For companies with a warehouse or distribution center it is extra difficult, but also extra important, to take good measures regarding the coronavirus. What can you do to protect the health of employees and other people in the best way possible?
The minimum you should do is of course to follow the general guidelines of the WHO. Think about keeping enough distance from each other, washing your hands regularly and limiting visits from external parties to the minimum. This has most likely already been taken care of in most warehouses. Regarding the guidelines of the WHO, the following deserves extra attention:
- Remain up to date: Keep a close eye on the news and on updates from the WHO and local health institutions. The guidelines may change due to developments concerning COVID-19. As soon as measures become stricter or more flexible, or as soon as new measures are introduced, it is important to quickly adjust the policy together with your team.
- Communication: Communicate clearly to employees. This includes a periodic (e.g. weekly) conference call or mailing in which you inform employees about the most recent developments and how they impact the organization. Also communicate via signs/posters/letters in the warehouse, canteen, and toilets.
Some important rules for the warehouse and distribution center:
- Restrict access to the warehouse only to people for whom it is necessary. Make sure employees switch as little as possible between working at the office and in the warehouse and allow employees with health problems to stay home.
- Spread the start and end of shifts and the breaks to avoid having too many employees together at the same time.
- Hand over documents, packing slips, keys and parts from a safe distance as much as possible. For example, by placing it in a bin. And then disinfect the handed object. Also try to arrange meetings as much as possible by telephone or in conference calls.
- Protect your people where necessary with extra protective equipment, such as gloves. And talk with them about their safety and health. Each person feels differently in these times and as an employer you can help your employees by talking with them.
- Clean all machines, material handling equipment, scanners, cash registers and other equipment timely and thoroughly. Make sure equipment is being used by small groups of people and clean it after every shift.
"Can you make improvements, perhaps with the help of automation or adjustments to processes or policy? Dysel can help you with that!"
The role of automation
A good warehouse automation is more important than ever in these times. There are plenty of software systems to help you digitize and automate warehouse processes. Such as ordering, picking, put-away, inventory and delivery of parts. The advantages of good automation in the warehouse are extra prominent in these extraordinary times:
- Employees can handle processes on their mobile device or scanner, without the need to hand it over to others plus they can clean these devices themselves.
- Information can be checked electronically instead of passing paper files to each other or diving into the archives.
- With good automation you work more efficiently, so that less communication and interaction on the work floor is required.
- A well automated work floor means less mistakes, less administration, less hassle.
It is good for any company with a warehouse to examine the policy and processes right now. Do your people work in an optimally safe environment where their health has top priority? Or can you make improvements, perhaps with the help of automation or adjustments to processes or policy? Dysel can help you with that! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.