What Can Go Wrong In A Warehouse?

What can go wrong in a warehouse?

A team of auditor was auditing the warehouse yesterday. It lasted the entire day and unfortunately, a lot of things went wrong. It was one of the messiest day for the operations and the audit team happened to be around. All the findings were recorded and rectification works need to be done immediately.

Such a scenario might happen in any warehouse.

Below is a list of possible items that can go wrong in a warehouse, and the severity depends on the situation.

  1. Inventory mix up

Occasionally, pickers will pick the incorrect inventory from the storage area. It can be in terms of quantity or batch number. This will pass through the packing station and dispatch area to be loaded into the truck. Only upon delivering, the customer realizes that the physical stock and the invoice do not tally will this mistake be found out.

You might encounter another situation where value added service has to be done to the product before delivering to the customers. Instead of label A which should be correctly affixed to the product, label B is being used. This might result in the recall of that particular batch of inventory.

  1. Pallet racking damaged

There is a speed limit which forklift drivers have to adhere within the warehouse environment. There are certain new forklift drivers who might drive too fast or are too careless and accidentally hit the upright of the pallet racking.

If this happens, which occurs occasionally, you will need to move the affected pallets to other empty locations and have this upright be rectified by the vendor as soon as possible.

  1. Building leakage

It was raining the night before. This warehouse is old, almost close to 10 years of age. The roof is leaking at certain spots, causing damages to the inventory. Warehouse operations need to bear the cost of the damages.

  1. Conveyor down

Due to physical wear and tear, or a glitch in the software system, the conveyor does not work. When this happens, you need to ask your operators to manually move the totes from one end of the warehouse to the next location where the totes are supposed to flow to.

  1. WMS down

One painful issue that will happen is the WMS breakdown. WMS (Warehouse Management System) is a computer software that help operations processed all the inbound and outbound data. This includes picking data as well. With the downtime experienced, the operators either wait for the system to resume back to normal or start performing manual picking using paper.

  1. Temperature surge

In a temperature-controlled warehouse, where the inventory need to be stored within certain temperature ranges, the temperature has a very important role to play. If you notice a sudden breakdown in the air-conditional units, rectification steps must be implemented straightaway. Otherwise, the entire inventory within the area will be impacted.

To illustrate this point, imagine vaccination that must be stored in a 2 to 8 Degree Celsius environment. If the air conditioning unit in the cold room has stop functioning more than the allowable time span, the vaccination will be rendered as unable to be used.

  1. Pilferage

During the half-yearly stock take, operations realizes that a certain SKU (stock keeping unit) has a lot of missing inventory. After further investigation, you found out that the SKU is a high priced valuable item. Going through the video captured from the CCTV, you found out that theft of this item happened a number of times within the 6 months.

The above scenario is a case in point where good security standard have to be put in place to prevent pilferage from happening.

  1. MHE breakdown

It is the peak season. Your picking team is busy picking pallets off the pallet rack. Suddenly, one of the reach trucks is stalled and unable to move. Your throughput suddenly drop and the team is unable to complete the orders on time.

To prevent such instances from happening, you should ensure regular maintenance of the MHE.

In addition, the MHE supplier should be able to response to breakdown of the MHE quickly.

  1. Power supply

It is the typhoon season. Strong wind and heavy downpour happen frequently for the week. Due to the weather, the power cables are damaged and the power supply cut off. Fortunately, there is a power generator on standby that continue providing power to the warehouse while the facility manager liaises with the respective government agency to resolve the issue.

  1. Infestation of insects

Beside your warehouse, there is a restaurant that caters to the crowd in the industrial area. The restaurant’s garbage collection point happens to be very near to the warehouse. As a result, operators begin to notice ants and other type of insects appearing in the vicinity.

You need to engage the relevant company to eradicate the infestation.

  1. Natural Disaster

You are in the middle of a monsoon season. Heavy downpour coupled with the geographical landscape has created a severe flooding to the entire area. Your warehouse happens to be situated in this area. Your inventory are submerged in water.




There will be 101 things that may go wrong within the warehouse. What you need to do is to ensure there are actions to be taken in such instances.

What other things can you think of that may go wrong in a warehouse?

1 thought on “What Can Go Wrong In A Warehouse?”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. A warehouse auditing is really necessary to identify hidden factors which is detrimental for the warehouse operations and could cause product loss. Use of damaged pallets could cause an accident. So, weaker components should be identified and replaced with suitable substitutes in time to prevent any kind of accidents. Apart from this, factors which could lead to accidents should be identified and repaired in time to prevent accidents and product loss associated with such accidents.

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