Warehouses are busy places, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Whether you’re an operator or a new manager, there’s always more to learn about best practices and diagnosing issues that arise. Here’s the best way to troubleshoot common warehouse problems.
Verify the Problem
Don’t jump to conclusions just because one person tells you that there’s a problem. Sometimes new operators are less familiar with the machinery and may think something is a problem that’s not one. Other small issues may solve themselves as the equipment warms up.
Once you’ve determined that there is in fact a problem, talk to the operator and whoever discovered the problem about when it occurred and how they discovered something was wrong. These are important clues for the next step.
Diagnose the Problem
Many issues with machines and equipment can have more than one cause—your job is to figure out which one is actually to blame. For example, there are many things that can cause a conveyor belt to break down, but only one of those causes may be relevant to your work site. Always start with the simplest answer as your working theory unless you have strong evidence that suggests a more complex problem is present.
Fix the Problem
Now that you have an idea of what has caused your problem, you can begin the process of fixing it. Your ability to fix machinery and operations quickly will depend largely on you and your coworkers’ experience and knowledge. If you don’t have the skills yourself, you may need to call in an expert.
Test the Solution
If you think you’ve fixed the issue, give everything a test run to be certain that everything is resolved. Don’t assume anything—missing the real root of the problem can cost you even more time and money. If the solution doesn’t return the equipment to full working capacity, repeat the troubleshooting process until you have one that does.
Troubleshooting common warehouse problems is a valuable skill for both managers and operators. Knowing your machines well can help save valuable resources and is far more efficient than looking for outside help.