A warehouse is the most important department or you can say asset of any firm. It depicts a company’s business situation for productivity or profitability. Thus, it requires proper maintenance. So, make sure that you have a clean warehouse and that it is safe as well. This way people working in that environment do not get sick or allergic.
An unclean warehouse can damage a company’s reputation as well as it may require a huge cost to get it fixed. So, a clean and organized warehouse can help a company in many ways. For instance, it boosts productivity, increases job satisfaction, enhances efficiency, and provides safety.
Let’s discuss the impact of warehouse cleanliness in this article. Also, the benefits a firm can get using a warehouse cleaning strategy.
Why Is Warehouse Cleanliness Important?
The warehouse environment constantly experiences many activities. Through these activities, the cleanliness of the aisles and racks in the warehouse could be affected. Throughout the day vehicle traffic, the moment of products, and employees are involved in these activities. Thus, that can cause bacteria and viruses. Regular cleaning of the warehouse can prevent you from getting any of these.
It is a fact that some managerial persons do not believe in spending much on cleanliness. They do not want to waste time on warehouse cleanliness. All they need is to complete the work without interruption. Also, they do not realize the importance of a clean warehouse and organizing it until they suffer a major loss. When we follow warehouse cleanliness and safety rules then all the damages and accidents could be omitted.
When a warehouse management does not keep the warehouse clean then there might occur some injury and accidents. This is the last thing that a company wants to bear. So, avoid these negative effects of ignoring warehouse cleanliness. Warehouse cleanliness can build a positive impact on your firm in the customer’s mind.
Warehouse cleanliness policy implementation can have a positive impact on the firm. A clean warehouse helps to boost productivity levels and increase efficiency. Also, it positively affects employee morale and creates a perfect environment for workers. Also, warehouse cleanliness maintains professional standards which reflects a company’s priority and effectiveness.
Best Practices for Keeping Your Warehouse Clean.
Warehouse cleaning can save you from many accidents. Your racking system is the main thing that should be tidy. Because the racking system can easily be spoiled by daily activities. These activities include machinery loading, accidents, forklifts, and even daily loading and unloading.
So, we have solutions for all your warehouse cleaning systems. Follow these practices to keep your warehouse clean.
1. Inspect Your Racking System Regularly
Regularly inspect your warehouse racking system to verify if it requires any maintenance. Pallet racks are usually damaged due to accidents or collisions with forklifts or the workforce. So, keep a record of your pallet racks to check imbalance, damage, and structural verification.
2. Use Warehouse Racks and Place Goods in Order on the Racks
Warehouse racks are an essential component to establishing a well-organized warehouse.
- You need to determine the appropriate type of rack that best suits your racking system. So that it matches your requirement and cleaning it would be easier.
- Ensure proper spacing between each rack for easy movement.
- Categorize your inventory in terms of size, weight, and demand for the product.
- To indicate the type of inventory, you can use a labeling and signage system (we will describe this further in this article).
- Use different inventory systems to get systematic inventory like FIFO and LIFO.
- The safety of racks should be a priority while installing them and putting weight on them.
3. Use Appropriate Cleaning Agents
The use of appropriate cleaning agents ensures effective cleaning. This is how you select a good cleaning agent for your warehouse:
- Different types of dirt and debris require different cleaning agents. For instance, grease and oil may require degreasers whereas dust and dirt may require general-purpose cleaner. So choose your cleaning agent wisely.
- Check which sort of surface you are going to clean. To avoid any damage, check the type of surface either floor or racks. Gather all the necessary information on how to handle that surface and then go for a specific cleaning agent.
- The equipment you choose for cleaning should match the type of surface you want to clean. Mops, sponges, sprayers and cleaning agents should be in good condition to avoid any scratches or damage.
- Rinse the surface thoroughly by applying a good amount of cleaning agent.
- And the last and important tip is to store the cleaning agent properly. Store it in a cool, dry and away from direct sunlight.
4. Sweep the Dust from the Mezzanine Floor Regularly
The maintenance of the mezzanine floor is regular to keep the area safe for workers. Sweeping the dust from the mezzanine floor may be tricky. So, here are the ways in which you can easily sweep your mezzanine floor:
- Mezzanine floors can be swept using a broom or floor sweeper to get cleaned.
- The equipment should be in good condition its bristles and stiffness must be appropriate according to the debris you want to sweep.
- Sweep from the start of the mezzanine floor and work your way to the end of it.
