Why is Warehouse Striping Important?Posted on October 01, 2019 by Rafael Cantillo
Warehouse striping can make your warehouse look nice, but it also has a utility that goes far beyond that. Improperly or poorly marked warehouses can decrease safety and reduce the efficiency of your warehouse. Giving proper thought to how you are going to mark your warehouse, and how you will use those markings as part of your operational strategy will help you to get the most bang for your buck when you next upgrade your striping.
In this blog post, we'll go over some of the ways in which warehouse striping can benefit your business. This includes ways that it can impact safety, help to improve organization and even employee morale at your company. Afterward, we'll take a look at the 5S method, a popular organizational strategy used by businesses to keep their facilities running at an optimal level.
One big advantage of striping on floors is flow control. Just like markings on the roads let drivers know what maneuvers are and aren't safe, markings on a warehouse floor can keep forklift operators and other staff moving in a way that minimizes accidents. This includes not only reducing the possibility of collisions with each other, but ensuring that proper distance is kept from items which could be damaged from collision. Floor markings are also often used to indicate areas that are dangerous or otherwise should not be occupied for lengthy periods of time, for example, areas near exits or exit pathways that need to be kept clear for fire safety reasons.
Old markings that have been painted over can often cause confusion if the layout of the markings has changed. A proper installation will involve using a process like shot blasting to completely remove the previous striping before laying down the new paint. This will make sure that none of the previous material remains to distract your employees from where they or your materials and machinery should be. Be aware that shot blasting can leave a mild, but permanent marking on the floor. If you have a short term lease, this might not be the best option for you.
A warehouse operates most efficiently when everyone can find what they are looking for quickly. Organization, of course, comes after safety. You do not want to sacrifice the safety of your layout in order to operate more efficiently. Injured employees or damaged equipment are not worth the marginal increase in efficiency you would get from a layout optimized to put efficient organization ahead of safety.
One of the key strategies of organization in a warehouse is to adopt a lean storage methodology. The most common implementation of this is the 5S method that we will be discussing later. While planning out your striping, you should include these steps as part of your strategy. You do not want to spend money putting permanent or semi-permanent markings down and then lean out your inventory and realize that it is no longer efficient because you have reduced your inventory.
Each business is unique. You know which items are typically retrieved at the same time. Try to group these types of items as closely as possible so that your staff will be able to retrieve them with minimal effort. Ensure that your markings allow for proper and easily routed traffic between the sections to further ensure that they are operating as efficiently as they can.
It might not seem all that important to have a warehouse that is aesthetically pleasing, but it is still beneficial to a company. Not only does it leave a good impression if potential business partners, or even customers, find themselves in the warehouse for some reason, but keeping an aesthetic facility means keeping it clean and well maintained. Employee morale is greatly improved when they can see that their workspace is being cared for by management. This is perhaps especially important for warehouse workers, whose days can be tedious and are often spent in otherwise uncomfortable conditions.
The 5S Methodology
5S is a system of organization designed to make workplaces safer and more efficient. It takes its name from the fact that each of the pillars of the method starts with the letter S. They are shown below, along with their original Japanese version. As you look over them, imagine how much easier the tasks become with proper and easily visible striping in your warehouse to aid organization.
- Sort (Seiri) - Sort through all of the materials in the workspace and remove any unessential items.
- Set in Order (Seiton) - Organize the remaining materials in a logical and easily identifiable fashion.
- Shine (Seiso) - Clean the area. Make sure that it is both free from clutter and properly washed down.
- Standardize (Seiketsu) - Make a schedule that you can use to perform each of the first three with regularity.
- Sustain (Shitsuke) - These are not one time events. Make each of the first four planks part of your routine schedule and are reviewed regularly for potential optimizations.
As you can see, the first three are the meat and potatoes of the method. Each of them can be made easier by having striping that allows you to easily break your space down into different sections and markings that allow for easier flow control and separation of spaces.
Warehouse striping needs vary. For example, someone who has signed a short term lease will want to opt for a less permanent solution than someone who owns their building. The amount and type of traffic that the warehouse handles also plays a role in maintenance schedules. Despite our name, Empire Parking Lot Services is not just limited to servicing parking lots, nor are we limited to asphalt surfaces. Our team of experts are also well qualified to handle your warehouse striping needs. To get a customized assessment of your warehouse and a plan of action that will keep your warehouse operating as safely and efficiently as possible, contact Empire Parking Lot Services today at 714-633-0300. One of our experts will be more than happy to assess your warehouse and guide you toward the best course of action.