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Every industry has their own forms of loss to deal with. Retail stores have to combat theft, restaurants and food storage need to deal with product spoilage, pharmacies have to deal with proper storage and disposal of expired/unusable medication, and so on and so forth.


When it comes to warehouses, they might have to deal with any combination of these issues depending on the products they stock, but one of the biggest sources of product and revenue loss for warehouses is product breakage and damage. During shipment, handling, or at any point during the warehouse/supply chain process products can run into any number of risks for damage, rendering the product unsellable and resulting in a loss of revenue for the business. If your business has experienced this loss before, or if you just want to get ahead of it to protect your products from potential damage, we’ve got some examples here to keep your products, workers, and bottom line safe:


Identify Your At-Risk Products: While, really, anything in a warehouse is at some risk of breakage, there are products that will be more likely to encounter damage than others. This also isn’t necessarily an issue of fragility (although you’d certainly want to keep that in mind when transporting goods), but more traffic – items that get moved around a lot or have longer shipping & handling times are more likely to encounter damage than items that remain more stationary. Take a look at which of your items are at the highest risk of damage and focus the rest of your plans around them.


Know Your Storage Limitations: A big cause of product damage is when industrial storage units are stored past their capacity, both in storage size and weight limit. Make sure you get the full specs of what your different shelving installations can store, like wire shelving or rivet shelving, and train your employees to not overstock your shelving to prevent breakage or damage to both items and your storage solutions.


Develop Careful Handling Habits: A lot of product damage tends to occur during the handling phases; shipping to stores, receiving new shipments off the truck, and the like. If you find your products are specifically getting damaged during a specific part of the supply chain process, work closely with your on-the-ground workers to identify potential faults in the handling process. Train your forklift operators in a safer environment where they won’t work with live products, let experienced selectors and pickers train the new ones on how to best prepare shipments, and keep an eye on any pallet handling and product movement within the warehouse to make sure all safety standards are being met.


Manage Damaged Items At Receiving: Unfortunately, not all product damage occurs in the warehouse where it can be managed and prevented. A substantial source of breakage and loss occurs during the shipment process, particularly when unloading trucks, and this can begin to pile up if it happens too often. Refused damaged products during shipping when at all possible, and if damaged products can’t be refused you should store it separately from your inventory until you can resolve the issue with your supplier. Make sure to take lots of pictures of the damage, and make sure to not count the item as part of your inventory until the item can be replaced or written off.

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