Archive for August, 2020

August 31, 2020

Warehouse Cleaning Tips, Part 2

Tips for warehouse organization and cleaning

 

At DAK, we have a lot of ideas on how to keep your warehouse running smoothly. In fact, we had too many to fit into a single post. If you haven’t read it, start with Part 1 of our series on Warehouse Cleaning Tips, then find more tips below.

 

Clean Out Bins

Trash cans are there to collect trash and be a centralized location for getting rid of mess. But unfortunately, they can also become a mess themselves.

 

Make sure that the trash bins are getting a regular clean-out, whether it’s the ones at the picking and packing center or in the lunchroom. Overflowing trash cans can suggest to warehouse workers that there’s no place to put their trash—so why should they clean in the first place?

 

Keep Cleaning Supplies Near

Most people are guilty of the following ideology: “I don’t have the tools, so I won’t do the job.” Sometimes it makes sense: not having a $1,000 lathe can certainly prevent someone from making a chair, but cheap cleaning equipment should never prevent someone from keeping their work area in good order.

 

Having cleaning supplies close by is a great way to ensure that employees do their part cleaning the warehouse. Simply doubling the amount of brooms and dustpans conveniently placed around the warehouse will make them more likely to clean up, especially if the only broom used to be in a faraway closet. Putting spill kits on more support beams will make it more likely that an employee will deal with the problem instead of just ignoring it. Taking away excuses and making it easier on employees will almost certainly increase their interest in doing so.

 

Block Off Areas

Have you noticed that restaurants often prefer to seat customers close together, especially later at night? The primary reason they do this is that they are trying to keep a particular area of the restaurant clean, and avoiding that area means less vacuuming at the end of the night.

 

Something similar can be done with a warehouse. If you have a lot of extra room in your warehouse—like if it has recently had warehouse optimization performed—then you might consider blocking off sections with warehouse safety barriers. By doing so, you’re ensuring that no one is creating a mess in that section of the warehouse. It means less cleaning for your crew, which is sure to make them happy.

 

Deal With Spills

Some warehouses are more likely to have spills than others. Are you a beer distributor? It’s much more likely you’re going to have some broken bottles and burst cans from time to time. Do you carry any sort of oil, whether it’s cooking or motor? Something will eventually leak out and create a dangerous situation in your warehouse.

 

Of course, it’s not just about safety (though that should be your primary concern). It’s also about looks, and spills left to linger will usually end up staining. That’s why it’s important to clean up those spills as quickly as possible in order to keep your warehouse looking nice. While no warehouse will ever look like a fancy hotel lobby, it’s important to keep it looking as nice as the nicest warehouse. And while we’re talking about floors…

 

Get A Floor Sealant

Floor coatings are a great option for many warehouses, and we detailed the many advantages they offer in this article. The most obvious is that they offer easy cleanup, whether something on one of your pallet racks bursts or a forklift is leaking motor oil.

 

Warehouse floor sealants can also offer other advantages, such as anti-slip additives. This can give forklifts better traction and prevent employee falls should there be something slick on the floor. You can clean any skid marks more easily than from concrete, and a white substrate covered with a floor sealant can actually reflect more light and reduce the amount of artificial light needed in the warehouse. Oh, and floor sealants just look good, too!

 

Increase Your Recycling

One way to keep your space cleaner is to increase the amount of recycling you do. Many employees will go out of their way to pick up something that can be recycled, simply because they are interested in doing what they can to help the environment. Other employees may engage in recycling because of their innate interest in seeing stuff sorted—which might partially explain why they’re working in a warehouse in the first place.

 

There’s no doubt that recycling takes up a little extra space in a warehouse. But it can also be a cost-saving measure, which often more than makes up for the space the extra bins take. For example, recycling is often free, while you have to pay for other trash to be removed. Some metal-heavy recyclable waste could actually end up making money.

 

Organization and Clean Go Together

A clean warehouse is one that simply works more efficiently, so keeping it clean can increase productivity. How can DAK Equipment and Engineering help? We can provide you with warehouse organization supplies and an optimization plan that can streamline how you work. Contact us today to get the process started.

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August 31, 2020

Warehouse Cleaning Tips, Part 1

 

If you’ve read our post on why you need to clean your warehouse, you understand the importance of maintaining a clean facility. But how do you approach this task? Here are some helpful tips and warehouse organization ideas from the experts at DAK.

 

Keep That Inventory Moving

It may sound like common sense, but inventory that sits around collects dust. If you have inventory that you don’t need anymore; sell it for a discount, recycle it, or pitch it. This frees up space in your warehouse for something that will actually sell.

 

Another way to keep the dust from building up on a single pallet is to utilize pallet flow racks, racks that allow for first-in first-out access. This ensures that no one pallet sticks around long enough to gather much dust.

 

Use Wire Racks

The typical inventory you keep will determine whether or not you are able to use wire decking. If you can use wire deck, it helps keep your dust under control by letting the dust fall to the floor. Dust on the floor is much more accessible and can be swept up on a regular basis, as opposed to dust that’s on solid decking that will seldom get dusted.

 

Create Cleaning Schedules

Let’s be honest: we seldom finish cleaning that we say “we’ll get to eventually.” If we do get to it, it’s a huge project that could take days. This creates bottlenecks in the warehouse as some employees have to abandon their regular duties to deep clean.

Instead of having a yearly cleaning of the warehouse, it’s a much better idea to set up regular cleaning schedules. The schedule can be time-based, such as having the entire warehouse crew devote 10 minutes to cleaning each day. Or it could be area-based, where the pallet rack rows are cleaned every Monday, the conveyor system every Tuesday, the material handling system every Wednesday, and so on.

 

Assign Cleaning Zones

The average employee does not clean for the sole purpose of pride in their work area, and that’s OK. While an employee might take pride in the job, whether that’s driving a forklift or organizing the pallet racks, few of them see “cleaning” as part of their duties. Most employees would rather do the tasks associated with their job title and leave the cleaning to someone else.

 

Assigning employees to certain cleaning zones is an excellent way to make use of their down time. Create some sort of reward system, or foster competition for who can keep the most clean workspace (and make sure the warehouse is safer at the same time!). Framing the cleaning around safety is actually an excellent way to entice workers to keep their spaces clean. Safety means fewer injuries to them and their co-workers, and it helps keep their insurance premiums lower.

 

Don’t Let Messes Linger

Letting messes stick around in one area of the warehouse can cause messes to show up elsewhere. When one person leaves a mess, it’s a signal to everyone else that they can leave messes behind as well.

 

That’s why it’s so important that no one leaves a mess behind. The attitude of every warehouse should be that “the job isn’t done until any mess it creates is gone.” If a pallet has been unwrapped and its contents loaded onto the conveyor system, the job isn’t done until someone discards the plastic wrapping. If one pallet of old inventory has to be moved to the floor so that three more can take its space on the storage racks, the job isn’t done until someone finds a home for the old pallet.

 

Be A Good Example

If you’re a warehouse manager, it’s important to walk the walk. You might have a modular office in the middle of the warehouse; make sure it’s not incredibly messy. If you’re walking along and find a spill, be a good example to your employees and clean it up. They’ll notice that keeping everything clean is a priority, especially if you join in on scheduled cleaning.

 

At the same time, make sure everyone knows that cleaning up isn’t exclusively your job. When employees see you clean up a mess that wasn’t yours, they’re more likely to help clean messes that they didn’t create.

 

Take Action

Want to talk to our experts about other ways to improve your warehouse operations? Contact us at any time. Also, check out Part 2 of this post for even more warehouse cleaning ideas.

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