Almost every house has a junk drawer, that bottomless pit of pens, stamps, bank statements and whatever else you can't be bothered to sort out and store properly at the moment. While the concept of the junk drawer may be fine in your own home, it doesn't translate well into a facility. Cluttered storerooms are not only an eye sore, they can also cost you time and money. Facility managers need only to take a peek at their own storage spaces to see if they're suffering from junk drawer syndrome, and decide whether it's time to tidy up. Organizational skills and maintenance management software will go a long way toward cleanliness and savings.
The bottom line
Organized maintenance, repair and operations storerooms are key to better productivity, according to FacilitiesNet. Facility managers that have to spend large chunks of time sifting through disheveled storerooms can rack up hours of wasted time over the course of a month. That's precious time - and money - down the drain. Worse still, you may also find yourself needlessly buying duplicate parts and products merely because you can't find where you last put them. That can be significant money lost, all because of poor labeling and storage. Fortunately, the problem of an inefficient storeroom is easily avoidable.
Early spring cleaning
It may be a little early in the season, but you might as well kick off the new year with a clean slate and an organized storeroom. Set some time aside this month to give your storerooms a through clean. You'll want to start by emptying out the storeroom completely. Get rid of any trash, junk or unused parts and give the space a hard scrub, recommended FacilitiesNet. You want the space sparkling clean before you start moving items back inside.
Next, you'll want to prepare the space so that you can organize all of your goods as easily as possible. If your storage shelves are old and rickety, replace them. An unstable shelf could make a huge mess later on, making your big cleanup a huge hassle if you procrastinate. Not only that, it could also result in injury and damaged goods. This is a good time to consider your inventory and customize your shelves to best suit your needs. If you don't have enough for the amount of tools and parts in the room, then make a plan to buy or build more. Also, if the storeroom is too crowded to house everything, then try to find a secondary storeroom that'll make the space more efficient.
Once you've set up the space to better handle your essential maintenance items, it's time to organize, label and store. Don't rush this part of the process - an extra hour now making an efficient storeroom could save hours and dollars later. Organize the space by whatever process makes most sense. Items that you use more often should be within easy reach, so put them on lower shelves in front of other boxes and supplies. Group tools that are often used together. Don't put heavy and cumbersome items on top shelves that are difficult to reach. However you organize the space, make sure it's easy to navigate for you and any employees.
The power of technology
When people talk about computers and storage space, they're usually discussing gigabytes and hard drives. However, there is software that can help you organize actual, physical spaces. InventoryEdge tracks all of your supplies, as well as how frequently you use them. That way, you'll always know which parts you have and which ones you need. This can be especially helpful if your storeroom happens to become disorganized and you can't quite remember if you still had any drywall mud. You'll also gain an improved understanding of how your supplies are being used so you can stock up or cut back accordingly.