In a warehouse, the most important thing is being able to handle products safely as they come in, get processed, and then ship out. Much of the time, product handling happens quickly; as a business grows, you'll probably acquire conveyor belts, trucks, forklifts, cranes, and similar equipment quickly to accommodate company needs. However, you may need to rethink the way you run your warehouse. It could be possible that product handling needs to be re-examined and made more effective. How?
Examine the Current System
Product handling involves many people and many machines. For this reason, you must initially assess the system and identify areas for improvement. If boxes aren't removed from the delivery site for hours, that could be a problem, for instance. If workers have to bend over multiple times because there are no machines to assist them, that could be another area for concern. Watch the inner workings of your warehouse and look for existing problems.
You don't have to do this alone; employees and managers alike probably have their own thoughts about improving product handling. Note complaints and concerns that keep coming up; it's possible you're unaware of some of the trouble that exists for others using the current system.
Find Replacement Parts
Screws, belts, and other components can fail during a busy day or right at the height of your busiest season. Product handling must not grind to a halt; the need for repair shouldn't be shocking. You should already have some contacts to find local repairmen, but there are many equipment issues you or staff members can tackle. To do that, you'll need to have a small inventory of supplies on hand—or know where to find relevant stores. Knowing where to rapidly buy equipment and components is a time-saver.
Commit to Proper Training
Equipment and the many vehicles and machines that are in your warehouse need skilled operators. You may have hired fantastic people, but you should also know without a doubt that they're using machines and vehicles in a way that won't prematurely degrade equipment or otherwise slow down the product handling system. Training, even short refresher sessions, provides managers with a deeper look at a worker's capabilities. If the worker needs correction, he or she can get it within the first few days of working instead of learning the right way years later.
Product handling is something that can always be better. With these suggestions, effectiveness can be improved all around.