efficiency. 

Formula: (Number of Damaged Units / Total Number of Units Handled) * 100%

21. Inbound Order Accuracy

Inbound order accuracy is a warehouse metric for the receiving process where it measures the percentage of inbound orders that are received in the warehouse without any discrepancies, damages or errors. 

Formula: (Number of accurate inbound orders / Total number of inbound orders) *100%

22. Order Cancellation Rate

Order cancellation rate is simply the percentage of orders which are canceled before they are shipped. Loss of sales, increased costs, inventory bloat, and customer dissatisfaction are some of the key results of high cancellation rates. 

Formula: (Total Canceled Orders / Total Orders) *100

23. Supplier Return Rate

Supplier return rate is one of the crucial warehouse metrics that measures the percentage of inbound shipments that are returned to the supplier due to errors, damages, and other issues. Implementation of robust inspection techniques and better supplier collaboration can be leveraged to reduce supplier return rate. 

Formula: (Number of returned shipments / Total number of inbound shipments) *100

24. Delivery Time Variance

Delivery time variance is one of the shipping metrics where the deviation is actual delivery time as compared to the promised delivery time. Lower delivery time variance indicates consistent shipping performance. Industry benchmark for delivery time variance is close to zero. 

Formula: (Sum of delivery time deviations for all orders / Total order with promised delivery time) *100

Leveraging Warehouse Metrics for Enhanced Efficiency and Profitability

Once these warehousing metrics are tracked and analyzed, warehouse managers can implement strategies to improve performance. These warehouse management metrics are the perfect base for improving performance. 

1. Implementing Lean Practices: Lean practices such as just-in-time inventory and demand forecasting can be used to optimize inventory turnover and reduce carrying costs.

2. Warehouse Layout Optimization: By redesigning the warehouse layout, put-away and picking times can be reduced, resulting in faster order fulfillment.

3. Investing in Technology: Technology in warehousing like warehouse management systems (WMS), automated picking systems, and real-time tracking can help reduce errors, improve accuracy, and shorten cycle times.

4. Regular Training and Development: Regular training programs can help staff improve their skills, enhancing warehouse efficiency in processes like receiving, put-away, and picking.

By consistently measuring, analyzing, and acting on these warehouse performance metrics, warehouse managers can drive operational efficiency, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately, enhance profitability.

Hopstack’s digital warehousing platform provides the possibilities to manage, track, measure, and analyze the inventory, order fulfillment, inbound and outbound logistics, and many other warehouse operations. 

Measure Warehouse Metrics & KPIs with Hostack

Hopstack enables businesses to track and measure real-time metrics and key performance indicators to successfully and continuously identify warehouse chokepoints, enhance labor productivity and improve the overall warehouse operations performance and warehouse management

With Hopstack’s warehouse analytics and reporting features, you can create customizable reports and dashboards for all key stakeholders to get visibility into the metrics and data. Gain granularity in analysis by tracking operational and aggregate KPIs for each warehouse, station, process, and associate.

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