Best of Both Worlds: How to Make Warehouse Operations Both Speedy & Safe
Your warehouse is an important part of your business and is the lynchpin to running a successful operation. If you’re plugged into warehouse resources and industry news, you can get a glimpse at how other businesses handle running their warehouse. This can be an informative peek at news that you wouldn’t learn otherwise, or a great way to learn about products that can help you carry out a task more efficiently. However, industry news can sometimes focus on specific issues. The outside observer may not realize just how “zeroed in” industry news is on a certain topic, and assume that it’s the norm. For instance, right now efficiency and speed is a huge hot topic in warehouse operations newsletters and resources. Industrial door installation, loading trucks, and other essential tasks for the success of a warehouse are all discussed in terms of speed. Is this the best way to approach warehouse operations and your daily business? The answer is ‘sometimes’. While quick work and hasty tasks can bring big benefits to your business, it can also have major drawbacks, especially on the safety front. Employees who are working around garage overhead doors need to be on the watch out for risks, and if they’re focused on speed they might be hit by an unexpected danger. Maneuvering around and successfully operating dock equipment should be done with safety in mind, not speed. Needless to say, if you put speed as your top and only priority, you’ll have accidents and problems over and over again. So how can a business enforce warehouse safety without sacrificing efficiency? Is there a way to balance those two goals? We give you tips on how to do that exact thing below.
Why Getting the Job Done Quickly Can Lead to Big Complications
There are tons of idioms that warn us against moving too quickly. “Measure twice, cut once.” “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” While these old sayings are wise, it’s easy to forget them, especially in a warehouse environment. A warehouse is designed to be a major hub for shipping and delivering goods between retail environments or to customers, and delays can seriously hamper a business. If a warehouse moves sluggishly, then retail employees and customers end up paying the price. However, it’s important to remember that rushing through tasks can lead to even bigger delays and serious consequences for employees. For instance, think about industrial door installation. This is a huge task that is necessary for a warehouse to be able to run properly. But if you rush through it with the goal of getting it done quickly instead of right, you could run into major issues. Employees could be injured through carelessness, the framework or inner workings of the door could be damaged, or an error during installation could end up pushing slight stresses on the door that add up to big repair bills over time. Dock equipment can be deadly when treated with disrespect, and an environment full of heavy crates of cargo and trucks is not exactly carefree. Employees need to tread carefully and undergo proper safety training to ensure that the building, and their health, remains safe.
…But You Can Still Shave Extra Seconds Off Every Task
While you have to keep the above in mind, that doesn’t mean that you can’t strive for efficiency and speed. As long as you are sure to keep warehouse safety in mind, the following tips can help you make your workplace far more productive.
Have You Perfected Your Layout?
Your layout makes a big difference in your warehouse’s efficiency and speed, especially during crunch times like the Christmas season. The right layout should enable a ‘flow’ of productivity. This means cargo and items should be sorted with similar goods, corridors should be wide enough that employees can easily move around, and everything is laid out in such a manner that an employee doesn’t have to constantly backtrack and double back to complete their tasks. If you need to shave time off your daily operations, then layout is the first and best place to start. Changing your layout can be as simple as rearranging where goods are stocked and as complex as arranging for new door openings and industrial door installation. When it comes to layout, don’t go for “good enough”, go for perfect! The cost of changing things up will be quickly refunded by the huge boost in efficiency and speed.
Focusing On Your Warehouse, Not the Big Picture
Your warehouse is an extremely important link in a bigger chain. One drastic mistake workhouse managers can make is to try to sacrifice their workplace for the benefit of other offices or locations. For instance, taking more cargo than they can comfortably hold, working extra hours, and so on. This is something that looks like a great idea on paper, but can seriously hinder your day to day operations. Extra cargo can crowd your warehouse and cause your employees to work harder, which can lead to premature and unnecessary burnout. For the highest levels of efficiency, warehouse managers should treat their domain as an independent entity.
Even Little Things Can Add Up Fast
When it comes to small things, warehouse managers can sometimes be hesitant to put the effort in – after all, it’s so minor it can’t make that much of a difference, can it? When multiple small changes are made, you can notice changes add up fast. Not every alteration has to be as big as industrial door installation. Changing the way that you stack cargo for wider but shorter stacks, upgrading your ordering software to handle orders better, choosing automated systems such as conveyance, and so on can all add up to create a fast, efficient, but safe workplace.
When you’re running a warehouse, you have dozens of concerns that you have to deal with. Whether you’re planning an industrial door installation, scheduling training for workplace safety concerns, or preparing for the upcoming Christmas season, your plate is most likely full. Keeping your finger on the pulse of industry news can be a big help. At McKee-Horrigan Inc., we offer industrial and commercial services for your doors and dock equipment. We also use our blog to take a look at the garage door and warehouse industries to offer advice and information. As you work to make your warehouse both speedy and safe, you can rest assured knowing McKee-Horrigan Inc. is on your side!