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7 Warehouse Readiness Tips for the Crazy Season

Why it’s important to prepare for the busiest time of the year
For many organisations, Christmas is a time of extended trading, a supplemented workforce and much higher traffic than usual on premises. In order to function optimally, it’s important to plan ahead for these particular contingencies. Being ready means your business can:
  • Cope better with the busier trading period;
  • Protect itself against workplace injuries; and
  • Look forward to making greater profits.
7 tips to prepare your warehouse
  1. Start early Christmas happens every year; it’s no surprise. Brief all managers and staff on what to expect. Assign teams to take care of various tasks such as cleaning and tidying, making room for extra stock deliveries, training additional staff, ensuring there is efficient signage in the dispatch and receivables bays and stocking the offices, staff rooms, bathrooms and warehouse floor with stationery and other necessities.
  2. Clean up – A clean, tidy, well-organised work environment is highly conducive to greater productivity and helps staff feel valued and comfortable. From the bathrooms to the offices, inside, outside, the floors, the walls and the ceilings, address what needs to be cleaned and assign the tasks to the appropriate personnel.
  3. Remove health and safety hazards –When a warehouse is over-stocked, there can be less room to manoeuvre trolleys, forklifts and cleaning apparatus. Ensure your warehouse is free of hazards. Check electrical, refrigeration, conveyor and automated picking systems. Replace sub-optimal lighting, fix or replace broken or faulty equipment and eliminate any leaks, spills or seepage.
  4. Stretch your peak trading season –Promoting Christmas or end-of-year specials earlier helps to capitalise on consumers’ festive spending and get an edge over competitors. It can also help to spread the workload over a longer period and ease the pressure on the warehouse which may normally occur over two very difficult weeks.
  5. Conduct stress tests – Put your departments and personnel through their paces with warehouse stress tests designed to fail. Of course, you don’t want failure but the time to figure out how to address it is long before you’re in the middle of a higher stakes game. Assign a particular stress test to a specific function or process each day.
  6. Establish your temporary team – When you call for reinforcements, expect that your temporary workforce will be under-trained, under-informed and ill-prepared. Make sure all new workers are trained up and fully coherent with the way things work. Induction is vital and introducing new team members to existing staff before the pace becomes excessive can help smooth the way.
  7. Plan for the post-Christmas fallout too – From Boxing Day onwards, the returns and exchanges will flood in. Train your staff to know how to deal with returned stock, some boxed, some without packaging, some broken or faulty. Whether the back end of any business runs smoothly or nightmarishly, customers notice.
It’s already time!
It’s never too early to make smart plans. Readiness for the silly season will pay off in more ways than just dollar signs.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With a vision to become a global leader in sustainable cleaning innovation that empowers our customers to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world, Tennant creates solutions that are changing the way the world cleans. Tennant products include equipment used to maintain indoor and outdoor surfaces, as well as TennantTrue® financing solutions, equipment parts, service, and maintenance to help ensure superior cleaning performance from your Tennant machines.

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