- Dispose of the debris properly by collecting them in a dustpan or a broom. It is not advised to sweep the debris off the edge of the mezzanine floor.
- Check for any safety hazards while sweeping your mezzanine floor. Report to the concerned personnel if you notice any to address in a timely.
5. Train Staff to Follow Cleaning Practices
The staff should be trained on how to properly clean the warehouse. To keep it clean and safe, you can arrange training or a one-day workshop on warehouse cleaning. This way all the workers would know the importance of keeping the warehouse clean and they will know the process and rules while cleaning it.
Staff members should report if they notice any unusual activity like leakage, damage, or any hazard-related thing. Encourage them to stay alert and warn everyone as soon as they notice something.
The staff who work in a warehouse that requires more safety than usual should wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The PPE includes the following things to protect themselves from chemicals and other hazardous materials:
- Safety glasses
- Dust masks
6. The Right Warehouse Storage System Improves Picking Efficiency
A right warehouse storage system means a well-organized and well-designed warehouse system. It helps to significantly improve picking efficiency. Implementing an efficient storage system can save you time while picking the items.
Also, it will be easier to locate items and personnel can quickly retrieve them. This efficient storage system will result in faster order fulfillment and it will reduce your labor costs.
There are fewer chances of errors when the storage system is right. When you invest in a proper warehouse storage system then it boosts up business productivity and overall efficiency will increase.
10 Steps to Keep Your Warehouse Clean.
Maintaining a warehouse should be a company’s priority. Keeping a record of warehouse cleanliness can turn out to be the biggest investment in terms of safety. Warehouse cleaning is a key factor to run your warehouse effectively and with high productivity. Let’s discover how you can maintain a warehouse environment clean and safe:
1. Create a Cleaning Schedule and Update It with Time
The first step in warehouse cleaning is to plan and address those areas where it must start and where it should lead. Planning and drafting the cleaning process would help the workers easily identify their tasks.
Also, timely planning to clean a warehouse would help to make decisions about the work process. Warehouse cleaning can also help to identify the right equipment to be used for the process which saves you time.
The higher traffic areas like docking must be planned to avoid closing that area for long. Plan warehouse cleaning in such a manner that I should not affect the ongoing work of the warehouse. The deliveries must be on time. You can schedule your cleaning once a week, daily, or monthly.
2. Maximize Your Warehouse Space Using Racks and Shelving
Maximizing a warehouse space in an efficient and optimal way can benefit a company in various ways. Installing a racking and shelving system into your warehouse can increase the space. Also, it provides the following things:
- Ease of accessibility
- Inventory control
- Enhance effectiveness
- More space utilization
Along with all these benefits, it can save you from relocating to a new space where keeping the facility clean would be an added task.
3. Allocate Different Rack and Aisle Areas to Different Persons to Get Them Neat and Clean
Make each worker responsible for cleaning specific areas. Assign them the task to clean those areas within the time you think is right according to the zone. Cleaning the warehouse may include picking up the trash, garbage, sweeping, and dusting. The cleaning of aisles involves washing the floors using the right equipment.
But remember to follow safety standards while cleaning pallet racking. Because the material of racks might get rusted because of using certain chemicals. Pay attention to what chemicals and soaps you are using to clean the surfaces.
4. Floor Labelling
Using floor labeling can help you to better organize your warehouse. Floor labels and marking systems can help to organize the warehouse. You can mark to get the flow going whether for the forklift routes or warehouse traffic.
Label the area where the forklifts shall be parking once they are done with their loading, unloading, or uplifting work. The pallet positions should be marked as well to avoid any inconvenience caused by it.
5. Provide Employees with Cleaning Supplies
Along with cleaning supplies, your employee needs ergonomic equipment. This might surprise you but this is the fact that this equipment can increase workability and keeps the employees happy and healthy.
The use of ergonomic equipment reduces the company’s liability and employees’ stress levels. If your workers are exhausted or over-work, then expect less productivity and de-motivation in them. Provide your employees with ease so that you get higher productivity. Doing so will ultimately result in higher sales, better quality work, and fewer mistakes.
6. Use Barriers to Organize and Be Safe
You can hinder barriers between machines and humans to avoid accidents. Barriers can be irritating as they interrupt the speed or work by slowing us down. But believe us, it is for the safety of the people working in those areas where the items are stocked in large quantities. So better be safe than to get injuries or do damage and pay off.
Barriers can help you in different ways, like:
- Barriers protect the staff from heavy duty vehicles.
