Welcome to our fourth and final Back of Store feature of the year. For the last few glorious months it’s felt like it might just magically stay summer forever, but now we ‘re definitely in autumn mode with leaves and the temperature alike falling around us.

chazNowhere are people more aware of the changing seasons than the workers in Britain’s supply chains, in the back of store areas and in distribution warehouses. As we hurtle towards Christmas the rush is now on in store to keep everything working flat out as the pressure builds to ensure the goods are on the shelves to be bought.

In this feature we have articles from leading suppliers of equipment and services to help you make plans for staying on top of your warehousing and logistics requirements. All good plans start with an appraisal of the situation. And there’s no time like autumn to take stock of where you are when it comes to the essentials in the Back of Store.

You need to start with the doors, being the part of the warehouse where the goods come in. Industrial doors have a hard job to do all year round keeping the building warm, dry and above all secure. But as the winds blow and the mist swirls in the autumn and winter they really come into their own. The doors need to able to open and shut quickly to conserve heat, and the right – or wrong – choice of door can make a major difference to the energy costs of the warehouse.

Next, you need the warehouse floors to be well maintained at all times so loaded forklifts can move smoothly over them. The floors also need to be marked to denote pedestrian and non-pedestrian areas. The light level must be right, again especially now, given the dark days and long nights and our ageing workforce.

You need to ensure the racking in the Back of Store areas is up to scratch. You must have a regular inspection schedule that covers the racking in different shifts, particularly at busy times for forklift movements. and have a good working relationship with your racking supplier

And finally your forklift trucks need to be the right choice for the size of your warehouse and the throughput of your operations. They also need to be well maintained and their batteries charged as efficiently as possible. And crucially, as your forklift drivers will be working flat out in the run up to Christmas, it’s vital to train them and their managers to work to the highest safety standards.

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