Is your fulfillment operation performing the way it should be? How do you know if it’s not? Are your packing tables contributing to reaching your business’s full potential, or could they be improved?
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented change to almost all areas of life, and one unexpected impact it has had on the economy is driving a dramatic increase in e-commerce volume.
A rise in online orders has put pressure on warehouses, many of which must now process packages faster than usual, to keep up with demand. You can make some changes to deal with the increase in output without the investment in a new facility.
From upgrading your packing tables to adding conveyor systems, there are various options to consider for your warehouse to be performing at its best.
If you’d like to keep productivity levels up, keep your workers engaged, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your warehouse, read on for ways you can improve your packaging operation.
Perform an Audit
To improve your packing operation, you need to be very familiar with it. You might think you know all the processes your warehouse or fulfillment facility performs, and you probably are. But conducting an audit runs deeper.
It requires studying and analyzing the functions, processes, and outputs of a given area of operation—in this case, packaging—and using your findings to identify any areas that could be improved.
Listen to Employee Feedback
As well as performing your research and working off of your own findings, you should make sure to speak directly with your employees. After all, who better to tell you about what processes could be improved than the people who have been carrying them out, all day every day, for a significant time.
Your employees will be well placed to let you know about any finer details an audit might have missed.
Replace or Update Equipment Such as Packing Tables
You might not have the resources or time to move to a new facility. One thing you should never shy away from, however, is top-quality equipment.
Replacing items before they have a chance to break or malfunction will mitigate any unnecessary breaks in production. It will also most certainly reduce the number of workplace accidents you’re likely to have.
Ergonomically well-planned workbenches or packing tables can significantly improve your work process and productivity and, at the same time, reduce the ergonomic risk for your employees.
Integrate Packing Tables and Conveyor Systems
This year especially, we have seen a trend in fulfillment and warehouse operations of adding or upgrading conveyor systems. Conveyors can help to reduce warehouse waste, speed up throughput, and improve lean operations in your warehouse. Conveyors can also do a lot to improve ergonomics in your workplace. Consider integrating your packing tables into the conveyor process for even better results.
Improve Employee Comfort
Taking the comfort of your employees into consideration will help to improve employee retention rates. It will also allow your employees to work for more extended periods and in a more productive manner.
Improving workplace ergonomics is essential in any warehouse environment. The packaging department, where heavy items are being handled and moved continuously, should not be overlooked.
Avoid liability, reduce workplace injuries, and keep your workers happy and healthy. Invest in ergonomic equipment for your warehouse.
Put Strict Health and Safety Standards In Place
Health and safety are two of the most critical terms for any warehouse operation. Your first job is to make sure all employees are aware of and adhering to the health and safety standards you have in place. Second, you need to make sure you’re reviewing and updating these protocols regularly.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, warehouses have an especially high rate of injuries. In 2017, the rate of injury or illness in warehouses was around 1 in 20.
Many warehouse employees know safety protocols but will sometimes circumvent them to get a job done more quickly. Ensure that in your workplace, you have instilled a safety culture among your workers. Safety should come first, and there should be no uncertainty surrounding this.
The Last Word in Warehouse Operations
The packaging operation plays a critically important role in any warehouse and distribution center. COVID-19 has sent e-commerce sales through the roof, and there is every chance that this trend will continue, even in a post-pandemic world.
One way to ensure you’re able to handle any sudden increases in demand life may throw at you? Make sure you’ve outfitted your operation with the latest equipment and technology.
From packing tables and workbenches to protective barriers, BOSTONtec has everything you need to make sure your team is ergonomically supported. Get in touch today to see how we can help.