The Most Critical Aspect of any Distribution Operation

As supply chain consultants, we are exposed to nearly every industry and have the unique opportunity to see hundreds of different warehousing and distribution operations. We get to see the different operations for exactly one reason: our clients want us to help improve them.

The most common item we recommend improving is the cleanliness and orderliness of a warehouse. Maintaining a clean and orderly operation is much more important than just the optics (though the optics are important - imagine taking a potential client or business partner through a dark warehouse with trash on the floor!).

A clean and orderly operation drives the culture of accountability and effort. When nothing is disorganized or out of place, it makes it that much harder for someone to purposely misplace something or work inefficiently. When cleanliness is stressed, it follows to all aspects of the operation, from receiving to stretch-wrapping the pallet going out. 

To me, it is the same as my desk. When I come in mornings to a crisp, clean and organized desk, it leads to a productive day. When I come in to a disorganized and cluttered desk, the more likely I am to miss something and the less in-control I feel.