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Four steps to configuring an efficient packing table

While it might seem as though configuring a packing table for use in a warehouse would be a simple procedure, there is actually quite a lot to think about. After all, not all shipping and packing warehouses are handling the same sorts of goods, so their needs are not always the same either.

Furthermore, within a single warehouse there may be several different packing stations for items of different sizes. The sort of table that will be needed at each of these stations in order to achieve maximum efficiency will also vary.

These are the steps involved in configuring packing tables that will allow you to hit your efficiency targets time and again.

Work out what is needed from the table

The first stage should be to ensure that you are completely clear in your mind about what you need from the packing table. The best way to do this is to map out an operational overview for it on paper.

The likelihood is that this overview will be made up of the same set of tasks featured in the job descriptions for your packers. Examples of the typical functions of a packing table include the following:

• Order consolidation

This will require the main worktop part of the table to have plenty of space for carrying out this process.

• Checking the line items against the packing list

This kind of administrative procedure will generally involve either written work or typing onto a computer. If it forms part of what the table will be used for, a space for a computer monitor and keyboard should be a feature of the table.

• Labelling and addressing

The packing process will always require workers to label and address goods to ensure that they are sent to the right place. Therefore, the table should have space set aside for storing pens, stamps and labels.

Work out the packaging sequence for your warehouse

Once you know exactly what the table will be used for, you should think about how the sequence of packing and shipping generally takes place in your warehouse. A flow chart outlining this sequence, which usually begins with consolidation of orders and ends with them being delivered to the dispatch area, will be a good way of establishing it clearly.

The reason for this is to ensure that you can configure a table that cuts back on time wasted through packing workers moving between different parts of the warehouse by making sure the table provides everything they need. It will also help you to ensure that its design is configured ergonomically to reduce the risk of worker injury.

Ideally the packing worker should be able to carry out the three main tasks – getting orders to the table, replenishing key packing supplies and sending packed items to the dispatch area – without having to move far from the table.

Make sure the table is hard wearing

A storage and dispatch warehouse is a busy place and there will be people moving large goods around a lot. That means a packing table will inevitably suffer bangs and bumps.

It will also sometimes have to cope with weighty items. Therefore, it must be made of a material that is sturdy and hard wearing if your business is to operate at maximum efficiency.

A good example of this would be a packing table made from powder coated tubular steel parts that have been welded together.

Consider a custom design

Once you know what is needed from your packing table, it will be time to start looking to buy. We offer a range of steel tables that are designed to meet a variety of warehouse packing requirements.

That includes our standard Packing Bench, an Adjustable Packing Bench that can be altered depending on the size of the items to be packed, and the Eco Table for packing smaller, more lightweight items.

Although, it may be that you would prefer to get a table that has been put together entirely according to your specifications. You can work with a dedicated design team to produce drawings.

Here are some key points that you should consider when working on this design:

• Work ergonomics into your table design
• Create separate spaces for storage so that the main surface is free for actual packing work.
• Make sure the items that will be used most often during packing are easily reachable.

The key areas that should be deployed as equipment storage spaces are above and underneath the table, as well as on either side of the main surface. If you opt to buy from a company that offers in-house design and construction, you can get help in developing an effective table design and it will then be built for you from scratch.

Here at Steely Products we provide standard and custom steel packing tables. Get in touch now.

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