For facility supervisors, managers, and employees, every day in the workplace brings up questions about the day-to-day efficiency, quality, and safety of one’s facility. Whether that workplace facility is a hospital, egg producer, or steel manufacturer, conscious and subconscious thoughts wiz around one’s mind constantly. Small problems, like ”That pallet-jack needs to be replaced,” and ”Throw out that batch, it is spoiled,” probably ignite some thought about the facility at large, but for the most part, the overall structure and organization of a facility remains the same.
Rarely do facility personnel get the chance to take a step back, and look at large scale, sweeping changes that could affect a facility not only day-to-day, but week-to-week, and month-to-month.
Which is why 1/2 year reviews of your facility are so great and important! In the hot/humid or hot/dry weather of summer, a 1/2 year review of your processes can help change the course of the year for a company or organization.
So what should you be on the lookout for when performing your review? We’ve listed a few things below:
Try to gather as much information on the quality of the products and services that your company provides. Check out data on how much money is thrown out via waste, storage failures, and inventory mismanagement.
Where are you wasting time, resources, and thus money? Figure it out.
Had any employee accidents this year? What about product recalls? If so, review why they happened, and make sure to implement the necessary changes to ensure that the accidents don’t happen again.
Summertime Temperature Mapping
While Nelly’s 2002 smash hit ”Hot in Herre,” doesn’t include the lyrics ”It’s getting hot in here, so temperature map your warehouse,” it is August, which means for most of the United States, it is somewhere between warm and excruciatingly hot outside. That 1/2 year review of your facility shouldn't stop at Quality, Safety, and Efficiency: warmer weather puts more stress on the cold chain, and increases the number items that accidentally fall out of the cold chain.
That couldn’t be truer than in the warehouse link of the cold chain. If that is your sector, and you house goods that must be kept within particular temperature parameters, then we have a few pieces of advice for you during these hot months.
The first: temperature map your facility! We have a temperature mapping service of our own (give us a call at 630-543-3747 for more information), and for our clients who go through seasonal changes, we recommend mapping at least twice a year. Once in the summer, and once in the winter. Facilities and HVAC systems handle each season uniquely, and sometimes the cold spots in your facility in the winter aren’t necessarily the cold (or hot) spots in your facility during the summer. Temperature mapping in the summer is the only true way to get a good thermal overview of your facility.
Next up, consider your roofing material. Talk to the original building owners, and be sure to take notes on the different materials that make up your roof as you prepare for a temperature mapping study. This specifically concerns those facilities that stack temperature sensitive products to the ceiling.
Along with roofing materials, comes windows. If your facility has windows that face direct sunlight, and are not equipped with a UV screen, our experts have found that while cats like sleeping in the sun, temperature sensitive products should avoid it. Huge temperature spikes can result from sunlight getting in to your facility during the summer.
Finally, is the understanding that the ”high point” should be a much bigger concern during the summer than the ”low point.” While you should pay attention to products getting too cold during the summer, if your power goes out, or your HVAC system fails, temperatures will begin to rise, and rise quickly during the dog days of summer. You should have a good idea of the susceptible areas of your facility before a disaster strikes.
By doing a temperature mapping study, and then analyzing your data, you can see which areas of your facility fluctuate the most, and which areas tend to stay warmer than others.
Armed with that information, you can begin to look for solutions to those target areas: better air circulation, new HVAC outputs, and upgraded temperature monitoring.