How to keep your warehouse tidy, safe and clutter-free
Keeping your warehouse neat, tidy and clean is one of the most important ways to ensure ongoing profitability and efficient working routines. Clear walkways lower the risk of accidents and allow products to be moved more quickly, while an effective storage system enables stock to be picked with better accuracy. Pleasant, dirt-free surroundings also help boost the workforce’s morale and make for happier working conditions all around.
Here are five ways to keep a busy warehouse in order.
Racks and shelves
A well-planned space can hold more than might initially be imagined. Maximising space by choosing the right layout of shelves, racks and storage units can allow extra stock and greater profitability. Making sure these racks and shelves are properly protected with the right partitioning and barrier systems such as crash barrier systems will also help keep the warehouse organised and the area less prone to accidents that can damage stock, cause injuries and waste valuable time to sort.
Love those labels
Marking out your warehouse floors will not only help keep things tidy but will also assist any newcomers or visitors needing to find their way around. Creating line markings to designate pedestrian or vehicle-only areas will help keep them safely apart while labelling each area of the warehouse to identify the different kinds of stock, equipment or machinery present will maintain an ordered way of working and protect machine assets from damage. Don’t forget to mark out zones for forklift parking and pallet loading.
Clutter and waste
Provide plenty of bins around the warehouse for easy disposal of packaging, boxes etc. and empty them regularly to prevent a build-up of rubbish. Packing materials can be cumbersome and, as well as getting in the way, can cause accidents by blocking vision or tumbling onto an unsuspecting passer-by. Take time out every few weeks or so to declutter the warehouse, carefully disposing of any broken equipment, damaged stock or unwanted items hanging around. Create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Encourage recycling by having separate bins for reusable waste. Most packaging materials can be recycled, including paper, cardboard, plastics and glass. Don’t forget pallets – these can be recycled and reused too.
When everyone is responsible for doing a task, it normally ends up with nobody doing it. So, assign different cleaning, organising or tidying tasks to different teams or individuals and check regularly on their progress. Introduce a competitive element by comparing zones around the warehouse and rewarding the teams that do the best decluttering or cleaning job. Lead by example by including the management in the zone allocations.
Revisit your design
No matter how organised your warehouse may be, there is normally something you can do differently to make things even better and to improve productivity that bit more. Can you reformat your warehouse layout with better line markings, or are there any new and improved barriers and asset protection systems out there to investigate? Make a note to revisit your organisational methods every few months to keep things fresh.