Floor space of any kind, particularly in warehouses, is getting more expensive these days. If you’re not making full use of your warehouse space, you’re essentially wasting good money.
With that said, businesses should find new ways to maximize their warehouse space use and enable themselves to squeeze a few more boxes and items in there. Here are seven strategies that can help free up space you never thought that your warehouse had.
Inspect Your Warehouse Flow And Slotting
While you might be looking forward to a major spruce-up, before you make any big changes to the physical arrangement of your warehouse, you need to take a look at how it’s organized.
A relatively simple reorganization of your slotting system alone can help improve your warehouse efficiency and space. Establishing a slotting system like the ABC system can boost worker pick times and provide access to the most important stock-keeping units (SKUs) as needed. Another option is to transition to double-deep storage systems, which work well for a warehouse with a number of slow-moving SKUs.
Build Higher Racks
This is perhaps one of the simplest solutions to maximizing space. By adding just one more level of shelving to your racks, you can create plenty of new storage space.
Take note, however, that you should take safety into account with this strategy. Check the recommended maximum weight rating and height for the particular type of rack equipment you have. Do not overbuild just to get more space. Remember, no amount of warehouse space is worth sacrificing safety in the workplace.
Vertical lift modules Michigan business owners use consist of a single vertical block with inner movable trays. They are an excellent solution for those who need to store a lot of items and have more vertical space available.
This kind of system is suitable for storing all kinds of materials—whether they’re packaged, in bulk, or of different sizes. To further save space and minimize wasted space, it’s recommended to use each tray to store goods of similar sizes.
Clear Out Dead Inventory
Every warehouse will have dead inventory—obsolete, damaged, or extremely slow-moving inventory that’s not worth the carrying expenses to store it. If you find that there’s no more reason to keep such items, it’s best to clean them out to free a significant amount of room for your active inventory.
In addition, try running an inventory audit. This will allow you to find the lowest-performing inventory in your warehouse and determine if you can get rid of it to create more space.
Use Item-Fitted Containers
Unpacked parts are usually placed in storage containers and kept on shelves or racks. Most warehouses take a one-size-fits-all approach to containers rather than have them in a range of sizes. At first, it may seem like you’re being efficient with storage, but in reality, you end up wasting the space inside the containers.
To solve this, you can sort the unpackaged goods by size. Also, keep a variety of container sizes on hand, placing items in the container appropriate for their size. That way, you can store larger containers in one area of racking and smaller containers in another. Soon enough, you’ll find extra space you never knew you had.
Minimize Aisle Width
Creating a narrower aisle can add up to big gains in terms of space. This helps increase your available warehouse storage and add much-needed square footage. By subtracting a foot from every aisle, you’ll surely get one, or more, aisles to work with.
Still, you need to ensure that the aisles are wide enough to safely and comfortably accommodate foot travel, forklifts, pallet jacks, and other means of material handling and transportation your warehouse uses.
Make Use Of Any Extra Vertical Space
You can utilize your warehouse vertical space by installing over-dock, over-aisle, and mezzanine storage solutions. Such systems create new space in your warehouse by letting you store items in the underutilized areas of your warehouse through modular storage systems.
Over-dock storage adds shelving units to the areas above your dock, while over-aisle storage adds storage space to the areas above your aisles. With mezzanines, you create a new layer of shelving by installing a second-story platform above a part or your entire warehouse.
Make sure to consult a professional installer or qualified engineer when considering these solutions since they should be carefully implemented to protect the structural safety and integrity of your warehouse.
Maximizing your warehouse space can be quite challenging if it’s already close to capacity. However, with a bit of ingenuity and the tips above, you can improve the amount of storage space available to you. It’s always possible to create more room for new shipments or product storage and, ultimately, improve the efficiency of your warehouse.