- Prevent goods from cosmetic damage.
- Cordoning off the areas which are under construction or where the products are fragile. This way only concerned persons can enter there.
- Disrupts overspeeding.
7. Keep High Volume Products Near to the Shipping Area
Organizing stock is a basic manner in a warehouse. Keeping them orderly is the key to success. Because it is easier to have easy access to products that save your time and energy. High volume products take more time for loading or ship, therefore, stocking them near the shipping area can be convenient. It will help you to deliver the items timely and in a faster way.
Also, do an ABC analysis, so that your work can be outstanding and without interruptions. The faster the delivery time will be, the more productive and efficient that company would be. So think smart and earn more!
8. Use Bins and Empty Them Regularly
A warehouse is a place where disposable material is piled up in large quantities. The following should be properly disposed of to prevent the warehouse from any sort of mess:
- Different packing materials
- Bubble sheets
A good warehouse is one that keeps recycling or garbage bins throughout the warehouse. It reminds the workers and encourages them to properly dispose of the packing left or the waste within them.
The bins need regular clearance so that the trash does not pile up or overflow. This not only looks bad but also causes disruption while working. Though empty the bins before they mess things up.
Recycling is the most vital part of any business. Every firm must address environment-friendly tasks and contribute to making the earth green. This is why running an organization is a responsible task. Doing something for the environment can make a big difference. You need to provide your organization with recycling bins so that the employees do not dump litter somewhere else.
Make sure the supplies used for operations must be reused instead of being wasted. Consider 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to implement in your warehouse. A green warehouse would benefit you when most items are readily recyclable.
- Reduce: eliminating all the clutter and garbage that is of no use.
- Reuse: it is a fact that almost 50% of the pallets are thrown away when used just after one use. Reusing them again can be sustainable for the environment.
- Recycle: if you have paper, wood, metal, steel, iron, and glass in your warehouse bin then be happy to recycle.
10. Review and Evaluate Design
Review your annual sales and evaluate your warehouse size and the items you need to stock there. If your sales are increasing, then you might need extra space for items to store. The space requirements need to be revised with time. So, make arrangements for the space or a new warehouse to avoid the mess in your current warehouse. Timely review and evaluation leads to more productivity and it enhances the company’s worth.
Tools and Equipment for Cleaning a Warehouse.
Using appropriate tools and equipment for warehouse cleaning gives efficient results. It provides you a safer and healthier environment that you actually want not just for yourself but also for your employees.
Employees should be provided with the right types of equipment for warehouse cleaning. Otherwise, you just cannot expect the warehouse to be clean enough. Make all the tools available and specify an area for them to keep. So that whenever someone wants it, they go to that area, grab the equipment, do their task of cleaning, and put the tools back.
If the employees start to search off the equipment every time they need it then it would be time wastage not just for the worker but for the company as well. The necessary tools and equipment for cleaning a warehouse include the following:
- Brooms and dustpans
- Floor scrubbers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Pressure washers
- Cleaning chemicals
- Mops and buckets
- Safety equipment
- Trash bags and bins.
These tools and equipment are used to remove dirt, debris, and contaminants from floors, walls, and other surfaces. It also ensures a safe and healthy working environment for employees. Proper usage of these tools can help to optimize cleaning efficiency, reduce labor costs, and improve overall warehouse operations.
Additionally, make your dustbins available nearer to aisles or racking systems. Because walking long distances in search of a dustbin during working hours will waste their time and energy.
Investing in high quality cleaning tools and equipment ensures an efficient cleaning process. It provides the organization’s warehouse with improved cleaning results. That means you will get better results with less effort which as a result saves your time.
It reduces labor costs as it enables cleaning personnel to work more efficiently. For warehouse cleaning, hiring a professional team can cost you higher. But the right cleaning tools may require fewer workforce.
Warehouse cleaning is an important aspect of any industry. Some techniques and procedures are required for such a purpose. Because it can benefit an organization in the long term. A clean and well-organized warehouse builds a reputation and customers get satisfied with it.
But the truth is warehouse cleaning may seem crucial but once you train your staff, it will do wonders! You must follow the practices and tips to keep the warehouse clean and organized. The company’s productivity, safety and efficiency largely depend upon the warehouse’s cleanliness.
Cleanliness expands the lifespan of the equipment. Also, it reduces the risk of accidents and injuries that can harm your workers. So, try to be organized not in your life but show it in your businesses and stock storage system.