Top 5 Warehouse Tools Every Furniture Operation Needs

May 2017—
There’s something exciting about outfitting a warehouse. Maybe it’s the prospect of creating an efficient workspace buzzing with activity. Or maybe it’s the idea of keeping your staff stoked and stocked with the equipment that makes their jobs easier and safer. Whatever the reason, your warehouse is a sacred place, so you want to do right by it. Filling your warehouse with high quality equipment and tools is the first step toward honoring your place of work. That’s why we’ve created this must-have equipment guide to make sure you have everything you need to work at peak efficiency. Look it over and make sure you aren’t missing something essential for your warehouse’s every-day operations.

Keepin’ it Moving

#1: Hand trucks

For boxed, tall or ridged items, having a hand truck makes relocation a snap. Moving items from one location to another is as simple as sliding the nose underneath, tipping and rolling. With a few hand trucks stationed at key locations around the warehouse, relocating boxes, case goods and appliances becomes an efficient operation. Not to mention that hand trucks are a back saver by almost eliminating the need to lift heavy items manually.

#2: Dollies

Specifically the low, four-wheel dollies. Like hand trucks, dollies are indispensable for moving large items around the warehouse, touch up area and loading dock. While larger items may require a two-person team to lift and position the dolly underneath, once on the dolly, items can be pushed with ease. In the touch up or inspection areas, items on dollies can be spun in place for easy viewing and access to areas needing repair. Having a good supply of dollies in your delivery staging area is beneficial when you can leave product on dollies, ready to roll at a moment’s notice.

Equipment Tip

Having issues with hand trucks/dollies disappearing from the warehouse? Maybe your delivery staff is reallocating them to their trucks. Grab a can of bright spray paint like hot pink or fluorescent green to mark your equipment. It will discourage “borrowing” as the equipment for the warehouse will be easily identifiable when spotted where it shouldn’t be.

Keepin’ it Together

#3: Stretch wrap and dispenser

This is such a versatile supply with so many uses you’ll be glad to have it around. While wrapping furniture isn’t that exciting, preventing possible damage is well worth the effort. Stretch wrap can be used to hold furniture pads in place, keep doors and drawers shut, bundle cushions with upholstered pieces and so much more! Aside from keeping it all together, stretch wrap provides a barrier to moisture during deliveries in inclement weather and helps reduce damage from abrasion, punctures and scratches. In some cases, a wrapped piece is easier to handle by providing hand holds on otherwise slick finished surfaces. In some operations, it’s a signal for staff—wrapped and ready for delivery or naked and needs attention.

#4: Packing tape and tape gun

One word sums up why every warehouse needs packing tape on hand—indispensible. Like stretch wrap, tape has many uses—securing boxes, taping down wrap or pads, applying paperwork, and labeling boxes or rack locations are just a few of the hundreds of uses your staff will find for this stuff. Again, not that exciting of a supply, but a necessity, and the more the merrier.

Keepin’ it Pristine

#5: Touch up pens

Let’s face it, no matter how careful, safe and aware the staff is, accidents happen. With delicate finished surfaces on furniture pieces being moved around on concrete, near metal racks, over loading docks and between other merchandise, bumps and scratches will happen. Having a set of touch up markers on hand for quick repairs and touch ups will keep your deliveries moving out the door on time. Idle furniture pieces waiting for a repair in the middle of your loading dock or warehouse are just screaming to get bumped into again.

While there are literally thousands of gadgets, tools and accessories available for use around the warehouse, these basics will be the most utilized daily. In sticky situations, the best warehouse tool will be the one that is readily available. Make sure you have the right and most versatile tools on hand so errors and damages created by “improvising” are not a source of inefficiency.

To learn more about the HFA products program search our online catalog; to find out about member discounts talk to an HFA membership representative.

About the Author

Jef Spencer
Jef Spencer is HFA’s director of operations and he runs the product program. Contact Jef at JSpencer@myhfa.org.