Some businesses believe that, as long as the job gets accomplished, the condition of the jobsite or warehouse doesn’t matter. Dirty, unorganized, sloppy—if you can tag the word “done” after any project, you don’t have to worry about keeping things clean. To a certain extent, you do need to do whatever it takes to get a job done, but, when it comes to distribution, a clean workplace—and clean product inside of that workplace—are huge components of getting the job done.
Ask these three questions about cleanliness in your warehouse and at the stores you shop at.
Which One Would You Buy?
Here’s the situation: you go into a grocery store and are looking at cans of soup to purchase. You find the brand you want, the type, and there are two cans left. One can has a small amount of dust on it. The other can is completely clean. Which one do you buy? You buy the one without the dust. It’s simple, but it makes the difference between what you buy and what you don’t buy.
When you don’t keep your warehouse clean, the product that leaves isn’t clean—it ends up on the shelves looking unappealing. Or the packaging is damaged. Or a shipping label is on the product itself. Any blemish to product that comes out of your warehouse becomes a small amount unsellable. When you keep vigilant about maintaining a clean warehouse, you raise a standard that every piece of product that leaves your doors is floor-ready.
Where Would You Want To Work?
Not only does a clean warehouse improve the quality of product that you send out, but ask yourself this: if you were a picker, how would your attitude change if you worked in a spotless environment or if you worked in an environment that was consistently disorganized and dirty? The quality of work you produced would likely reflect the kinds of conditions you were working in. When you have a dirty, disorganized warehouse, your employees are going to be less likely to have pride in the work they do, leading to picking errors, shipping errors, and a general ambivalence to their jobs. Change that with a cleaner work environment.
How Many of Your Clients Do You Bring to Your Warehouse?
Ask yourself, how often do we invite clients to our warehouse? If the answer is “rarely” then two things might be going on. A.) You haven’t thought about inviting clients to the warehouse. B.) You’re not proud of the condition of your warehouse. Change both of these things. See your warehouse as a valuable marketing tool and think about the different ways you can enhance that environment to become more and more marketable. One way to do this is to showcase your attention to detail—showcasing how you value a clean floor and clean picking locations as much as you value consistent picking.
Where you work reflects the kind of work you produce. How do you want to be represented? Even if you aren’t showcasing the warehouse to clients, think about what a spotless, organized warehouse conveys to your employees; it conveys care and pride—two things your customers will value about your business.