The height of summer is the ideal time for cash and carry depots and delivered wholesalers to think about getting their warehouses in order before autumn comes. The warehouse is the heart of these businesses, keeping going all year round and needs to be maintained in good shape.

bill-new-greyBefore the gloomy months of autumn and winter, take the opportunity while the lighter days are here to review your warehouse lighting. Lighting systems are often installed and then forgotten about until they go wrong and someone has to fix them. In the case of older buildings, the lighting needs to be reviewed as a matter of urgency. As Marcus Brodin, Commercial Director of warehouse lighting experts Future Energy Solutions says in this feature, the importance of good quality lighting is often overlooked in warehousing and distribution-based operations.

Light has a profound effect on physical and emotional health and wellbeing, which translates into productivity and profitability. For workers of all ages, poor quality lighting causes eyestrain and errors and results in poor productivity. On top of that our population is ageing and older people are becoming more numerous in the workforce, with visual acuity reducing with age.

The next priority, before the Christmas rush, is your materials handling equipment (MHE). Staff members need to be made aware of HSE regulations about manual handling, and the proper equipment used as appropriate.

Warehouse trucks have regular service intervals, which must be adhered to. You should also take time now to assess whether you need more warehouse trucks, from pedestrian pallet trucks through to larger machines. And what about related equipment such as batteries and battery changers? Assess your training requirements for your forklift operators. Are they all fully trained? Do your supervisors need refresher courses?

Take the time at this point in the year to check your essential warehouse equipment is right for your needs, including warehouse IT, warehouse trucks and racking and shelving. Does your warehouse management system do everything it should? Have you reviewed your voice picking system? Are your hand held barcode scanners and other devices up to scratch? These are all items of kit that you need to review at regular intervals.

Finally, don’t forget the doors and loading bays. In the balmy days of summer, warehouse doors and loading bay areas don’t have to withstand the cold and rain in the same way they have to in the colder months. So it is easy to get complacent about them at this time of year. But in fact now is the right time to be maintaining and refurbishing them along with the rest of the warehouse, before the weather turns.

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