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You’ve done it! The dust has settled, your packages have made it to their final destination to find a happy home at retail stores or in the homes of customers as holiday gifts, and everyone’s back from their New Year’s celebrations.

One question may come to mind – now what?

Everyone jokes about making (and then breaking) New Year’s resolutions, but even if you don’t want to set those sort of goal posts for yourself, there’s plenty of things you can do to help your warehouse recover from the holiday rush and get ready for a new year of productivity.

The first thing you might want to consider doing is cleaning up a little. Particularly in warehouses that use heavy machinery like forklifts or installations like warehouse conveyors, you need to make sure you have as little floor clutter as possible. Make sure no long power cables or other wires are stretching across heavily-trafficked areas, look for any clutter or debris that might’ve been left behind during the holiday rush, and start looking for ways to prevent messes for next year.

From there, you’ll want to review your traffic flow. During the business of the holidays, you probably didn’t have time to take a look at how your workers were getting around, which might’ve resulted in some snarls. Are your pallet racks and steel shelves spaced far enough apart to allow for both workers and equipment to safely walk through while carrying their picked items? Were there any areas that seemed prone to traffic jams and/or accidents during the holiday rush? Do you need to use more warehouse guard rails to guide traffic through the right channels? See what you can do to make congestion a little easier and you may find yourself working more smoothly overall through the upcoming year.

Of course, worker safety and productivity is only half the struggle, and next you’ll want to review current inventory levels. Did certain items sell better than expected, or not as well as anticipated? Was something consistently out of stock with no replacements coming from the vendor? Is an item in-stock that is being reported as out of stock in your management software, or vice versa? If you encountered any inventory errors or potential issues during the holidays, now is the perfect time to track down the culprit and make adjustments to prevent these errors during the upcoming year, including larger orders of unexpectedly popular items or smaller orders of slower sellers.

Finally, once you’ve gotten your inventory and current storage all ready for whatever the next year may hold, it might be the right time to look for new storage opportunities. Even the most cramped-feeling warehouse may have room to spare, whether you go vertical with taller shelving or you add a little extra floor space with warehouse mezzanines placed throughout the area. Even if you don’t have room for all-new shelving installations, careful rearrangement of the items on your existing ones can free up just enough space to allow for better organization and increased storage capacity using the stuff you’ve already got.

After you get a chance to take a look into all these opportunities, you should be all set to face the new year with a cleaner, more efficient warehouse!

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