Warehouse managers are always looking for ways to work smarter, leaner and more efficiently.
Here are some simple tips to make life easier for everyone in the workplace.
1. Free up space for your waste and recycling – Waste is inevitable in the warehouse. The racksack® is the perfect solution to your warehouse-waste-woes. Easily hung on racking, the racksack® can be filled with up to 160L of waste. This frees up valuable warehouse space that a lot of businesses are currently having to dedicate to giant wheelie bins. With a wide selection of print designs to choose from you can be sure to find a solution for your largest waste culprits.
2. Highly visible signs and labels – Improving the flow of a warehouse as well as increasing health and safety awareness, signs and labels are an important feature of any warehouse. Important warnings and notices should be displayed clearly to meet HSE standards and regulations. Racking labels and identification are also important for improving warehouse logistics.
3. Optimise your storage space with racking and shelving – Sounds obvious right? But if you want your warehouse to be neat, storage efficient and safe, then racking and shelving is a must, and one of the first things you should look at streamlining. There are various types of racking: Cantilever racking, selective racking, push back racking, drive-in racking, pallet flow racking and carton flow racking, among others. Do your research, and decide which racking and shelving is most effective for your warehouse space.
4. Dedicate specific areas to employees – This is the equivalent of making them feel like they have their own “office”! With dedicated areas your warehouse also becomes more structured, and less chaotic. Come up with a floor plan, factoring in population and current warehouse capacity, and designate staff accordingly.
5. Housekeeping! – You should routinely clean your warehouse, don’t let it gradually descend into a dust and dirt haven. Keep cleaning products close by and easily available. Encourage pride in your work space. Set up a routine where tools, machinery, merchandise and paperwork are all left in satisfactory condition by the end of each working day or week. Visual management boards are a great way of keeping the warehouse in tip-top shape.
6. Keep a suitable First Aid Kit nearby for any accidental accidents! – Injuries can be common in a warehouse environment, with heavy machinery and sharp tools being used each and every day. Having a visible and easily accessible First Aid Kit station on site can lead to a quick, potentially life-changing response. Be sure to have a trained first aider in your ranks, and make people are aware who and where that person can be found in case of an emergency.
7. Shift rotations and progression – Keeping your staff on their toes is imperative for achieving a happy and dynamic team. Some tasks can get tedious after a while. Where possible, make sure your staff are well trained in all aspects of warehouse duties and responsibilities – not only does this mean you can assign them to any task without dubiety, it also covers duties when staff members are off sick or on annual leave. This will have a positive impact on productivity and will also improve individual progression which is great for team confidence.
8. Keep on top of inventory control – Whether it’s through computer system software or a simple pen and paper checking system, your stock levels need to be observed and accurately recorded. Regular stock-taking (usually yearly, but can be weekly, monthly, quarterly) ensures quantities and the condition of items are precise. Visual stock marking is a great way of monitoring stock control.
9. Get rid of old stock! – Sometimes we can be hoarders, even in business. But there comes a time when those old products collecting dust on the top shelf are taking up valuable storage space that could be used for other items. If the stock hasn’t moved for a while, and you believe the value has decreased significantly… Get. Rid.
However, if you think the stock is too good for a skip, perhaps think about selling your items in bulk, using auctions or online resale websites.
10. Communicate – This seems obvious, and yet is vitally important – Your warehouse is only as efficient as your team. Set up weekly/monthly/quarterly meetings for feedback and evaluations. Add a suggestion box for those who might not feel comfortable putting forward their ideas. Employees will often know the warehouse and it’s routines inside out – tapping into their brains for ideas can often be the best and quickest way to improve your organisation. If everyone is on the same page it makes the warehouse a much happier, productive place to be!