Keeping your facilities clean improves supply chain efficiency

Efficiency in the supply chain is certainly the name of the game and there are many component parts to getting your operations just right to maximize it. An underrated part of that effort is the need to keep your facilities as clean as possible on an ongoing basis, because if you can get that right, a lot of little improvements can suddenly start creeping into your larger and more obvious processes.

But because the changes added cleanliness enables are small, it helps to start small as well - by thinking of what needs to be done to improve cleaning efforts on the whole, according to Cyzerg. That may mean talking to pickers and packers as well as cleaning staff specifically to see which areas for potential improvement they see in their work on a daily basis and what they think could or should be done to address them.

A little institutional knowledge and broad strategizing can go a long way toward ensuring your company addresses the everyday annoyances that lead small losses of efficiency here and there to one large collective loss, the report said. Something as simple as making sure dust is swept off even the highest surfaces going forward could add up to big efficiency - and safety - improvements in the long run.

Extra effort in your cleanups can go a long way for your supply chain business.Extra effort in your cleanups can go a long way for your supply chain business.

Getting everyone involved
When it comes to these efforts, it's also a good idea to impress upon workers that cleanliness is a part of everyone's job, according to Dak Equipment. Just as no parent likes it when children leave their toys all over the house, no cleaning crew member wants to encounter large messes left behind in work areas - or break rooms. As such, you need to instruct workers to clean up after themselves and never take the attitude that such efforts are "someone else's job" or "why the company has a cleaning crew."

With common messes being taken care of by just about everyone, that frees up time for your cleaners to tackle bigger projects that lead to even more efficiency gains, the report said. As an added bonus, when these messes are no longer left sitting for minutes or even hours, your safety record may improve; after all, it's just another tripping or slipping hazard removed.

Consistency is key
As with anything else in your daily operations, a better approach to cleaning is neither a set-it-and-forget-it proposition, nor something you can only do sporadically, according to DJ Products. While you can certainly schedule the occasional "deep clean" to go above and beyond your normal efforts, those efforts need to happen on a daily or weekly basis, at a bare minimum - and they need to be undertaken to the same level of scrutiny and care every single time.

By instituting policies about how, how much and how often your redoubled cleaning efforts are supposed to take place, there is no ambiguity about these processes and everyone will know their roles. That, in turn, helps you clean more efficiently in addition to gaining more operational efficiency with all of your new assignments.

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