It's said that cleanliness is next to godliness, but in the warehouse, cleanliness also directly results in effectiveness. Put another way, a cluttered, dirty warehouse is often a less efficient - and even less safe - operation. As a consequence, managers should always strive to have the cleanest warehouses they can, but that's often easier said than done.
The following six tips should help you keep your facilities as clean as possible to maximize efficiency and improve their bottom lines:
1) Set goals
One of the best ways to ensure that a warehouse stays clean is to set clear goals for doing so, according to Cisco-Eagle. It's one thing to say "We want to keep the warehouse clean," and it's another entirely to say, "You have to hit these benchmarks to meet our cleaning goals." When workers have a better idea of exactly what's wanted from or expected of them, it becomes far easier to actually follow through.
2) Make it everyone's responsibility
Along those lines, among the classic issues that lead to clutter and a general lack of cleanliness is the attitude that clean-up is "someone else's problem," Cisco-Eagle noted. As a result, when you make it part of the basic job description to at least report messes to the appropriate person, or to simply have the worker divert from their normal duties to clean it themselves, staying on top of the problem is less of an issue.
3) Watch high-traffic areas closely
The ability to keep areas clean is vital everywhere in the warehouse, but that's even more true of places lots of workers and equipment pass through multiple times per day, according to iGPS. Even one spill in such an area can hinder efficient operations or increase risk. Addressing those cleaning issues as soon as possible should be a top priority.
4) Invest in more trash cans and recycling bins
Another reason trash builds up or spills are more likely is if the facility doesn't have enough bins around to properly dispose of any garbage, iGPS added. That doesn't necessarily mean workers will leave their junk on the ground around the facility, but the trash cans and recycling bins will likely fill up more quickly and potentially become over-filled if you're not emptying them regularly.
5) Empty those bins frequently
To the above point, it's also important workers know when they should be emptying trash cans and recycling bins, according to DAK Equipment & Engineering. Whether that's "as soon as you see it's full" or on a regular schedule (such as once every two days), this helps ensure everything runs smoothly and there aren't any hiccups.
6) Hire a cleaning professional
If you've implemented any or all of these strategies and still find you're not meeting your cleaning goals, it might be time to bring in a pro, DAK Equipment & Engineering advised. Hiring a dedicated, full-time custodian may sound like an extravagance, especially to smaller operations, but the attention to detail and increased efficiency they're likely to add could mean they end up paying for themselves.