Best Practices for Food and Beverage Warehousing

Ethan Townzen
May 29, 2024
Warehouse for Food and Beverage

Running a business in the food and beverage industry requires a dedicated warehouse for storing supplies, which is a crucial factor for success.

Not only that, warehousing is also very important when you consider the quality and safety of the products you offer. Proper storage is, essential as it maintains the cleanliness of your goods, ultimately resulting in high-quality products.

That being said, here are some best practices you should observe so you can optimize your operations:

  1. Regulate The Temperature

Temperature regulation is a key element in warehousing, especially in the food and beverage sectors. Food warehousing often needs specific temperature settings, typically between 32-40°F (0-4°C) for perishables and 50-70°F (10-21°C) for non-perishables. In contrast, beverage warehousing requires a consistent temperature of around 50-55°F (10-13°C) to maintain taste and extend shelf life.

To do this, it is best to find a reliable HVAC system as well as assign dedicated staff who monitor the products and environment regularly. This will make sure that spoilage is minimized and shelf life is extended.

  1. Cleanliness and Sanitation is the Number One Priority

According to a study, proper sanitation and cleanliness will reduce the number of bad microorganisms that will cause the food to go bad. As such, it is very important that proper measures to ensure that cleanliness and sanitation are maintained throughout.

To ensure this, consider establishing a rotating schedule for employees to regularly inspect and monitor warehouse cleanliness and adherence to sanitary practices. Buske Logistics collaborates with specialized partners to enhance these efforts. Some of these partners include Jan-pro which provides comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting services, Cintas which supplies necessary cleaning products, and Presto-X which offers expert pest protection and control. Additionally, having a dedicated team ensures that each employee is focused on specific tasks, further safeguarding the sanitation process.

  1. First In, First Out

If you are not quite familiar with this term, it is exactly what it says it is: The products that you put inside the warehouse first should also be the first ones out when they are needed for shipment. 

This is particularly important for food warehousing as foods have the tendency to spoil faster, so it is only right that you follow the FIFO protocol to avoid giving out spoiled products. You can learn more about the method by clicking here.

It is generally good to assign this task to a supervisor who knows what they are doing so they can effectively streamline the whole process while making sure that everything is in place.

  1. Implementing a Tracking and Documentation System 

When you have a warehouse, it is almost a given that you are dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of products going in and out every day. 

This volume of movement that you have to keep track of is precisely why you have to have a good and effective tracking and documentation system. Should you wish to know more about these, you can find a comprehensive guide here.

Particularly for beverage warehousing, since these products have little defining features apart from logos, it is generally a good idea to sort them either alphabetically or by order of when they first entered the warehouse. 

Additionally, it is a good idea to automate all of these systems and use available software as listed by Forbes.

  1. Invest in Staff Training

A well-trained workforce, especially in food warehousing as well as beverage warehousing, is the key to having an efficient and accurate workflow. This is clearly stated in the research and evaluation, which highlights the benefits of proper training and development.

The following are common benefits of employee training and development, according to Walters (2017), the author of the paper mentioned prior:

  1. It improves staff morale, confidence, and motivation. 
  2. It reduces manufacturing costs by enabling individuals to eliminate waste. 
  3. It instills a sense of security, which decreases turnover and absenteeism. 
  4. It encourages employee participation in the change process by offering the skills required to adapt to new and demanding conditions. 
  5. It creates opportunities for recognition, increased income, and advancement. 

With that said, there are many ways that you can train your staff with the most common one being one-on-one teaching as well as on-the-job training. Indeed does a good job of listing the possible methods so you may refer to them if you are interested.

Conclusion

These practices are integral to our operations at Buske Logistics, and we encourage their adoption across the industry. If you encounter challenges with logistics and warehousing, remember that these are common hurdles. To mitigate these issues, consider partnering with us. For more information on how we can assist, please feel free to contact us at info@buske.com.