It’s possible that you haven’t considered overhauling your warehouse storage and delivery system. A warehouse is just where you store your product, right? Good warehouse maintenance ensures that products are getting out the door to the customer as fast as possible and in the best condition as possible—two considerations that are of paramount importance to your customer, and both of which depend on good warehouse management. This guide will explain what warehouse maintenance involves and best practices.
Schedule, schedule, schedule
It’s easy to put off the things that you know you need to do for upkeep, and it’s even easier to let them slip if you’re not in the warehouse every day—out of sight, out of mind, after all. Make sure you schedule these three key aspects of running a good warehouse, even if that’s just printing out a list of dates to pin to a noticeboard. Make sure you and your staff know what needs to happen and when:
- Preventive Maintenance—This is an equipment check to make sure your equipment is running well in order to avoid sudden and costly breakdowns. For example, a conveyor belt may need replacing b or your pallet lifter may need to be checked for signs of stress and wear and tear. Not only will you not be left in the lurch if these things start to come to the end of their life, but you can also extend that life by good maintenance.
- Training—Workers are essential to effective warehouse maintenance. Make sure your workers understand the equipment they use, know how to care for it, and they will be able to identify problems before they happen. You will also reduce the risk of on-the-job accidents.
- Inspections—These are key to maintenance. No matter how good your team is, they will still miss problems and issues. By conducting comprehensive inspections regularly, you can spot emerging issues and correct them before the warehouse is disrupted.
The Essential Warehouse Checklist
Apart from scheduling these three important issues, it would help if you also were on top of the following issues and/or had systems to monitor them continuously.
- Create a maintenance manual—The manual should describe in detail what the daily maintenance practices should be for each worker, any special or scheduled maintenance, what inspections should be done and when, and how certain maintenance issues should be dealt with. Provide each employee a copy of the manual and update it regularly.
- Take safety precautions—Make sure your crew has ample access to equipment such as helmets, harnesses, and anything else that is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration–or just based on your common sense. No one should be sharing safety equipment. It is unsafe, and it can bottleneck productivity.
- View the numbers—Thanks to today’s software, it’s easier than ever to gather data about your day-to-day operations. Sit down with it in order to spot trends and opportunities for improvement. Perhaps you’ll find that your conveyor belts break down 20% faster than they should be based, on industry standards, indicating that current maintenance practices should be adjusted or that you need to contact fluentconveyors.com to have them replaced. By scheduling time, you help yourself resist the urge to procrastinate on this important task in favor of more pressing matters.
- Listen to your crew—You don’t work with the equipment in the warehouse for hours each day, but your crew does. Schedule talks with them to find out what issues they’re encountering, such as frequent breakdowns or a maintenance manual that is difficult to follow. Offer rewards like gift cards and bonuses to the crew who identify potential problems or find a better way to use the equipment.
- Deal with pests aggressively—Pests are often an afterthought, but they can cause serious disruption to your facility, as well as your stock, and both things mean that you’re losing money. Train the staff to look for signs of warehouse pests. Call in a professional to conduct a thorough examination of your facility to see what the scope of the problem is.
It’s never too late or too soon to put good practices in place and schedule good systems that will help you and your staff better serve your customers.