warehouse with forklift

Now that the dust has settled from the holiday seasons, it’s time to get back to work. While it might be tempting to get things back to normal and resume the daily grind of operations, the new year (and the general slowdown in business that comes with it) is a perfect opportunity to perform some much-needed warehouse improvements and renovations. Your budget is newly available, your workers are ready to face new challenges, and right now is a great time to get to work on refining your processes, your installations, and the overall quality and productivity of your facility. If you want to take some time to really improve your business operations before business begins to pick back up, here’s a few things to consider renovating and improving:

 

Idea #1: Refine Your Picking & Shipping Procedures

One of the areas that can always use improvement, refinement, and re-thinking is your shipping, receiving, and picking procedures throughout the entire facility. Sit down with a few of your department heads to look for potential trouble spots, areas of slowdown and congestion, and any opportunity to speed up the process in general. Shipping processes are one of the most commonly-changed aspects of the commerce and product distribution industries, and it’s always better to review and re-define these processes when the business slows down (as it tends to this time of year).

 

Idea #2: Improve Accessibility

Warehouse accessibility is another common issue among distribution centers, and no matter what your business does you can probably use an overhaul in these areas. Install some new industrial lighting to improve visibility, open up your aisleways to prevent traffic and accidents, and make sure to keep an eye out for any doors or portways that need to be replaced or renovated to allow for better access to all areas of the facility in order to improve both safety and productivity.

 

Idea #3: Review Your Storage

No matter what industry you work in, industrial storage is always going to be a top priority for daily warehouse operations. Review the installations you currently have in your warehouse to see what needs improvement or replacement – due to the usage and wear these installations see, they may need replacement more frequently than you expect. Take a look at your pallet racks, wire shelving, and anything else you have installed to make sure none of it needs to be replaced due to usage or damage. This will both help improve the flow of operations, and prevent any sort of damage or accidents to your products or your workers.

 

Idea #4: Simplify, Simplify

Keeping up with the technological and industrial race over the years can take its toll on your processes and procedures, and over time they can get overly-complicated and impenetrable. Reviewing your processes in a number of departments, from on-the-floor handling procedures to top-level management oversight and reviews, can help you identify bottlenecks in productivity and locate areas for refinement and improvement. Change is always hard for a business, particularly one that’s been around for a while, but now is the perfect time to implement faster, more refined processes to improve productivity.

 

Idea #5: Listen to Employee Feedback

In a similar vein, taking employee feedback into account is always a fast way to identify areas that could use improvement and identify areas that impede productivity. Consider implementing some kind of employee suggestion or feedback program to regularly collect information, thoughts, and feedback from your workers. And don’t forget to actually review and act on these suggestions – nothing wastes more time than an employee suggestion box that never gets opened or looked through, and you’re never going to know what to look for to improve if you don’t review your employees’ feedback.

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