How To Keep Your Work Van Tidy
Although we're taught from an early age to 'never judge a book by its cover', it's natural to make assumptions about people and businesses based on appearance. A customer will be more confident about the quality of your work if you turn up in a clean and tidy work van.
An organised work van is proven to increase productivity by improving efficiency. A clean workspace also influences the performance and well-being of all employees, regardless of the industry and the size of the business.
For professional tradespeople, the work van is more than just a vehicle; it's a portable office on wheels and the heartbeat of their business. It transports all the tools, parts and equipment you need to complete jobs every day. Making sure that it's clean and tidy will only bring positive results.
The work van is your on-the-go workspace, which often means you eat and drink in the cabin area between jobs to save time, or on the job to keep the worksite clear.
Despite being a necessary evil for most tradespeople, you should avoid disposing of the rubbish on the dashboard against the window - it gives the business a messy and unprofessional appearance.
From a customer's point of view, it makes it look as though you don't care. If you don't care about the state of your own van, will you care about leaving their home or workplace in a good condition?
It's unlikely that you will remember to clean your van out every day; however, you could simply keep a bin bag or carrier bag in the cabin where you can put all the rubbish throughout the week. At the end of the week, dispose of the bag and replace it with an empty one for the following week.
Organise The Load Area
Keeping everything in your work van tidy is the first step towards improving efficiency by eliminating the cost of time spent looking for tools or equipment in a messy and disorganised load area.
Organising your van requires consideration of how items should be laid out to make the best use of the space and how to make your life easier. Firstly, you need to create a foundation by placing the larger items on the floor to maximise space.
Secondly, you should consider how often items are used to determine where to place them. The space around the doors (whether you only have rear doors or any sliding side doors) should be reserved for the most frequently used tools. Leave room in the most inaccessible areas for any items you use less often.
Finally, only carry items that you actually need. The load area has a limited amount of space and you also need to consider the van's payload capacity. By reducing clutter and organising essential items logically, you will increase efficiency because you'll know exactly where certain tools and pieces of equipment are.
Depending on the industry you work in and the items you carry, there are a number of solutions for your organisational needs. You could invest in stackable bins or plastic storage containers. Alternatively, you may benefit from a built-in racking system or shelves.
Store Paperwork Safely
Most jobs involve some sort of paperwork, whether you're providing a hand-written quote, submitting an invoice or issuing a delivery note. That's not to forget keeping track of receipts for tax-deductible expenses.
Some vans (like Citroens) provide a specific space on the dashboard where you can store important paperwork and keep it safely together in one place. If your work van doesn't have a designated area, you could invest in an A4 binder or file box.
Keeping your paperwork safe and organised will reduce the risk of losing important documentation which could have serious consequences. It also makes your business look more professional if you can provide and produce paperwork when requested.
A work van represents an expensive investment for any business. Ply-lining helps to protect the load area from scratches, dents and rust that will inevitably devalue the van and potentially reduce its lifespan.
It will also protect your cargo, tools and equipment from the unavoidable bumps and scratches of everyday use. Adding ply-lining to your work van gives it a professional and furnished appearance that is easier to clean and maintain.
Clean The Interior
Dirt and dust can easily build up in the cabin and load area from normal day-to-day activities. To keep on top of this inevitable mess, you should invest in a dustpan and brush, a broom and a hoover.
Once a week, possibly at the weekend or a Monday morning, you should dedicate some time to making sure the work van is clean and tidy for the next week. Sweep and hoover the load area floor to remove dirt brought in by the tools and equipment.
Take the floor mats out of the cabin and shake them to get rid of the top layer of dust and dirt. Use the hoover to clean any debris on the seats and van floor; then use it to quickly go over the floor mats. If you have children that are old enough, this could be a great way for them to earn some pocket money.
Having a clean and tidy work van will give your business a professional appearance, increase efficiency, improve productivity and create a greater sense of well-being for anyone that uses it.