Managing warehouses can be an expensive task. Land, buildings, machinery, labor, and items stored in warehouses can cost a significant amount of money.
Most companies try to get the most out of their warehouse operations, whether that means streamlining the place, reducing the amount of time needed for the goods to be stored in warehouses, or automating as much as possible to reduce labor costs while improving accuracy.
In general, there are three types of warehouse space deficiencies. First, there are too many items of the right type in a warehouse. Second, there are too many items of the wrong type, and third, there is a misuse of existing warehouse storage.
Identifying these space issues and understanding what causes them is the first step toward addressing them effectively, so let’s do it together.
What Causes a Warehouse to Run Out of Space?
A warehouse can take up to 80 to 90% of the space, making it a problem in most cases. It is most often caused by poor management, poorly optimized space, restricted pallet movements, etc.
As a result, businesses sometimes need to optimize warehouse space themselves. So, here are some tips to get the most out of your warehouse:
- Maximize Vertical Space
In most warehouses, vertical space could be more utilized. Adding racks and shelving units upward can increase your inventory storage space at a minimal cost. Of course, handling materials on higher tiers may require additional equipment if your forklift can’t reach them.
A mezzanine structure that can be built above these work areas or work areas can be moved to the mezzanine in order to regain space. In this case, vertical space utilization will improve by about 50%, but it is an expensive option that reduces future flexibility.
Mezzanine installation is quick and easy, so your warehouse operations will be minimally disrupted. For improved productivity, incorporating a mezzanine into a storage configuration can help you move picking, packing, office, and staff areas there.
- Use the Right Container
There is no better place to store loose items than a container that can be stored on a shelf. Many warehouses fail to realize the benefits of choosing containers that are right for the things they are holding.
Using different containers allows you to optimize in-container storage. When you look out your racks, you may see containers neatly organized with no wasted space, while the inside of the containers is far from full.
- Minimize Overstocking
Overstocking is common among warehouse owners who fear running out of products. Consequently, a great deal of space is lost, leading to further poor management. The key to avoiding overstocking is good judgment, research of previous orders, and inventory control.
How many of you have spare toilet paper in your house? While a backup case is practical, a closet full of toilet paper is just a waste of space. The same goes for warehouses. You’ll be amazed at how much space you can create if you find the right balance.
- Right-Size Storage Slots
In order to improve warehouse productivity, consistent storage solutions are essential. However, by adjusting the storage solutions based on your inventory, you can free up a substantial amount of space.
Using different-shaped containers and flexible storage solutions, you can reduce the need for excess inventory and reduce the footprint of your operation.
A right-sized slotting system can also be implemented based on the size of the items and their sales performance. Organizing products that don’t have uniform shapes can be a challenge. Bulky and odd-shaped items should benefit from their dedicated storage system of heavy-duty cantilever racks.
- Aisle Width Reduction
If you reduce the aisle width in your racking area, you can store more products. A wide aisle typically measures between 10 and 12 feet. If you consider narrowing it to five or eight feet and adding more racks, you will be able to increase the amount of warehouse storage you have available.
- Warehouse redesign
When you feel that the existing space cannot be used in any way, perhaps reorganization is the best solution. It is always possible to make a reorganization during a slow period in order to prevent your work from being slowed down.
When undergoing such drastic changes, it is always advisable to consult with professionals who have the knowledge and experience necessary to fit the warehouse with the best materials and constructions, such as Modula, that will provide you with security, quality, extra space, and ease of movement.
By optimizing your warehouse and distribution center, you can ensure a more efficient and productive operation and increase your company’s revenue.
Changing a warehouse can seem like a big task, but even the more expensive changes can be profitable in the long run. All these changes can be introduced over time, so it is always better to try everything before relocating or expanding the warehouse.