As Kiwi’s we often just make do with what we’ve got. We’re not complainers, and much of the time we’re so used to working in disorganised and untidy conditions that we overlook the detrimental effects and just get on with the job as best we can. But as a country competing on a global scale, with global standards, can we really afford to not pay attention?
When visiting workshops and production facilities it’s not uncommon for the lubricants to be chucked haphazardly in a storage area out the back, with not much thought put into it. Simply put, the storage area is full of lots of drums and cans, full of lots of stuff, and it can be a wonder how the team are able to locate what they need, when they need it. If this sounds like your facilities, you may laugh and say ‘it’s just the way it is’, but this kind of disorganisation can be detrimental to the business…
More inventory needed to be kept – we find businesses holding far more lubricants than they need due to excess ordering, changes in lubricants, old lubricants not being dealt with, and having unnecessary lubricants for different applications.
More inventory takes up more space – space is often a hot commodity and shouldn’t be taken up by unnecessary stock.
Wasted time – how much time do staff spend searching for the right lubricant amongst the mess? What about the time taken to check inventory so you know how much needs to be ordered?
Lack of knowledge – do you know the value of your lubricant spend? Where the lubricants are being used, by who, and how much? These are important things to keep track of because they can lead to insights into how the company can become more efficient and reduce costs.
Cross-contamination – when things are untidy, and everything looks similar, it’s pretty easy to accidentally pick up the wrong product, or perhaps the right product, but an older version that hasn’t been thrown out. Ideally oils shouldn’t be mixed, and if they are, best case scenario is they just don’t perform at their best, but worst case would be using the wrong lubricant for the job and jeopardising your machinery.
Non-compliance – whether it’s OHS or MPI, most businesses have some kind of compliance standards to live up to. If your facilities are a mess, chances are there’s something that could be deemed non-compliant…untidiness is a red flag for compliance officers to dig deeper.
The good news is, there are really simple solutions for keeping your lubricants organised and tidy!
Consolidate lubricants and only store what you need – lubricants have come a long way, and you don’t need 100’s of different items to get the job done. Food grade lubricants perform as well as non-food grade, and some mineral oils are just as good as synthetics!
Implement self-bunded storage cabinets – everything should have a place, and having the right products stored in the right place will keep everything tidy and ensure it’s easy to access and identify the right product.
Get a supplier managed system – systems like Duramach’s EziStock take the hassle of managing stock off your hands, so you don’t need to worry about it. The stock on site is still owned by you, but Duramach handle all the replenishing and tidying and ensure you’ve got what you need to be compliant.