Congrats! Your once-small business has achieved remarkable success and you're now at a point where it's time to take the next big step – setting up your own warehouse. This new venture can be a little intimidating, but as a savvy business owner, you know that it's time to expand and make your operations more efficient.
If you're 100% ready to step up and rent or buy a bigger place, here are the essential steps to set your warehouse for maximum productivity.
Warehouse Objectives: Lay the Foundation
Every successful warehouse organisation starts with specific objectives in mind. No matter the kind of industry you're part of, all warehouses have the following objectives in common:
- Efficiency – Make sure to limit the distance items need to travel and how many times they are handled. An efficient layout can make a significant difference in your operations. To do so, you can implement modern solutions such as conveyor systems.
- Space optimisation - Make the most of your available room. A crowded workspace can lead to inefficiency and unnecessary delays. Create a floor plan that maps out where items will be stored. This visual aid helps you adapt to space limitations and identify potential issues. To maximise your space, consider adding storage solutions like tool storage cabinets and stillage cages.
- Inventory control - Develop a system that allows the workers to track where the different products are stored within the facility.
- Safety – This is paramount. Warehouses can be busy places, and ensuring the safety of both your staff and your inventory is not only a moral obligation but also a legal requirement. All staff require safety training with a person designated to monitor and report on implementation and infringements.
Warehouse Equipment Checklist
Once you've taken into account the aforementioned factors, it's time to focus on building an efficient collection of equipment. This includes:
- Storage equipment – You will need appropriate shelving units, racks, and drawers to accommodate various items based on their weight and size.
- Material transportation equipment – To move items efficiently and safely, you will need manual handling equipment such as hand carts, dollies and push carts for short distances, as well as powered equipment like forklifts and cranes for moving heavy items and pallets over longer distances. A conveyor belt is another efficient piece of equipment for transporting goods.
- Packing and positioning equipment – This includes tables, heavy duty workbenches, and packaging materials such as cardboard boxes, bags, tape, stapling machines and similar.
Manual Handling Policies and Weight Limits: Safeguard Your Team
Creating a safe work environment is critical. Manual handling policies play an important role in ensuring the well-being of your warehouse staff. The aim is to create an environment of zero harm where everyone goes home safe.
To do so, some of the aspects you should consider are manual handling weight limits, equipment usage, improvement processes, and risk assessments. Involve your team in shaping your workplace safety policies to ensure the safest outcome. Don't forget to review your policies regularly to keep them up to date.
Many workplaces in Australia have weight limits in place for individuals to be able to lift items without mechanical aides. 15kg per person is a common limit, but other sites have different limits.
It's crucial to consider not only the weight of the items but also factors like how awkward they are to lift, the heights you have to lift them from and to, and how far you have to carry them. Even if you're within your weight lifting limit, always consider whether you should use materials handling equipment to make the job easier.
Perform Risk Assessments and Improve Continuously
Your site likely has many processes and moving parts so having a team conduct the risk assessment on a regular basis will help ensure everyone remains safe. Implementing your initial safety policies is only just the start of the journey. Ensuring you have a culture of continuous improvement to ensure your team consistently review and consider better and safer ways of work is critical on the safety journey.
Durable and Cost-efficient Warehouse Equipment at Containit Solutions
At Containit Solutions, we understand that setting up and organising your new warehouse is no small task. That's why we offer quality and unique industrial storage and transportation solutions for your business. Whether you need warehouse trolleys, plastic storage bins, long span shelving units, or workstation benches, we have the solutions to help you establish an efficient warehouse.
Browse our website to find the equipment you need, or call us on 1300 932 402. Let us assist you in transforming your warehouse and maximising its full potential today.