What warehouse owners need to rememeber at the end of the day is that warehouse operations are a reflection of the company. If the warehouse is a mess, how can customers possibly be satisfied effectively? How would anyone know where anything is and manage to deliver orders on time?
Daily cleaning is a discipline that needs to be instilled into the staff. Its the same as brushing your teeth or cleaning your room or getting dressed. These are daily habits. Cleaning your warehouse should be a daily habit for ALL your staff.
Boxes in disorganised piles, loose pieces of paper, broken pallets etc. can all damage your worker's productivity. Different scenarios could develop as follows:
Loose pieces of a pallet can damage your forklifts or injure a warehouse worker as he/she is walking around
Items of stock can not be found because they were moved to different locations and orders need to be urgently sent out
Items of stock are mixed in with other items, making it difficult to separate in time to complete orders
Business partners and potential clients are inclined to refuse business with you based on the poor presentation of your warehouse
Old labels left lying on the floor could reattach themselves to new boxes by accident (if a box was placed over them)
The clutter makes it difficult to pinpoint where certain items are located
Workers will complain that they are losing space in the warehouse to work
7 Simple Ways to get your Warehouse in order and drive cleaning from a meaningless chore into a job requirement:
1) Make it easy: to dispose of small garbage piece easily, place a small dustbin or plastic bag at the end of every aisle or near every workstation- this way the workers will not complain about having to walk far just to dispose of an item.
2) Provide the right tools: provide a broom and a dustpan for each working section of the warehouse in order to sweep away any accumulation of dust
3) Discipline: ensure that the last 10-15 minutes of each individual's day is spent cleaning their workstation
4) Cleaning Schedules and assignments: appoint a different member of the managerial staff each week to go on 'cleaning duty' by surveiling the workstation areas for 15 minutes or every couple of hours (those who are on duty should hand out warnings to those who did not clean their work place)
5) Encourage the staff members: instruct the workers to record the amount of rubbish they pick up in the warehouse and reward the employee with the highest number of garbage bags filled or pieces picked up
6) Get Managers on board: encourage managers to set the example by picking up any pieces of rubbish they find when walking around the warehouse
7) Section areas in your warehouse. This is most crucial tip as many clients in the past have mixed and matched return areas with stock waiting to be packed away or shipped. Whether its making use of racks and/or building a cage around the returns area