With businesses booming every day, warehouses are reaching their full capacity in their storage units, leading to congestion of products, an uncomfortable work environment for the workers, time going to waste for moving products around trying to make more space. Damaged goods because of products squeezed together to make space for new to arrive. These inconveniences really hamper the productivity of work. But there must be a better way to run smoother business hours without getting annoyed over the lack of space.
Related Post: A Guide to Purchasing Used Warehouse Equipment
Should I buy or rent a new warehouse? A common question to arise for your claustrophobic storage situation. Before you decide to invest your hard earned money into a brand new warehouse, take a step back and try these storage space reducing hacks to see if it brings your desired result. There’s no harm in trying a cheaper alternative!
Remove the Debris!
Are there products in your warehouse lying around for decades, drowning in dust? Do go around and have a quick look around the space to count how many. Obsolete products take up more space than you actually think. If you find a few, there’s your answer to congested space. Pick those up, dust them off, and find a new home for those unwanted products.
A Shopaholic Purchase Manager
As the owner, you have to make sure to hire a purchase manager who only preorders with a good estimation of how much will sell in the market. He may be overbuying products that may or may not sell in the next six months, and that’s fine if you have a palace for storing. But if you did, you wouldn’t be reading this article.
Stack In Racks!
Store your inventory in extended racks! These add great amount of space both horizontally and vertically! If you have fire sprinklers on the ceilings, there’s no need to feel discouraged to use racks, because you can still store within 18 inches around that area. The only con to this great space saving method is that the sizing of the racking uprights or base plates may not be sized properly. Talk to your structural engineer about the situation and wait for his approval or advice regarding installing extended racks.
Another great form of racks are the double-deep racks. You can convert your single-deep rack into a double deep rack to achieve higher storage. These racks are extremely strong and can hold higher-density equipment with ease. But for you to store your products, you will need a truck that reaches inside the warehouse to unload your goods. This is why many choose to install push-back or drive-in racks to avoid the hassle of letting a huge vehicle enter their warehouse. You will face one problem which is the process of placing the products which will be first in, first out. So once the heavy products are in, it will be difficult to rearrange their positioning once settled down from the truck.
If you’ve got a handsome budget and are in dire need of more storage capacity, then consider to install a mezzanine. It is a procedure of building a floor level above your ground floor! Like a duplex house. These will double you storing capacity for sure! But be aware of how much your ground floor can take because a mezzanine is quite heavy. If your flooring is fragile, it’s best to avoid this before incurring further damage.
Your aisle width in the racking area may cause another massive reason as to why your storage space is decreasing. It must be discomforting to work in a densely packed space. Why don’t you cut down your racks from anywhere between 5-8ft. You’ll notice at least 15% of free space has been newly made. But be weary of the space you keep between the aisles for the products to be taken out or kept in. Consult a specialist to make proper measurements before you chop off the extra bits of your aisles. Remember, narrower aisles are an added expense of wire guidance if you sell electronics.
Using half pallets can help your products to stack in order and form. The pallets are great for products that come in half pallet quantity. You can purchase more half pallets to store goods at the same space up to a good amount without taking a lot of the floor space.
Neat Work Place
Apply the “directed put-away” rules to your warehouse under the instructions of your warehouse management system. The Directed Put-Away rule is simply to understand the linings of the floors and stack pallets accordingly so they are placed in clean lines and positions avoiding clutter and cluster. It a very organized method of stacking products based on the perfect locations according to their weight, size and shape.
Ensuring proper slotting is very important for a warehouse to function efficiently. Your warehouse management team must find the hidden inefficiencies that are causing your warehouse space to clog. Slotting is done through tedious labor of arranging, rearranging, moving products around, eliminating debris and setting up new products at the perfect location. It goes beyond just simply looking for empty spaces and stacking up. But if done properly, slotting will let your warehouse look more open for the new organized space, reduce travel time of workers who have to go back and forth through the aisles, reduce errors, mistakes and even avoid accidents including minimizing item damage.
Fill Up the Empty Spaces!
There may be various small or slightly large places that remain unused. It is important to use every corner of your warehouse efficiently in order to properly make use of the space you already have. It’s not necessary to fill this space up with Pallets or racks, use wooden shelves to stock up the lighter materials. But remember to never ever leave out any space that is unused. At the same time, do not over stock. Nobody likes to work in a place where they do not have enough space to move around. Create a good balance!
If you find these methods useful, then what are you waiting for? Get to work and see how more open and organized your new warehouse looks! A neat place of work creates efficient workers and great productivity!