When it comes to warehouse space, maximising its use is always challenging. If your warehouse space is not fully utilised it can lead to a decrease in productivity and subsequently, inefficient operations.
To help reduce these issues arising, here are some ideas worth considering.
Designing your warehouse layout
Prior to designing the storage and operations layout, spend time understanding the day-to-day activities of your warehouse. Consider the needs, performance requirements, functional specifications as well as future growth. Consult with suppliers, management, operations team and your finance department to ensure a layout that achieves results.
Perform an SKU analysis, what is the rate of movement, time required for storage and accessibility for retrieval? The answer to these questions will help with the design for storage and retrieval zones.
For best use of warehouse space you’ll need to have a high storage density of products, density depends on the aisle width, wide aisle for easy movement of people and machinery, narrow aisle provides higher density but requires specific material handling equipment and trained staff for operations.
The cost per unit of material handled should be worked out to assist you with selecting the most cost effective equipment and for the best storage density.
Consistent supply of products to customers is critical and requires appropriate levels of inventory in your warehouse, however be careful not to stockpile as this is counterproductive taking up valuable space and causing unnecessary additional costs. By conducting regular inventory checks (every 3-6 months) you will be able to identify slow moving inventory that is taking up space. Consider running a sale or deal such as “buy one get one free” to claim back the space and use it for fast moving inventory and high demand SKU’s. Many software tools are available for effortless management of inventory, with high accuracy.
There are multiple options for storage solutions that should be taken into consideration when designing the storage space of your warehouse. Optimise the space by calculating the space above docks, cross aisles and work areas. Research the best pallet racking to get the most from your warehouse space such as Drive Through Pallet Racking, great for bulk stacking and retrieval, they may reduce selectivity but increase the cube storage space.
Drive-In Pallet Racking is engineered with unique roll-formed rails incorporating a pallet-guide protection system providing increased safety and ease of operation maximising your warehouse performance whilst protecting your valuable inventory.
Another type of Pallet Racking to consider is Cantilever Racking, it provides a versatile storage solution to store long and bulky items with maximum flexibility to meet your specific storage needs.
Cantilever Racking is available in Light or Heavy Duty designs with the ability to be configured as Single Sided or Double Sided; combined with the wide range of sizes available, enables the system to be tailored to maximise your storage space.
There are many factors to consider when working out how to get the most of your warehouse storage space including the type of inventory, the right racking systems, material handling equipment, customer requirements and skill levels of your operations team. However with proper planning and consideration of these elements, you can create optimal warehouse storage and efficient operations.