Signage is extremely important in any warehouse and having the right signs greatly increases efficiency and productivity. If you have ever been around an Ikea you will be familiar with their signage system, which is based on the standard system used in any facility with pallet racks. Signs are key to the ‘5s’ warehouse methodology; Sorting (know where everything is), Stabilizing (make sure everything stays where they should), Shine (keep things clean), Standardize (ensure everyone knows exactly what they should be doing), and finally Sustain (keep doing the first 4!) Below is a run-down of the main uses of signs in warehouses and storage facilities.
The 2 Main Uses of Signs in Warehouses
The main use of signage in warehouses and storage facilities is to indicate rack number and shelf number. This is extremely important, especially in large warehouses, as locating the desired rack and shelf has to be as easy as possible. Rack and shelf numbers are crucial to those who carry out pick and pack duties in distribution centres and if they cannot locate what they need to, orders will not be fulfilled. In terms of the ‘5s’ this use of signs definitely falls under Sorting and Stabilizing. Sorting because the location of stock and materials has to be clearly marked and Stabilizing because staff need to be reminded to return tools and materials to their proper location. If either of these processes are not followed efficiency will plummet.
Safety signs play a key role in warehouse operation as there are a number of potentially fatal hazards that are present every day. It doesn’t matter what your warehouse is used for, it will still be very dangerous. Fire, heavy equipment and moving vehicles all pose a constant threat. The Standardize and Sustain phases of the ’5s’ depend heavily upon the effective use of safety signs. Depending on the nature of the warehouse the Shine phase may also need to be supported by safety signs. Signs that remind employees to wash their hands or remove dirt from footwear are common in warehouses.
Without good signs warehouses would not be able to operate, it’s as simple as that. Signage is fundamental to warehouse efficiency and safety. Pallet racking and shelving numbers have to be clearly indicated or the order fulfilment process will not work at optimum efficiency. The 5s methodology that is used in many warehouses worldwide is supported by signage and without clear indication it would fail.
Qubestor is a leading UK based provider of warehouse signage and safety equipment. They also provide new and top quality used pallet racking as well as excellent condition used shelving.