Warehouse owners are constantly striving to increase productivity. Often, this consists of using employee motivational methods. But did you ever consider that the underlying key to peak productivity might be your basic warehouse design and layout? Here are the top ten tips for organizing your warehouse to reach optimal levels of production.
1. Seek Expert Advice
Your warehouse can benefit from 3rd party expert advice. Warehouse design has improved dramatically in the past few years; largely in answer to newer technology and methodology in storage, inventory control, packaging and shipping. Specialty expert consultants are available for every aspect of your warehouse activities. The first place to begin your search for expert advice is with the equipment company itself, which often employs representatives who can educate you and your employees on the best layout and use of their machinery and equipment.
2. See How Others Are Doing It
You can learn more about ways to organize your warehouse by seeing firsthand how other warehouses operate. Don’t hesitate to reach out to non-competitors and ask for a guided tour to see how they organize their own warehouse facilities. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how helpful and willing other business managers are to share their clever organizational solutions.
3. Utilize Digital Signage
Digital signage enables real-time sharing of warehouse and production information with staff throughout the facilities. You can use digital signage for a multitude of uses, including posting messages to floor personnel, motivating employees with a live productivity contest between departments, posting live inventory stats, and more.
4. Go Vertical
Limited warehouse floor space is one of the most commonly cited reasons for lack of organization. Reclaim inefficient floor space by installing vertical storage units. Invest in motorized cherry pickers to reach higher items, and cross-train personnel in the use of the pickers so you’re never left without access.
5. Work Backward to Organize Your Production Line
When you consider that the ultimate goal is to get product out the door and onto the loading dock, it makes sense to work backward when organizing your production line. In many warehouses, the dock area frequently becomes a hotbed of activity and congestion at peak loading times. This presents organizational challenges as well as injury hazards. Focus on the docking area of production first, then work backward, stage-to-stage, to smooth out every crimp in the production line.
6. Make Worker Safety the Top Priority
Warehouse layout and organization will almost take care of itself organically when you make worker safety the top priority. Tasks to do include keeping floor areas clear of product, making sure workers can see around corners with mirrors, ensuring a well-lit work environment, making sure product is a minimum distance from the edge of shelves, supplying and enforcing the wearing of safety gear, and more. These things will all ensure a warehouse work environment that is safe to move around in, and is well laid out.
Your specific perfect warehouse design will be different than another company’s ideal situation. But these tips for organizing a warehouse can be used for any warehouse, no matter the product, size or location. For free expert consultation of furnishing and laying out your warehouse, contact OnePointe Solutions today.