According to Packaging Digest, around 11% of unit loads arriving at a distribution centre have a certain extent of case damage. Containing product damage entirely from supply chains is not practical. Still, it is possible to reduce the cases by following a 3W 1H approach. Once you find out what is the cause of product damage and when it is happening, you can then work on the areas where product damage is maximum and how to control it.
In warehouses, improper pallet usage, wrong tools, collision during transit, improper packing and securing, and poor management are some of the prime reasons for product damage.
Taking care of your Pallets
Pallets are one aspect of your warehouse that you can't do without. It holds your product during its entire stay at the warehouse.
Damaged pallets and crates are at risk of breaking with the weight of goods or rough handling, causing product damage. Taking care of your pallet is essential to ensure it is damage-free.
It is also important to store products suitable for the pallet's size. If products are too big for the pallet, they can get bumped during the loading and unloading process, which may damage the goods.
Overloading the pallets beyond its load capacity can cause it to collapse with the weight. The damage can then be extensive, resulting in product and man injuries.
If the products are not stacked properly, there is a chance of toppling the whole stack. It is a good idea to stack the heavier item at the bottom and the lighter ones on top.
Using professional wrapping techniques to secure the products in the pallet can also reduce the extent of product damage during loading during movement.
Special Containers for Bulk Items
It is important to store bulk and fragile items in special containers to prevent damage to the goods. Most often, the activities in the warehouse demand some amount of rough handling. Using the proper containers to store goods can minimize the damage, especially to the top part of products during stacking. There are different kinds of containers - metal, collapsible containers, and bins and boxes- for your products.
Another advantage of using containers to store products is there is orderliness in the warehouse. It leads to better usage of your warehouse space.
Choosing the right Racking Solutions
The racking system's primary purpose is to utilize the warehouse space effectively for product storage. It should also be versatile enough to accommodate different kinds of goods.
While installing racks, care should be taken for proper installation, with adequate space for movement between the aisles. Cluttered aisles are also prone to accidents and damage.
Warehouse racks are subject to both vertical and horizontal load stress. Overloading should be avoided under all circumstances.
It is also worthwhile to invest in rack protection installation like step beams, wire decking for racks, end-of-aisle, and aisle-column installation.
Keep your Facility clean
Products coming into your warehouse can sometimes be a source of pest entry into your warehouse. It is essential to do a proper inspection of the goods before storage.
If there is an infestation on a pallet, do not bring it into the warehouse; instead, store it in quarantine and schedule for a return if possible.
Any signs of a pest invasion - live or dead, damage, or leakage- should be dealt with immediately. Spills, rotten goods, and pests in the warehouse can lead to extensive product damage if not dealt with initially. Dispose of damaged products, and quarantine the susceptible ones in separate area before storage. It will prevent contamination of other goods, damage to equipment, and possible invasion of pests and rodents.
Regular pest control checks can keep your warehouse clean and rodent-free.
Proper employee management
It is easy to damage goods when the processes are done in a hurry or inappropriately using the equipment for transport and storage within the warehouse.
Take the time to train your employees to use the tools and equipment correctly.
Conduct regular meetings so that the staff is up to date with all the guidelines for handling goods.
It is also essential that the workers work a proper shift to avoid accidents due to stress, especially if the warehouse has a tight schedule.
A few warehouse setup additions, like pallet trucks, balancers, lifts, etc., can also improve the workforce's efficiency and prevent damage to goods during picking and packing.
Ensure the warehouse staff adheres to all the protocols while handling goods and equipment.
It may seem like your warehouse has what seems like an insignificant percentage of loss due to product damage. Still, this could lead to an accountable loss of goods and money for a large company. Taking the time to follow a few precautionary methods can save you from this unnecessary waste of money.