Managing a warehouse is much more than just organizing daily tasks and workers. The equipment and the way you handle it can make a huge impact on daily affairs. Not only will you run the warehouse more efficiently but productivity will increase and the number of work-related accidents will decrease. In order to achieve this, you need to know what type of equipment your warehouse must possess in order for everything to run smoothly and efficiently.
Various types of containers
Depending on the type of hardware you store, you will need containers of all shapes and sizes. In order to cut down on transport costs, these bins and boxes should be standardized. You can have several types; just don’t use too many non.-standard sizes because it will be hard to load them onto trucks, forklifts, and trolleys. As far as materials are concerned, both plastic and metal containers will do just fine, depending on what you store in them. Also, if you are ordering any custom boxes, make sure they fit the shelves perfectly.
One of the biggest problems in a warehouse is a waste of space. A typical storage unit is all about maxing out the use of free space so don’t shy away from shelves that run to the roof. Since they will not be accessed manually but by using a forklift, you can afford to go upwards. Metal shelves are more stable and sturdy and more importantly, they can be bolted down. We are sure that you have seen a video or two about warehouse accident when a clumsy forklift driver knocks over all the shelves. In order not to go viral in this way, make sure that shelves are bolted into the ground and in the walls near the top. This way, you will always be one step ahead of a total disaster.
Drum handling equipment
Apart from the standard fleet of forklifts (and capable drivers), you need to address the issue of non-standard sized cargo. For instance, most chemicals and liquids are stored in canisters and drums. The latter has a tendency to roll away if mishandled. Introducing versatile drum trolleys will allow for safer and more efficient loading of drums onto pallets. These trolleys usually come with two sets of wheels to allow for easier decanting from the drum. Furthermore, the drum can be rotated when horizontal to pour out the liquid if necessary. Their zinc plating guarantees they won’t corrode after a few years of use.
All sorts of packaging equipment
Apart from shipping and storing boxes and crates, a warehouse is where packing (and unpacking) is done. The way you package a certain product will influence whether it gets damaged during transport. Too much damage will result in an army of dissatisfied customers, which is a scenario to avoid at all costs. That is why straps, foils, bubble wrap, and strong cardboard are your best tools in the battle to protect the precious cargo that passes through the hands of your employees. Make sure they are equipped with the state of the art packaging equipment that is efficient and time-saving.
If you have ever seen footage from one of those Amazon fulfillment centers, then you were probably impressed with all the conveyor belts crisscrossing the warehouse. Conveyors are quite useful because they can ship packages efficiently and precisely. If you use gravity to your advantage, then you can send items using free fall and rollers. Conveyors with motors are used for flat surfaces but if you add a computer to them, they can be programmed to run without workers loading them. Essentially, the more you automatize the warehouse, the lower the operational costs will be.
Apart from forklifts for heavier loads that need to be transported over longer distances within the warehouse, hand lifts are quite useful for smaller containers. They operate like normal forklifts with the exception that they don’t have a seat for the driver as they are operated manually. Hand lifts are smaller in size which renders them more mobile so they can access every nook and cranny of the warehouse. Furthermore, they can be used for loading and offloading cargo from trucks at the docking bay.
Docking bay equipment
Speaking of the docking bay, this space within the warehouse comes with a variety of equipment. This equipment includes but is not limited to dock boards, levelers, and plates. Each of these tools has a purpose of their own ensuring everything runs smoothly, quite literally.
In order to make the whole process as efficient as possible, the conveyor belts could be placed near the docking bay so pallets would directly go onto them, straight from the truck. When it comes to docking boards, don’t be stingy when ordering them because they can save you a lot of trouble when a van too small arrives and you cannot offload it.
The equipment we have listed here is more or less standard for the modern warehouse. Trying to run a warehouse without them will prove impossible. Conveyor belts, drum trolleys and proper use of space all ensure that you increase not only productivity but safety as well. Training the staff on how to use all the equipment should also be made mandatory!
Guest author, Ron Wolf is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. He is a featured blogger at various blogs and magazines in which he shared his research and experience with the vast online community. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their lego corner.