The health crisis has put logistics professions to the test. Warehouse operators are having to manage just-in-time stocks while ensuring that customers receive their deliveries ever more quickly and efficiently. To accomplish these demanding tasks in the best conditions, companies must be able to rely on a working environment and equipment that combine efficiency with well-being, continuous improvement and ergonomics.
To encourage “well-working” and support work that enables both people and companies to thrive, the Manutan brand offers quality everyday products at low prices. We are convinced that companies can use our products to boost their performance, but also increase satisfaction among their employees.
Continuous improvement – a lever for efficiency
Using a range of existing methodologies, continuous improvement makes it possible to optimise warehouse management to save time and increase both productivity and efficiency. Lean Management aims to prevent resources from being wasted. This is done in particular through the 5S method (Seiri, Seiso, Seiton, Seiketsu and Shitsuke), which focuses on continuous improvement of the tasks performed. Another option is the Kanban method, which can be used to optimise stock management through the “just in time” approach.
Ultimately, there isn’t one single method that is more beneficial than any other. Rather, it is advisable to combine all these strategies to achieve your performance and profitability objectives. For this reason, different products can prove to be particularly useful.
All these methods agree on one point: a clear and organised working environment enhances efficiency. That’s why it’s important to choose suitable storage: cabinets with adjustable drawers or shelves, cupboards with bins, cabinets for tools, cabinets with sliding doors, customisable lockers and workwear lockers. There’s something to suit everyone’s needs!
To secure and optimise the organisation of your warehouse, it is advisable to indicate entrances, flow directions and hazardous areas using simple language that everyone understands: floor markings. Simply apply the floor markings using a tape dispenser, taking care to select the right colours.
According to the European directive (directive 92/58/CEE), the colour red indicates prohibition, danger or fire-fighting material and equipment. Yellow or amber is synonymous with a warning or caution. Blue symbolises an obligation, and green conveys the notion of rescue or assistance. Yellow and black or red and white tape is used for obstacles or hazardous areas. Finally, to designate circulation routes to opt for coloured tape (often white) that is visible on the ground.
As well as tape, other additional markings can also be used to indicate storage areas or circulation routes, for example (in the shape of arrows, crosses, feet, T or L).
Storage containers and cards
The Kanban method and, in particular, the double container system can be used for more efficient stock management. It is advisable to have at least two storage containers for each product. The first container, placed at the front, represents operational stock and the second container (or more), placed at the back, contains reserve stock. A “Kanban” card showing the name of the product, a photo of it and other necessary information is placed under the first container. Once this container is empty, the card is taken out for everyone to see and placed, for example, in a label or document holder to indicate that this stock needs to be replenished. The second container is then used while the replenishment is being performed.
Ergonomic products adapted to physical tasks
It is essential to create an ergonomic working environment that maintains the comfort, health and safety of employees. This is even more true in warehouses, where difficult physical work is often required: handling loads, repetitive motions, working in a prolonged standing position, rapid pace, exposure to low temperatures, etc. This very often causes work-related bodily ailments, which are also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Today, 58% of European workers consider that they suffer from one or more MSDs. The main complaints are lower back pain and muscle pain in the upper limbs.
As well as preventing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, providing ergonomic equipment is also a lever for motivation, engagement and thus performance for company employees. That’s why it’s more important than ever to design workstations that are adapted to the people using them.
Ergonomics within a warehouse is adapted to all types of posture or activity:
- For workshop stations, particular attention must be paid to seating. You could choose a perch seat or a workshop chair where you can adjust the height of the seat and footrest.
- For jobs that require standing for long periods, an anti-fatigue mat is essential. Ideally, it will have bevelled edges to guarantee safety and make it easy for both employees and forklifts to move around. This type of mat encourages blood circulation, relieves back pain, reduces fatigue and insulates against noise, cold floors and possible vibrations.
- When lifting and moving heavy loads, operators must use a mobile lifting table, a high pallet truck or a combined forklift and trolley. This is essential to avoid having to lean forwards or strain muscles and thus protects against back pain.
- At packing stations that require physical effort and repetitive motions, operators must have suitable equipment. They should have a complete packing table where everything is within reach, as well as suitable tools such as an ergonomic dispenser. The dispenser should be lightweight, equipped with an adjustable brake, a retractable blade and a handle that fits nicely in the hand to make the process easier.
The Manutan brand helps you to “work well” in your warehouse every day. With these everyday products, everyone can now improve operators’ performance and working conditions, at controlled prices.
 European Agency for Safety and Health at Work