Set high standards when it comes to the organisation of your warehouse. With some forethought, you can build a culture that sees time and effort placed on maintaining an efficient and healthy work environment.
Consider these steps when developing warehouse efficiency.
Warehouse Safety Education
Before anything else, you must first consider safety. Most warehouse injury is related to a lack of knowledge, so training employees in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), use of machinery, and common hazards is highly important.
Not only will safety education reduce the chance of injury in the work place, it will also put your business in a stronger position for success in the future. Less injury will decrease or eliminate the costs associated with compensation and hospital bills, along with many others.
Furthermore, time is money. The process of injury will slow business processes, and you may lose income. A simple safety test is inexpensive and can be carried out every couple of months to ensure a safe working environment.
If your company is seeing growth in sales, you will eventually need to upgrade your warehouse space. Depending on the speed at which your business is growing, it’s wise to evaluate the design of your floor space every three to five years. There are several aspects to consider when planning to upgrade.
- Are problems occurring?
- Are storage and processes still safe?
- Is the space still functional?
- Have you established all your facility requirements?
Changing the design or layout of your warehouse is a hassle if you're not moving space altogether. Unfortunately, it’s something that must be done if issues are occurring. You must do this if your business is growing.
A very long time ago, the Japanese created the 5S methodology to maintain order and organisation in the workplace. Executing this method increases levels of efficiency, effectiveness and safety. This approach is now implemented in many warehouse systems around the world.
Sort – Evaluate what inventory is necessary to the profitability of your business and what is not. Anything deemed no longer useful must go. This will result in less clutter and obstruction.
Set in order – Now that you have sorted your product, you must organise. Plan a strategy before you start. Where will everything go? How easy is it to find? Everything should have a set location. Doing this will save you time and money. It will also eliminate product loss.
Shine – Before you do anything, it’s important to clean the warehouse back to front. Floors, shelving, machinery and anything else that plays a role in your process must be cleaned. This will help reduce safety hazards and create a better environment for your products and staff.
Standardise – Create high standards in the workplace. Make sure each staff member is dedicated to maintaining the quality of process, cleanliness and organisation of the warehouse. If one employee starts slipping, others will follow.
Sustain – Sustaining what you have implemented is the hardest part. Don’t fall back into bad habits. Each staff member needs to continue new processes and continue to build a new culture. Keep the warehouse clean by implementing cleaning rosters or another strategy that fits your business. Follow a method that keeps the standards of the warehouse high.
The implementation of these steps and new processes may take a while depending on the size of your business. Be patient and trust the process. It will benefit your business.
Pallet Racking Systems
All large businesses that hold stock use a pallet racking system. Even small businesses reap the benefits. In addition to increasing overall efficiency of the business, pallet racking reduces warehouse expenditure soon after implementation and makes storage of materials and stock much easier to manage. Storing vertically also creates more space on the ground, allowing much better storage and often negating the need to move. Maintenance of a pallet racking system is simple and doesn’t consume time.
The initial outlay to implement pallet racking can be expensive, especially if you need to acquire a forklift. Not only do you have to consider the physical racking system, but also new training and safety education. Nonetheless, once the system is paid off, you will clearly see the benefits.