Use the summer holidays to start with a clean sheet
We all know, of course, that regular cleaning should be on every warehouse’s to-do list.
A clean and well-organised warehouse is about much more than creating an appealing and pleasant work environment. It also enhances team productivity, enables more efficient inventory management, eliminates waste, avoids health and safety issues, lowers maintenance costs, and so much more.
Despite these obvious advantages, reality often gets in the way. When deadlines, peak periods, absenteeism and other urgent challenges arise, it’s so easy to let your guard down. With this in mind, we offer you three tips aimed at using the slow summer period to make your warehouse shine like new again:
1 Organise a cleaning week
Make a plan, well ahead, for one specific week in the holidays (or for a specific day every week throughout August, for example). Break the plan down into various areas (floors, ceilings, loading docks, pallets, waste bins, etc.) and then assign each to a specific team. Present the plan a couple of weeks in advance, so everyone involved can submit ideas to get the job done as thoroughly and efficiently as possible.
To help your employees, hire extra equipment, cleaning materials, and perhaps even a floor sweeping machine. And make sure you take part as well. When the week is over, reward everyone who has contributed to this additional effort with a Friday BBQ!
Hire a cleaning company (as a one-off)
OK, hiring a company that specialises in industrial warehouse cleaning may sound expensive. However, outsourcing warehouse cleaning services can really be rewarding:
- You and your people have more time to focus on your business
- Professional cleaners are certified and insured
- You can often choose from a variety of specialised services, like scrubbing the warehouse floor with a chemical solution or vacuuming dust from the shelves, while leaving simpler cleaning jobs to do yourselves
- Your warehouse will be cleaner than ever before, and your employees will be happier and more productive
- Warehouse cleaning service companies offer flexible scheduling options, including weekends and evenings
3. Develop a cleaning routine
Use the summer months to develop a regular cleaning routine. Whether you do it with a permanent cleaner and/or with your own staff, here’s a few things to consider in your weekly scheme:
Make the job easy
Make sure all cleaning materials, like brushes, brooms, cleaning rolls, degreasers and cleaning sprays, are immediately available. Keep everything in easily accessed locations.
Keep an eye on the floors
A warehouse floor can collect a lot of dust and waste, which may be harmful to your warehouse trucks, for example. Make sure the floors are cleaned regularly. When you come across cracks and holes, make sure they are repaired quickly.
Shut out dust
Open shelving or racking collects dust, and stock can become dirty. Make sure your products remain dust-free by working with closed crates, drawer cabinets or store organisers.
Raise pallets off the ground
Place your bottom row of pallets on a rack, rather than directly on the ground. This way, you prevent dirt from settling under the pallets, and you are also able to clean under and behind them.
Apply clean house rules
Agree with your people that they will also clean the warehouse themselves and leave it tidy when their working day is over. Give each employee a fixed task, perhaps set out in a schedule. It’s also important to give them time to do this during normal working hours, instead of expecting them to do it as overtime!
- First, ask your co-workers for their suggestions
- Choose one of the action plans above
- Invite your local forklift specialist for further ideas on running a tidy operation