Winter is an interesting time for the warehouse industry. Temperatures are plummeting, but the demand for warehouse operations is at its peak. Warehouse managers have to be smart about staffing, scheduling, and organizing to meet the chaotic needs for this time of year. Listed below are some warehouse management tips for winter to ensure your distribution center operates efficiently.
Daylight hours are the most efficient times for warehouses. The building and loading docks are well lit, and everyone is in a cheerful mood. In the winter though, these hours drop dramatically. Your warehouse management team should schedule according to the daylight. The warehouse can still operate in the dark, but there should be plenty of artificial lighting available. Ideally, the most light-reliant tasks should still be scheduled during the day.
Snow, ice, salt and water can all create trip and fall hazards on the warehouse floor. These factors are difficult to control during the winter, but not impossible. Add extra walk-off mats near the entrances to lock in as much water and dirt as possible. These mats should be cleaned and replaced regularly, so you may need to adjust your janitorial schedule for the winter as well.
In addition to this, you may ask workers to keep their work boots inside the locker room, break room, or other area of the warehouse. They can keep their personal shoes on when they walk in the door and change into their work shoes when they arrive. This setup will not work for all warehouses, but it is a great way to make sure work shoes don't get wet from outside.
Saving money is an important part of warehouse management, but the workers must come first. If it is too cold for them to work at an efficient pace, it's time to turn up the heat. The boost of morale and productivity will make up for the money spent to heat the building. Check for leaks around the windows and doors to maximize energy efficiency, and turn the heat down when the warehouse is not operating. Just make sure the temperature remains high enough for the machinery to work well in the morning.
If there are any repairs that need to be made in the warehouse, take care of them now. The damage is only going to get worse over time, and repair companies often charge more to come out in the dead of winter. It may even get to the point where the mechanics cannot come out at all because of snow on the road or other delays. This will derail the productivity of the warehouse. Take care of all the repairs you can now so the warehouse can operate smoothly throughout the winter.
For more information about warehousing, Contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616
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