How clean is your Warehouse? 5 Simple tips to increase profits

How can you make your warehouse more efficient and more profitable?

There’s plenty of advice out there to help maximise plant efficiency and to make your warehouse more profitable. From addressing and streamlining the picking process, maxing out available labour, down to changing facility layout and aisle spaces.

But one of the simplest, and often overlooked, methods of gauging a warehouses effectiveness is its level of cleanliness.

Cleaner Facilities – Higher Productivity

It should be self-evident common sense, but it has been proven time and again that facilities that are cleaner, are safer to work in, more organised and more productive environments.

Working constantly in a debris-strewn environment, where rubbish is not routinely cleared away has a marked effect on both the mental and physical state of workers. You don’t need a psychological study to know that workers in such facilities tend not to take pride in their work and are also more prone to trips and falls.

Additionally, accumulated dirt can cost the business in other ways. Allowing dust to accumulate on sensitive electrical components is a sure fire way to incur huge repair bills. Leaving pools of oil or spilled liquids can create spots where workers can fall, and forklifts can lose control.

In a busy warehouse it is difficult to keep it spotless all the time, but taking the time to remove debris from packing materials, damaged goods, pallets is well worth it.

Five Tips to keep your Warehouse Clean

Here are our simple recommendations for keeping your warehouse clean.

1. Mandatory Clean-as-you-go

Quite often, it isn’t until staff are mired in metres of shrink-wrap, wrapping bands and discarded pallets that a clean up takes place. But there are always quiet times, between the loading of parcels on the carousel, when debris can be picked up and a quick clear up can be made. This minimises the overall volume of waste needed to be cleared at the end of the shift.

2. Individual Cleaning Zones to Assigned Workers

Depending on the kind of operation you run, you can assign workers to clean up zones around their position. Picking up debris, sweeping and reorganising materials will help them improve efficiency as items become easier to find and use. It’s also important that shift workers don’t leave a mess behind at the end of their shift for the next shift to clear up. This creates tension and resentment and leads to a war of who’s job it is to clean.

3. Cleaning Milestones

Cleaning tasks should be assigned on daily, weekly and monthly requirements. Creating task lists and schedules will make sure that all areas are covered and staff remain accountable. Floors should be swept daily, even hourly if possible. Pallet racks should be dusted or wiped down monthly. Electrical equipment should be checked for buildup of dust every two months.

4. Cleaning Supplies available

If you have mandated staff to regularly clean their immediate surroundings, to improve efficiency, it’s important to make sure that they have cleaning equipment and supplies to hand. It becomes counter-intuitive to efficiency to make them walk halfway around the warehouse looking for brooms and bins. Placing required cleaning equipment close by, can also encourage your workers to actually use them.

5. Regularly empty waste bins

Finally and most importantly, allowing the waste bins get to the point where they overflow is a no-no. Apart from creating a fire hazard, it can also be dangerous when people try to force more rubbish into it, especially when items are heavy or sharp. An overflowing bin also repels people from actually using it.

It is a simple thing, but cleanliness really is a measure of efficiency. By implementing these 5 cleaning tips in your facility will help guarantee a smoother operation, leading to increased profits.

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