It's spring cleaning time, which means it's out with the old and in with the new for your warehouse. Spring cleaning doesn't just apply to actual "cleaning" processes though. It involves decluttering, reorganizing, and reassessing the way your warehouse rungs as a whole. Check out these warehouse spring cleaning tips to make the most of this time of year.
Before you start planning your spring cleaning, you need to think about when the best time will be to do this. Ideally, you should complete most cleaning during your least busy times of the day or week. You may have a select group of employees come in over a holiday weekend to complete the process, or you may ask your late night crew to do this. Find whatever works best for you so you do not disrupt regular operations.
One of the biggest reasons why pallets of products end up sitting around in a warehouse is because of pure procrastination. No one makes a decision about them, and thus they are pushed to the back of the warehouse and eventually forgotten entirely. Spring cleaning gives you an opportunity to change all of that and avoid piles of forgotten material in the future. Set a "purge by" date for each of your pallets, where you must sell, transfer, donate, or dispose of the items before a certain time – similar to an expiration date. Make sure you register those purge by dates in your inventory management system, and you will be able to bypass major spring cleaning in the future.
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to restructure your warehouse, if possible. Your current structure may have worked well for the products and clients you serviced a year ago, but that doesn't mean they're fitting for your current needs. Think about ways to move your racks around or adjust your pallets to make it easier for order fulfillers to do what they need to do. If you start moving a bunch of products around, you will essentially force your team to evaluate your products, which could lead to a slew of new spring cleaning opportunities.
If you know you're going to be tossing or donating a lot of inventory, it's best to be prepared for that. Have a dumpster or donation truck on hand so you can load the products accordingly. This will prevent you from having a pile of trash with nowhere to go, and it will give you incentive to get rid of products you no longer have a demand or use for.
Of course, it would be wise to conduct some actual "cleaning" during your spring cleaning process. If you are moving pallets of products from one location to another, use the transit time as an opportunity to clean up the racks and shelves in your warehouse. Rent an industrial sweeper to deep clean your floors, preferably on a day when the warehouse is not in operation. Ask your workers to clean the various equipment they use on a daily basis, like forklifts, tablets, production line machines, etc.
You can also apply this idea to the administrative areas of your warehouse. Clean up the break room from top to bottom, and ask your office staff to clear out any old papers and supplies that they don't need anymore. If you want, you can hire a professional cleaning crew to take on this task for you if your workers do not have the time or expertise to do so. As long as you go in with a "wipe the slate clean" mentality, you will get your warehouse in tip-top shape for the next year.
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