Warehouses are the hub of a business, a busy place where it is easy to get wrapped in the process of receiving and distributing goods. Such sites can quickly become disorganised with no time given to keeping them in good order. This isn’t the best news for your business. It’s easy for stock to be mislaid or misplaced if it doesn’t have a defined home. No structure to a site can lead to lost time searching for inventory and even accidents.
When you take care of your warehouse, you take care of your business, productivity, and site safety. Employees will know what is expected of them, improving their performance and wellbeing.
While warehouse design can solve many of the problems caused by a busy warehouse, purchasing the right equipment from suppliers such as WorXmart can help too. No matter how big or small your warehouse or whatever you sell, store or manufacture, having the right equipment is a wise investment.
The best warehouses are planned to provide a natural workflow. Plan your space to have clearly defined areas by function, ensure the areas flow through the processes. Think about areas of high traffic, those that need outside access and plan for them.
If you rely on forklifts to move goods around, ensure they have room to manoeuvre and clearly defined routes. Mark the floor to ensure everyone is clear. If you need platforms, ladders or loading equipment, there needs to be room in front of shelving or racking for them safely.
It may sound obvious that it needs to be safe, but it must also be appropriate for the products you plan to use it with. Many shelving and racking solutions are available, each with different weight capacity and height safety limits. Aim to buy more robust than you think you need. It is easy for businesses to expand and forget that shelving purchased may not be up to the task still.
Running a warehouse will likely involve paperwork. A defined area with appropriate filing cabinets, paperwork storage, workbenches and equipment will run smoothly. If everything has its place, it is easier to maintain procedures, keep the site tidy, find bits when you need them and for someone else to step in and take over if needed. The more organised your provision, the more productive and professional your business will be.
Waste and Recycling
Provision for handling waste material from small general waste bins to industrial waste is essential. You only want to be handling waste once. Setting procedures and having defined waste provisions will save you valuable time. The easy option is to dump it in a corner and deal with it later. This only becomes a nuisance and fire hazard and will eventually require sorting, meaning extra staffing. To avoid this, use appropriate equipment at the outset.
Site Safety and Comfort
Again, an effectively organised site will be a safer one. Safety products to highlight shelving corners or hard to see areas, anti-slip mats and strips for stairs or floors that may be a hazard can all assist with this. Signs and floor markers act as visible warnings for moving vehicles, hazardous chemicals or equipment to ensure staff have a constant reminder.
Warehouses often require employees to stand still for lengthy periods whilst packing or assembling. Standing still can be tiring and challenging on the body, which will impact productivity, as time is wasted constantly adjusting position or fidgeting to avoid leg strain and discomfort. Providing comfort equipment such as fatigue or orthopaedic matting and perch seats to enable employees to choose different working positions throughout the day will reduce the stress on their legs and back.
How we design workspaces to include employee comfort affects productivity. It will improve wellbeing, ultimately reducing downtime and absences.
Finally, providing lockers for personal item storage and comfortable seating will help keep your warehouse tidy and avoid you finding employees lounging in the middle of the warehouse with work bustling on around them.
All the tips above could help you ensure your warehouse remains practical and productive, no matter how busy.