Your warehouse is a hub of almost nonstop activity and there are many ways in which you may need to do upkeep on the facility to ensure it continues to operate at peak efficiency. One area that can sometimes be overlooked on this front is how frequently and deeply your warehouse is cleaned. You may think clutter here and there is just a natural part of the industry — after all, there's a lot to keep track of each day — but it can constrain your operations more than you might realize.
The following are some of the great reasons that your warehouse cleaning efforts should be highly rigorous and take place on a continual basis"
1) It's a safety issue
Consider a single small piece of debris that falls to your warehouse floor: It might not seem like a big deal in and of itself, according to iThink Logistics. But what if there are five pieces of debris? 10? More? The odds that someone slips on it, or it causes a pallet jack to jam up or lose traction, increases. That, in turn, poses a serious safety concern that you can't allow to fester.
2) It keeps your shelves freed up
Even beyond employee or equipment safety, the point of a warehouse operation is to move things in and out of your facility at high efficiency, iThink Logistics added. But if you aren't proactive about cleaning, you may start to find your shelves cluttered with the remnants of items you didn't move in recent months. That makes future efficiency more difficult to achieve.
3) Comply with health and safety rules
Depending on the kinds of things you keep in your warehouse, there may be hazardous materials need to be stored in specific ways to comply with government rules, according to SIA Insurance Group. When a warehouse doesn't have a strong cleanliness policy overall, it's easier to let compliance issues slip.
4) Get a better idea of your inventory
When an industrial space is cluttered, it's far more difficult to fully determine what you have under your roof at any given time or conduct a manual inventory count, SIA Insurance Group said. When you start to lose track of what you have on hand and what you don't, your operation will suffer.
5) Less clutter means more efficiency in movement
We've touched on efficiency in a number of different ways so far, but here's an easy way it's linked to cleaning: When workers have to navigate around overflowing trash cans, debris and more, it's just a few extra steps they have to take in the course of their day, according to North Hills Office Services. Here, too, just a few extra steps may not make a big difference in isolation but if you have 20 employees taking 50 extra steps each per day, that adds up quickly over the course of a month.
6) Appeal to workers
Finally, keeping a clean building is just good practice because no one likes to work in a dirty facility, North Hills Office Services noted. Simply put, a rigorous cleaning schedule helps keep warehouse workers happy.