Nothing is worse than trying to count inventory when your warehouse is a disaster. In addition to tracking down pallets of hidden merchandise, messy storage areas can also pose trip and fall hazards to other employees. Fortunately, you might be able to keep your warehouse tidy by making a few simple changes. Here are two tips for organizing your commercial warehouse:
1: Invest In Pallet Racks
Your employees might be great at unloading new deliveries, but what do they do with those empty pallets? If your backroom is like most commercial warehouses, you might have a problem with empty wooden pallets laying everywhere. Unfortunately, those empty pallets can cost you more than a little embarrassment.
OSHA requires businesses to keep their storage areas orderly, clean, and sanitary—or risk citations and steep fines. Believe it or not, OSHA fines can range anywhere from $50 to a ghastly $70,000, depending on the nature of the violation. Although OSHA does not have set standards for pallet storage, they state that pallets should be stored so that they won't slide or fall over on workers.
Fortunately, pallet racks can keep your backroom tidy, and help you to avoid fines. These industrial racks are traditionally bolted to the wall, making it easy to stash empty wooden pallets safely.
2: Keep Supplies Where You Use Them
Do you feel like you are always looking for a tape gun? Instead of keeping supplies wherever they land, focus on designating a dedicated place for commonly used warehouse supplies, such as tape, box cutters, and invoices. Try to choose a storage area near where you would use the items. For example, it might be a good idea to keep that calculator near the loading dock, so that you can easily add up and verify delivery weights.
After each object has a place, label your items so that they can be identified and returned easily. For example, you might have special labels for supplies that belong on each aisle of your backroom, the entrance, and the storage closet near the restroom. Talk with your employees about the importance of returning supplies to their assigned spot. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but being able to find that pen or paperwork easily might save time and hassle.
By taking the time to organize your commercial warehouse, you might be able to avoid fines, speed up tasks, and keep the area clean.