There are several factors that influence warehouse productivity levels, from employee morale to picking methods to product organization and beyond. Something as simple as clutter can create a major obstacle in a warehouse that delays every area in the facility. If your warehouse productivity has been low, you may see if clutter is to blame. This guide will show you how to correct this issue and boost your efficiency.
Types of Clutter in a Warehouse
What is defined as “clutter” in a warehouse? Usually this have to do with things in the aisles, like pallets, packing materials, empty boxes and work equipment. If these items do not have a designated place to be when not in use, they may block paths employees need to take. The warehouse should be set up so that trash can easily be thrown away and unused pallets have a place to go immediately after they’re emptied. Every source of clutter needs an assigned spot so it does not become a nuisance later on.
A warehouse may also have clutter the shelves if items are not organized properly. For example, if a frequently picked product is located behind another product, that first product may get set aside (somewhere it’s not supposed to be). Keep order fulfillment in mind when organizing products the shelves so the items that need to be accessed are in fact accessible.
How Clutter Hurts Warehouse Productivity
Clutter isn’t just something unpleasant to look at. It can hurt warehouse productivity across the board. Clutter in the aisles may block a forklift operator from moving forward. The worker will have to stop to clear the cutter or find an alternate route to get where he needs to be. This is all time that could be spent completing orders.
A cluttered warehouse is an unpleasant place to work, which could make employees less enthusiastic to do their jobs. Think about how stressed you would be working a desk piled high with papers. This is the equivalent of having a cluttered warehouse for pickers, packers, loaders, and other workers. With clean aisles and well thought out organization tactics, warehouse employees are more likely to complete their tasks in a timely manner.
How to Clear the Clutter
To clean the clutter, you need to figure out the source of it. Is there a flawed system within the warehouse? Does a certain workstation need to be moved to a different area? Do you need to make more room in one section of the warehouse?
If you cannot identify the core issue, you may ask your employees what they think the problem is. They have firsthand experience working in the warehouse, so they can identify problems you may not be able to see. Once you know where the clutter is coming from, you can plan a solution to eliminate it and boost warehouse productivity as a whole.
For more information about warehousing, Contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616