Every workplace needs a thorough cleaning on a regular basis, and a warehouse is no exception.
A clean workspace shows workers you care about their environment. Clean, clutter-free surroundings improve employee morale and retention. Furthermore, a neat and organized workspace is crucial for avoiding injuries that may open you up to lawsuits.
In an industry that faces perennial worker shortages, you could get a step up on your competition by providing an organized, well-lit, clean workplace. It is therefore worthwhile to determine the most effective approach to warehouse cleaning.
Just like cycle counting is more accurate and efficient than closing the facility to take inventory once a year, developing and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule produces better results more efficiently than doing a major clean every few months.
Consider your equipment and people requirements, and design a cleaning schedule accordingly. Safety should play a major role in your planning. Clean windows and windowsills, heating and ventilation ducts, and high shelves regularly. Start with high areas and work down, so that any dust or debris that falls does not make a mess on a recently-mopped floor.
Keep debris to a minimum, ensure floors are free of obstructions and spills, and empty refuse bins regularly—daily or even more frequently if necessary. Workers should have convenient access to cleaning products and tools like mops and rags.
Workers could be responsible for keeping their workspace clean, dusting flat surfaces and screens, throwing out any trash, and wiping up any spills. Requiring workers to spend a few minutes cleaning each day keeps the premises safe and looking good, and encourages them to invest in their workplace.
Projects like dusting racks and shelves or going through paper files could temporarily disrupt operations, but they are also part of maintaining a clean warehouse. You might assign these tasks quarterly, monthly, or more frequently, depending on the circumstances.
Use the cleaning process to get information about what you have that you could do without. Get rid of extra inventory, equipment, paper files with electronic counterparts, and similarly unnecessary items. The cleaner you get, the more space available to store profitable inventory.
Whether you are purchasing a new forklift, shelving, or work desks, think about cleaning them before buying. Look at the item and consider where dust might build up or where dirt could get in and interfere with its function.
Cleaning and lubricating machinery is part of good maintenance. However, if the regular cleaning will require multiple steps or a significant investment of time, be cautious. Some employees might not devote the effort to maintaining equipment that they should. If another model performs the same function but is easier to clean, let that factor into your purchase calculations.
Maintaining a clean warehouse is a great aspiration but it is a lot of work. If you are concerned that you lack the resources or staffing to devote adequate time to cleaning, working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider might be a solution.
A 3PL provider handles all functions related to warehouse operations and management, including cleaning. Allowing a 3PL provider to manage your warehouse frees you up to manage your products and customers. Find out how Brown West Logistics could help you.