Cleanliness of the warehouse is a reflection of its effectiveness. After all, well-maintained facilities are less hazardous for work, especially for employees that are more sensitive to airborne particles. They are also more productive and consequently much easier to organize. Achieving this peak effectiveness is not easy, so if you want to have gleaming floors and shiny walls, here’s what you need to consider if you want to stay on the road towards an immaculately clean warehouse.
A functional warehouse is more than a sum of its parts. Every aspect needs to work in tandem with another and it is crucial to find the most reasonable solutions so that each employee gives their best when engaged with each of those aspects. For example, applying a clean-as-you-go policy to any activity within the warehouse is one such reasonable solution.
As the employer or the manager, you can instill your workers with the value system which dictates that no task is complete until everything is cleaned and arranged perfectly. Such cleaning ‘minutia’ will certainly add up, and the warehouse will be cleaner for it, not to mention the fact that each worker will know where every item lies and they will collaborate easily.
The bin strategy
People are visual creatures. If they see something and register it as pattern recognition, they will accept it and possibly change their habits accordingly. Arrange trash bins (or trash cans) evenly across the warehouse so that at least one of them is visible from every point between its four walls. Add a sticker on their tops that says it is a requirement to empty each of the bins by the end of the day in order to avoid overflow. The results of such implementation are bound to be profound.
Think outside the box
In search of the most efficient storage solutions, you may fall into a trap of purchasing large-scale platforms that are nigh impossible to move once they are installed. This can be a bad solution to the cleanliness of your warehouse, as dust, dirt and other residue will accrue in the corners that are impossible to reach.
You can rely on modern pallet racking solutions for the best balance between easy management and modularity. On the one hand, it is simply smart storage that is easy to adjust according to the ever-shifting needs of the warehouse. On the other hand, this flexibility will enable easy and swift cleaning of every nook and cranny in the warehouse.
Create a calendar
Schedules and to-do lists are passé for a very simple reason – they were proven to be ineffective or, at the very least, not as effective as they should be by a long shot. On the other hand, calendars work like charms. Regular cleaning goals are important, and they are best conveyed and realized through calendar scheduling which is mounted on the wall in the office and in the warehouse itself.
Assigned cleaning tasks which can happen in regular intervals – once a week, once a month or at the tentative beginning of each season – will put you and the workers into a certain welcoming cleaning rhythm. Furthermore, each of the warehouse elements should be scheduled separately according to their needs.
For example, pallets and racks should be cleaned much more regularly than walls and windows. Consequently, floors should be cleaned more often than pallets and racks – at the end of every day. If you have hired third-party services for cleaning, you should establish a very detailed set of instructions that focus on critical areas which can easily malfunction due to accumulated dirt. Examples of such areas are work cells, shipping doors and the immediate surroundings of electrical boxes.
Recycling and inventory
Outdated items, seemingly useful junk and stock can turn your warehouse into a nightmarish realm that’s hard to navigate and even harder to manage. In order to avoid these slowly growing disasters in the shape of completely useless garbage that takes up space, you should do regular inventory and habitual checkups ‘of the grounds’. Labeling helps, but it still doesn’t compensate for the unpredictability of the human factor and their deeply rooted need to hoard.
A clean warehouse reaps numerous benefits just for this one aspect. Accumulated junk may lead to fire hazards, leaked oils will create slippery spots for workers and airborne particles are a serious issue for the lungs of employees in the long run. Furthermore, the cleanliness of the warehouse will reflect on employee enthusiasm, giving them a sense of pride in their work and accomplishment when the operations are well-executed.