Use your warehouse's vertical space
One big change that can maximize warehouse storage is utilizing vertical space. As one of the most under-utilized areas in storage, it’s an often overlooked but very useful place to store more inventory. Stack items to near-ceiling height. Keep items with high turnover closer to the ground for easy access and more seasonal and overstock items at the top.
You’ll need to analyze some measurements before undergoing vertical expansion. Find the warehouse clear height which is the distance from the warehouse floor to any overhead object. Next, check building code restrictions to stay within regulations. Take stock of what can be moved. Possibly store your slower-moving products higher up, with your quicker sellers below. Finally, depending on the storage system you already have in place, you may want to consider a completely new racking system for additional inventory. Having flexibility in your system allows for future growth.
By having a flexible and efficient storage system you can maximize profit and save on the costs associated with relocating to a larger facility, expand the current warehouse or acquire an off-site one. The utilization of vertical space will help improve operation efficiency so you can watch productivity rates soar.
Decrease aisle widths
Take a look at your aisle widths and see if there’s room to minimize space in between racks. Calculate a simple equation to determine if your forklifts can fit. Once you obtain the minimum aisle width, compare it to what you have now. You can save up to 2 feet in space in every aisle. Decreasing the aisle width and adding more racking space can increase pallet racks, the number of aisles, and stock. When you accurately measure the dimensions to optimize aisle width, you won’t need to compromise on safety or workflow.
Should narrower aisle widths be impossible due to the size of your forklifts, it might be time to start thinking of narrower picking truck solutions. Some of these solutions are order pickers, narrow aisle forklifts, and reach trucks just to name a few.
Create a system that reduces picking time
There are many ways to improve efficiency on the floor and reduce the time it takes to access and pick the proper inventory. An efficient layout is one way to reduce time and optimize storage. Is your floor space cluttered or are your aisles busy and packed with inventory? Are parts located near assembly operation? Are picking operations close to shipping and product storage?
Another way to redesign a more efficient system is to analyze which type of racking is best for your needs. If pick selectivity is a big factor, this can be taken into consideration for choosing an optimal racking system. The best options for pick selectivity include selective racking which offers low storage density but allows for a better retrieval process. You could also consider double reach racking which reduces the number of aisles and increases warehouse storage. A specialty forklift is required, though. Consult an expert to determine which racking method solves your challenges.
Install a mezzanine
Mezzanines are a great way to optimize storage space without the burden of expansion. While costly, it can greatly increase warehouse space. To do this, it’s good to determine the warehouse's clear height. Check local building restrictions and see if you’re in line with the safety laws. Examine what can be relocated. Supplies, small parts, equipment, files, and offices can be up for grabs.
To improve your bottom line, warehouse metrics, and workflow, consider taking these steps to optimize storage space.
American Surplus Inc. has been helping customers optimize their warehouses storage space for over 30 years. Our warehouse has everything you need to build a storage system that will be both efficient and flexible for your businesses future growth. Our company prides itself for being our customers one stop shop when it comes to outfitting warehouses. See how much you'll save when considering to buy used from ASI and give one of our knowledgeable sales associates a call today!