Making the Most of Your Warehouse Storage Space
Managing inventory in a warehouse or distribution centre is a common task for many professionals in supply chain management. Often, the most daunting challenge is addressing limited space.
Suppose your warehouse storage space is running around 85 per cent occupancy. In that case, it’s at capacity, and you risk losing important items or even upsetting customers if the number of items shipped out to them is low.
Luckily, there are several ways to combat limited storage space in your warehouse. Keep reading below to find out.
Measure the Warehouse Storage Space
Be sure to know the exact size of the area you have to store your products. Assess the inventory you currently have and what you expect to add in the near future.
Compare the Needed Space with the Available Space
There is a difference between the cubic square footage you may think you have and the actual usable space for storage. If your warehouse isn’t full, the entire floor may not be functional. Some areas may need to be designated for forklift traffic, or the room may have sprinkler systems and other items that can’t be moved.
Create a Floor Plan
After measuring, you can create a floor plan to see where all your inventory will fit. Be sure to make a diagram of all possible routes that forklifts or other vehicles would need to drive and any areas that will not be used for storage.
Determine the Storage Type Suited to Your Warehouse
There are many different types of storage, and they each have benefits. Here are some quick tips to help you decide:
- Containers: Containers are placed on shelves or the floor. You may stack two to three levels in a small space. They are often used on the exterior of the building because they are portable and can be put in place in a short amount of time. Containers can also be a cost-effective option, making them great for the fast turnaround of smaller items.
- Pallet Racks: Pallet racks are made of metal and are sometimes called mezzanines. They are placed on the floor and are also stationary. You can use these racks for larger items and surface areas.
- Pallets: Pallets are placed on pallets, on the floor, or on a rack. They are great for long-term storage but can take up more space than other options.
- Shelves: Shelves are installed on the wall and are great for quick and easy storage. You can use them for heavy items or those susceptible to damage from dust or light.
Set Up Storage with a Strategy
While it may seem logical to place all items together by size, there are some better options. A great example is learning to categorise your goods and grouping same objects together.
Place similar items close to one another. Having everything near each other makes it easier when you need to find a specific item. Be sure to measure the size of the objects so that you don’t store them on a slightly too small shelf.
Use Trailers for Temporary Items
You may need to reserve some space for temporary items when running out of them. You could be heading to an expo, or you may have products that you need to store before shipping them out to customers. Trailers are a great option because they are durable, and you can keep your permanent inventory adjacent to them.
Don’t let limited space in your warehouse hamper your production and fulfilment. Instead, come up with a well-thought-out plan to ensure you have an organised warehouse space. Remember, you would rather have one small organised space than a large space filled with chaos.
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