Are you having trouble minimizing damage as your products get moved from point A to point B? Don’t worry; you aren’t alone in that scenario.
Broken, bent, defective or crushed inventory could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage year over year. Damaged products also lead to more returns of faulty products, creating more setbacks, logistical headaches and blows to your company’s reputation.
While it’s impossible to prevent all stock damage, there are several ways to keep your products safer, whether they’re in transit or being stored. Here are our top tips:
Keep Your Pallets in Good Shape
An easy way to minimize cargo damage is to make sure your pallets are in tip-top condition. Set consistent inspections of your pallets to check for stress fractures and loose material or hardware. Those minor issues could grow into bigger ones, as your pallet may eventually crumble after heavy usage.
Double-check to make sure your pallets aren’t holding too much weight either. Each pallet type has a maximum weight capacity and overbearing them can lead to damaged merchandise. If you find a pallet that is over capacity, try to split up the load into multiple pallets or use a different, stronger pallet made of a different material.
Speaking of materials, make sure you’re choosing the right pallet material for the job. While wood has always been the standard in the past, pallets are now available in plastic, aluminum, and wire mesh options. Depending on what you’re storing, these different materials could be a stronger choice for your products.
For more information about choosing the right pallets, click here.
Secure Your Products Correctly
The last thing you want is to lose some cargo as you move them from place to place because they fell off the top of the pile. To avoid this, it’s best practice to stabilize your pallets by using plastic. It’s easy to get a little complacent regarding plastic wrapping, but it can make or break whether your products make it to their destination safely. Make sure you’re using effective wrapping techniques, so your stock doesn’t end up moving around while in transit.
And while this probably goes without saying, we’ll say it anyway: always keep the heavier pallets on the bottom of your stack and the lighter ones up top. Take the extra time to weigh each pallet to double-check that they are being stacked correctly. This will lower the risk of accidents exponentially.
Set Your Warehouse up for Success
While there are changes you can make to your pallets, inspections and transit techniques, optimizing your facility’s features can also cut down on property damage.
For starters, a well-lit warehouse goes a long way toward minimizing warehouse accidents. The brighter things are, the easier it will be for your employees to navigate through obstacles.
It’s also essential to keep your work areas as clean and organized as possible. Debris, loose items or spilled cleaning supplies can lead to slips and trips – the most common form of injury in warehouses. Accidents like that can not only lead to your employees falling but bringing pallets and products down with them. Clear, clean aisles make it easier to maneuver equipment and products. This way, your employees aren’t struggling to make space for new pallets while dinging others.
Lastly, we recommend putting up signage displaying maximum weight limits on racks and near pallet stacks. That way, restrictions are clearly noted and visible, creating fewer opportunities for errors.
Safety training for pallet trucks and stackers is necessary. Refreshing your employee’s memories about proper loading, stacking, and securing techniques every quarter will keep your safety processes top of mind.
Go over different guidelines for handling, transporting, wrapping and storing inventory in these training sessions as well. You can even take it a step further by printing out instructional handouts for employees to keep and hanging them in common areas for future reference.
For more information about topics to include during your safety training, click here.
Get Material Handlers to Move Products
Our top tip for reducing product damage? Investing in reliable material handlers like industrial manipulators. These machines are a surefire way to move products safely and without damaging them. Manipulators are designed to help handle pallets and products of all different dimensions and characteristics and can even be customized to fit your facility’s unique needs.
If your warehouse currently doesn’t implement material handlers in your day-to-day, now is an excellent time to change that. Contact Dalmec today to find the best handlers for you and your warehouse needs.