In any kind of industry, you must be able to operate with the confidence that everything you need to get the job done right is in good working order and won't fail at an inopportune time. However, that is especially true in the world of logistics, as just-in-time shipping is the norm and even the slightest delays can lead to major logjams that set you and your partners back significantly.
What can you do to ensure everything under your warehouse's roof remains in good shape? Be more attentive to maintenance needs on an ongoing basis. The following suggestions will help you do just that:
1) Look at everything you might need to do
First and foremost, now is the time to do a walkthrough of your facility and make a list of all the things under your roof that might need maintenance at some point, according to the Hilb Group Florida. That should include everything from the obvious (forklifts) to the stuff you might not think much about (shelving).
2) Set up the schedule
Once you know what you need to more effectively maintain, it's time to look into when manufacturers recommend that you perform routine maintenance, the Hilb Group Florida said. Put that schedule into writing and make sure it's followed to the letter.
3) Ask employees to be vigilant
Of course, routine or planned maintenance might not meet all your needs on an ongoing basis, the Hilb Group Florida added. For that reason, you should also inform your employees that you're counting on them to spot any potential issues and flag them as needed, so unexpected breakdowns can be nipped in the bud.
4) Plan for how maintenance will affect work
As you shut down various aspects of your warehouse to perform the necessary maintenance, you would be wise to plan around that effort, according to Cetaris. How will your work be affected by a day's worth of downtime for one of your forklifts? What if you have to block off an aisle of the space? These are all issues that need to be planned for and worked around.
5) Put safety at the center
Safety is probably a big point of emphasis in many of the things you do on a daily basis, and that also needs to be true of your maintenance schedule, Cetaris noted. You should be maintaining safety equipment, and making strategic changes to your workspace that centers employee safety whenever any maintenance is being completed.
6) Make strategic investments
A classic mistake that leads to more maintenance costs and downtime is buying cheaper items to keep your warehouse running, according to Benco Industrial Equipment. Instead, it will be wiser in the long run — in terms of both actual dollars and worker hours — to pay for higher-quality equipment whenever possible.
7) Have a plan for emergencies
Again, having a maintenance plan is always a good idea, but when something breaks unexpectedly, you need to be able to react effectively, Benco Industrial Equipment cautioned. Craft a what-if scenario for every potential failure so you can respond quickly and easily.