Too much of anything is never good, especially when it comes to clutter. A cluttered, disorganised workplace says as much about you as it does for the company. Always searching for the right tool that’s never there when you need it, getting through piles of junk, or forgetting where you left that pair of pliers costs you time, money and nerves. Not to mention the safety hazards. If this is you, then here are a few basic tips to clean up your act.
Keep it Simple
When it comes to workshops or any business with high movement, simplicity keeps things where they should be and is more pleasing to the eye. It also means better efficiency and speed. Store tools in tool cabinets or toolboxes that are easily accessible, yet out of the way. Arrange smaller items, like nuts, bolts, washers or spare parts in drawers, a spare parts box or bin, along shelves or in trolleys that can be easily moved away. Everything should have its own place.
Keep it Clean
It’s not just doing a good job, but also about presentation. How the customer sees you and the workshop in the general picture of things can mean whether they return again or recommend you to a mate. A clean, organised workshop means you mean business. No unnecessary items should be where they’re not supposed to and being an unwanted eyesore.
Sort Items by Category
Powered tools are placed alongside other powered tools. Adhesives and glues with adhesives and glues. You get the picture. Categorising your inventory and equipment in similar units tells you where to look and find what you need. You shouldn’t be moving away a bunch of spanners to get to the air gun.
Sort Tools by Brand
Labelling and sorting tools by brand always works. Mechanics always have a brand of tool that they go for first. Sorting powered or hand tools by your favourite brands, and in places where they’re easy to reach will make your work easier and quicker.
Use all Available Wall Space
Walls are the best places to store more items of the same type. Use neat shelving units and stackable bins. Also, heavy-duty benches or cabinets mean large engine parts don’t take up space needed for quick and safe movement.
Regularly Check Your Inventory
If you do one type of job more often, say brake repairs, keep things like brake pads, rotors and fluid on the top of inventory lists. Prioritise. Also, limiting access to parts to as few employees as possible will give you better insight into what you need to focus on in purchases. Assigning a different employee to different types of parts is also a good idea.
Solving Clutter with Spare Parts
Workshops need tools, equipment and spare parts to function. There are several ways that you can handle this and better arrange items.
Fixed storage implies the use of heavy-duty shelves placed along the walls. Shelves can be mechanically attached to walls and floors to provide better strength and safety. For bulkier items, like large engine parts, tyres or alloys, go for shelves with fewer levels and adjustable height. You can also choose custom-built shelves in the widths and length of your choice, and also the number of shelf levels. Frames are made of stainless steel with high weight loadings and are coated to avoid damage from accidental spills and rust. They also provide a better look. Try avoiding clutter, by categorising each shelf with a particular part type.
If you have the space a workbench is necessary. This is where smaller tools that you use regularly should be neatly placed. Benches feature fully lockable cabinets or drawers to safeguard valuable tools. Pegboards and wall-mounted panels are good for hanging tools or spare parts bins and boxes and be placed at shoulder height for easy reach. If you go for a spare parts box, there are different sizes available depending on what you’ll keep inside. Also, matching boxes and bins of the same colour and arranging them at the same level gives you better visibility.
Workbenches are the ideal place to keep larger spare parts trays that have internal dividers to store items of similar type or size. Boxes, bins and trays are made of durable plastics, are lightweight, and are easy to mix and match. If space is tight, a custom-built workbench in the dimensions that best suits the workshop, and with accessories like panel boards to hang tools or place spare parts bins would be your best solution.
Mobile Storage Solutions
Workshops are fast-paced environments, and having tools or parts readily available means convenience and speed. This is where trolleys and mobile cabinets come into play. You’ll find heavy-duty metal trolleys set on durable braked castor wheels for easy movement around the workshop. Various types are sold. For quick access to small hand tools or parts, go for a parts bin trolley that can hold several levels of spare parts boxes and bins in different sizes. If you need security, then trolleys with lockable sliding doors are what you want. Combined trolleys with drawers and shelving are also sold.
Organising your workshop doesn’t have to be complicated. Using some of the tips above, and storage solutions like benches, trolleys and cabinets fitted with versatile shelving and parts boxes and bins, will free up a lot of space. You’ll have the right tool or right part exactly where you need it.