Managing a warehouse is much more than ordering products and supervising their flow through the storehouse. Warehouse managers need to do more than supervise employees who transport materials and fill orders, too. You have to protect raw materials and assembled items, and you should keep everything in pristine condition. The challenge for logistics managers is how they can keep things running as smoothly as possible. Here are the top 3 tips for warehouse maintenance.
See Equipment Maintenance as an Investment
Warehouse equipment like mechanical seals and hydraulic filters have a set operational lifespan. They need to be replaced periodically if you want to keep things running. However, some failures are more costly than others.
A sudden breakdown of the conveyor system in a warehouse brings everything to a halt. That’s why you should always have a plan B and look to constantly improve to reduce breakdowns and dips in productivity. If you’re in Minnesota, work with a local supplier to maintain and repair your conveyor lines as necessary. Don’t try to keep failing equipment running. You could work with a team like Fluent Conveyors Minnesota, for instance. Teams like these could not only help you maintain your current equipment but design a new conveyor system far better than the one you’re currently using.
For other types of critical equipment, don’t schedule them all for maintenance at the same time. Assign service times so that you minimize the disruption to operations due to maintenance activities. You could use a computerized maintenance management system or CMMS to keep up with maintenance schedules.
Have an Educated Workforce
Only recruit employees who are certified by an authorized institution to operate equipment like forklifts and cranes. Doing so doesn’t just increase your overall efficiency. It reduces the risk of costly accidents.
When you hire unskilled labor, offer them the opportunity to be trained in how to operate heavy equipment. Ask your employees what else they may benefit from learning so that they can do their jobs more effectively.
Furthermore, you should ask them what else could be done to eliminate the bottlenecks they encounter on the job. They may be able to tell you about problems or potential solutions that could significantly improve productivity. Perhaps they need more training in how to use an inventory tracking or order management system.
Prioritize Pest Control
All warehouses attract pests like birds and rodents. They may nest in the rafters or on your shelves. If your warehouse contains anything they consider edible, they’ll eat through the packaging to get their next meal. Or they may simply get in the way of your employees, as anyone who has been dive-bombed by a bird can attest.
The solution is to have a pest control plan. The pest control plan must be specific to the pests you are dealing with. Outline the types of pests you face or may see. Determine what areas are most vulnerable and what goods they will target. Create a plan to monitor for infestations and report it to management. Your plan will need to address how the pests are removed and any resulting messes cleaned up.
You may want to rearrange goods that attract animals so that pests can’t settle in. This also gives you an opportunity to check for pests and apply pest repellent. Or use nets to prevent pests from invading a given area.
Warehouses require the same commitment to maintenance and employee training as manufacturing facilities. However, they need to take additional steps to maintain the ideal environment for the goods they store.
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