June 29th, 2023
How to Double the Storage Space Within Your Warehouse on Peak Business Times
If you live alone in a one-bedroom apartment but soon intend to bring in a roommate, you’ll want to work something out to create more accommodation space. And if the current layout isn’t flexible enough, you may not have a choice but to relocate to a larger apartment.
Well, the same logic applies to storage space within your warehouse. You need enough room for equipment and inventory storage while also allowing a productive workforce to fulfil orders and manage inventory. However, this can be a challenge during peak business seasons, given the high likelihood of running out of space.
Now, to the million-dollar question: how exactly can you optimize your warehouse space during seasonal peaks and avoid relocating unnecessarily? Read on to find out.
Get the Right Warehouse Storage System
Investing in the proper warehouse storage system maximizes your warehouse space while enhancing efficiency to boot. Nonetheless, a few factors come into play when picking the best storage solution for your warehouse, including your warehouse management, product mix, and facility size.
The following are some of the most prevalent warehouse storage solutions today:
This is arguably the most typical storage solution since it is suited for warehouses with relatively low ceiling heights. It involves packing items in unit loads before piling them on the floor to their safe height limit.
Often, sturdy items, such as bottles, canned goods, refrigerators, and washing machines, are stored in this fashion.
Pallet flow racking is the ideal approach for warehouses that manage fast-moving items with first in, first out (FIFO) stock rotation. It entails loading pallets at the top of sloping lanes so that gravity pushes them down anytime an item is picked.
This system makes the most of the available floor space by using just two lanes—a picking face and a loading face.
Unlike pallet-flow racking, push-back racking is ideally suited for last-in, first-out (LIFO) stock management. The system employs structural steel rails which automatically push pallets forward when an item is unloaded and back when loading.
Raised Storage Area/Mezzanine Flooring
Investing in mezzanine flooring simply implies building more floors over your present aisles to get the most out of your vertical space, often by adding two or three levels.
Employ Right-Sized Storage Containers
Storing unpacked goods within containers is a fantastic approach to maximizing warehouse space. However, it may waste a great deal of your valuable storage space if done wrong. According to Balance Small Business, many warehouses make the error of going with a “one-size-fits-all” strategy when picking storage containers.
For enhanced storage efficiency, it’s best to acquire containers that vary in size. By storing larger items in larger bins and keeping smaller items in smaller containers, you can significantly boost your storage capacity.
Bring In Trailers for Short-Term, Seasonal Storage Needs
Keeping items in trailers is a temporary storage solution that is occasionally required. It’s an excellent idea for businesses, primarily retailers, who would opt to incur the demurrage cost of short-term storage of seasonal products and also when warehouse expansion isn’t feasible.
Cut Down Extra Aisle Space
Aisle widths are critical when deciding the amount of space to use within a warehouse. While redesigning your complete warehouse plan can prove somewhat costly, reducing aisle width can pay for itself quickly by increasing the much-required space.
Warehouses have three aisle systems:
Wide Aisle (WA)
Typically wider than 10.5 feet, this is the standard aisle type employed in warehouses. It doesn’t necessitate any special equipment and is the most appropriate for warehouses with large order volumes.
Narrow Street (NA)
On the other hand, narrow aisles measure roughly 8.5 to 10.5 feet, making it possible to store up to 20% more items than standard aisles. Even more impressive, narrow aisle systems will still provide unlimited access to distinct pallets.
Very Narrow Aisle (VNA)
Very narrow aisles are less than 6 feet wide, allowing warehouses to store 40% to 50% more merchandise than regular aisles. Nevertheless, they could require special equipment like AGVs and special lift trucks, so expect to factor in the extra costs.
Cross-docking helps a warehouse to save space by receiving, sorting, and scanning incoming inventory before loading it onto outgoing vehicles and trucks without having to hold it in between.
As such, inventory won’t be stored needlessly between trips; instead, it can be rapidly processed and reinstated into the distribution chain. Although this logistical strategy may prove tricky to manage, it may efficiently save space.
Nix Obsolete Stock
With your warehouse storage space being crucially important, obsolete merchandise shouldn’t consume any of it. This is how to identify and eliminate the space-invading stock:
- Utilize your warehouse management system (WMS) to generate a velocity report.
- Examine how frequently each stock-keeping unit (SKU) is selected throughout the year.
- Remove any products that haven’t been touched within that period. You may ask the merchant if it’s possible to return them, donate them to charity, or sell them at discounted prices. The aim is to offload valuable storage space for more sellable products.
Trim SKU Quantities to Avoid Overstocking.
Having too many of the same SKU might overburden your warehouse. This occurs more often than you may realize. For instance, the purchasing department may receive a terrific bargain on a six-month stock supply of a particular commodity, causing your warehouse to be jammed with excessive inventory.
In such a case, you may talk to the supplier to devise a plan for delivering these items in phases. This will have a lessening effect on your facility.
Alternatively, you can collaborate with the procuring department to work out policies that mitigate warehouse overloading—this may be the most appropriate long-term solution.
Optimize Your Warehousing Capacity Today
Besides saving you space, the tips above should help you decrease costs and enhance efficiency in your warehouse. However, consider that not all of these suggestions apply to every facility, and you may want to go with the options you deem suitable for your warehouse.
As a manufacturer and supplier of logistics and warehousing equipment, we boast an array of products, from collapsible cages to pallet retention units, 4-sided roll cages, high-quality stillages, and more. So, as you look forward to maximizing your warehouse storage space, feel free to contact us, and let’s see how we can help.