InTents December2022/January 2023 - 45

order picking carts and even the hand
trucks. Basically, I am referring to any
piece of equipment that helps us move
inventory in the warehouse. Develop a
weekly checklist for each of these items.
Obviously, forklifts and lifting equipment
will have more points of inspection.
Work with your dealer to come up
with items to inspect. If necessary, pay
for someone to come in and train your
people. By the way, having an outside
vendor come in and perform regular
maintenance is perfectly acceptable.
I guarantee that such vendors are
working from a checklist. Some of you
may be raising an eyebrow when I ask
you to include the hand truck in your
program. Are these critical pieces of
material handling equipment? Try
moving a keg of hex nuts without one.
After the mechanical equipment, start
looking at the racks and shelves that
store all your money. Inventory is just
cash. We need to inspect the condition of
our shelving. Are we using the right type
of shelving for our needs? Are any of the
shelves sagging under the weight of our
material? This is just an accident waiting
to happen. Have any of the pallet racks
been run into by the forklift? Believe me,
this happens all the time.
Beyond inspecting defects, we should be
actively replacing poor shelving choices. Do
you still have plywood shelves with two-byfour
supports on your pallet racks? This is
a ire hazard and it leads to shabby looking
product. Actively replace plywood racking
with wire decking. It allows light to
get through, prevents dust buildup
and allows water to reach the loor in
the event of a ire. Used wire decking
is really prevalent. This is a great time
to upgrade.
Finally, create checklists to help you
maintain building and property ixtures.
Inspect overhead doors for proper
operation. Do you still have to give that
outside door a little hip check to get
it open? Can you properly secure the
facility? Don't overlook weatherization
and insulation components in the
inspection. Make sure to include dock
features in your program. Is the dock
leveler in need of maintenance? Do you
have trailer restraining devices? Many
of these items are on the exterior of the
building and take a pounding from the
elements. They need additional attention.
Walk around the building. Are there interior
or exterior lights that need to be replaced?
Do you have drains in the parking
lot? Is the parking area in good condition?
The lists can go on and on. That is
the point. There are a lot of things to
manage when you run a small business.
When it was just one store with ive to
10 employees, these things were easier
to spot. Our businesses have grown over
the years. We have more people and
more locations to maintain. We can't
expect people to take the same kind of
ownership we felt in the early years. We
need to help them remember.
Sit down with your operational managers.
Develop checklists for all the material
handling assets. Some inspections should
be daily, others weekly or monthly. You all
will come up with appropriate timelines.
We give our people tools to be more eficient.
Why jeopardize that eficiency by
running equipment to the point of failure?
The goal is to get ahead of a problem.
I have recently been working with
clients on incorporating a preventive
maintenance program into their company.
It has been our experience that no one
takes it seriously until it affects their
wallet. Our approach was simple. If the
checklists are not completed, a portion
of the branch manager's compensation
is forfeited. Time will tell if they get the
message. Good luck.
Jason Bader is the principal of The Distribution
Team. He can be reached at Jason@
Distributionteam.com.
InTentsMag.com 45
Every owner I know
would rather invest
in maintenance
than pay for repair
after it is too late.
http://www.InTentsMag.com

InTents December2022/January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents December2022/January 2023

InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover1
InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover2
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 1
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 2
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 3
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 4
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 5
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InTents December2022/January 2023 - 8
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InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover3
InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover4
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