There are plenty of theories out there about the best way to run your warehouse. Often, the method that works best for one Wisconsin warehouse isn’t going to work for their neighbor. That’s because your layout is different, you are using different equipment and pallet racks, and the needs of your warehouse is going to be different. It may take some time to find the system that’s right for you and your team. If you are looking for a new way to bring more organization, efficiency, and employee ownership to your pallet racks and warehouse facility, consider using the 5s system.
The 5s System looks like this:
- Sort. Another name for this step might be “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Your warehouse should be sorted neatly, with thought given to your materials handling process. Getting rid of the things you don’t need will help you create a more efficient work environment and keep clutter off of your Wisconsin pallet racks.
- Streamline. This is a good one to do in conjunction with the Sort stage. Here, you’ll want to set up your warehouse in the most efficient way possible. Take a step back and think about how your teams work and how they can move materials through your warehouse more efficiently. Throw out any ideas of “this is how it’s done because this is always how it’s been done.” To get a fresh perspective, you might want to bring in a warehouse consultant (DAK Equipment & Engineering has one in your area that would love to help!).
- Shine. Clean, clean, clean. A clean warehouse is a well-run warehouse! Take time to clean your equipment, pallet racks, bins, and all the surrounding areas. This is a great way to get your team to take ownership of their space as well. Don’t underestimate the power of a clean work environment on morale.
- Standardize. Set up systems that make sense. When we standardize our warehouse process and do the same thing again and again, it not only becomes ingrained on our team, we become faster at it. By standardizing systems we’re taking the guesswork out of the job for our employees, so they can move confidently through their job. While they should be empowered to make decisions when something out-of-the-norm comes up, giving them a standardized system to based their judgments on will help them make better choices in those instances as well.
- Sustain. If it’s working, keep doing it. Don’t change a working system once a week. Let your team get used to a system and give their feedback on it. You want to refine the systems that you have in place–and never get stuck in a rut of doing something because that’s how it’s always been done–but if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Consistency empowers employees and creates a more efficient work environment when no one is standing around guessing what happens next.
The 5s system came out of Asia a few years ago, and it’s been a great system for many Wisconsin warehouses. If you’d like to learn more about the 5s system, order pallet racks for your warehouse, or ask one of our warehouse consultants to come to your location to help implement the 5s system, give us a call. Our team would love to work with you!