One critical item that needs to be on every warehouse’s to-do list, is regular cleaning. A clean and organized warehouse is about more than making the environment appealing and pleasant. It also encourages increased team productivity, leads to more efficient inventory management, eliminates waste, prevents health and safety issues, lowers maintenance costs, and represents company professionalism.
When management dedicates time and resources to keeping a clean and safe warehouse, it sets a tone and example for employees. It also creates a sense of pride within the staff and gives them motivation to perform their work with the same level of cleanliness and attention to detail. Research in the International Journal of Science and Research and on ScienceDirect.com have shown a relationship between physical work environments and employee productivity. A clutter-free warehouse reduces stress and improves efficiency by eliminating waste, allowing workers to complete tasks faster. It is also much easier to find supplies, equipment, and inventory when needed.
Efficient Inventory Management
An organized warehouse allows a company to better manage its warehouse processes. Organization improves efficiency of picking and monitoring inventory levels, which reduces staffing needs or creates time to be reinvested in continuous improvement projects. Removing clutter enables companies to take full advantage of their warehouse’s valuable space.
Increased efficiency resulting from an organized warehouse allows companies to identify and eliminate waste in their processes. Wastes including time, inventory, movement, waiting, overprocessing, overproduction, and defects (TIMWOOD) inhibit productivity. Using lean strategies, such as 5S, to promote effective operations and workspaces help eliminate these wastes.
Prevents Health and Safety Issues
It is essential to keep a clean and organized work environment to comply with federal health and safety standards. OSHA standards allow companies to maintain a safe workspace and avoid penalties due to violations of federal regulations. Regular cleaning is critical to preventing accidents and injuries related to objects in aisles/walkways, falling objects, and slippery surfaces. According to OSHA, slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents causing 25% of reported claims each year.
Lowers Maintenance Costs
Warehouse operations rely on material handling equipment (MHE) that needs to remain clear of dust and debris to perform at maximum efficiency. Making sure aisles and other areas are clean and organized ensures equipment does not hit scraps or other unnecessary objects. Debris on floors expedites wear and tear of MHE, resulting in parts needing to be replaced more often. Keeping a clean environment can prevent dirt build-up and debris, ultimately lowering maintenance costs.
Represents Company Professionalism
Warehouses have evolved to include more direct interaction with clients, suppliers, and other business partners. It can be off-putting to a potential client to see a warehouse that is dirty and unorganized. It gives the impression that the company does not care about attention to detail or the safety of products and employees. They may also have concerns about efficiency and whether their products can be quickly located and prepared for shipping. Warehouse cleanliness and safety is a direct reflection of the company and its values.
Beyond Warehousing is committed to keeping a clean and safe warehouse. The benefits of a well-maintained work environment support our operations and allow us to provide the highest quality service to our partners and customers. If you are considering outsourcing to a warehouse for fulfillment and distribution of your inventory, contact us to learn more about Beyond Warehousing.