Having enough space in your warehouse is significant to running a successful business. Every inch taken up by non-essential items reduces the overall amount of inventory that can be stored and cuts into profits.
However, for warehouse managers wondering how to increase warehouse storage space, the solution isn't as simple as improving the organization of their facilities. Managers may need to add a number of tools and services to their repertoire to improve their warehouse space management.
Vertical shelving is an excellent way to expand warehouse space. However, if more floor space is needed, then mezzanines may be the right choice. By adding a second floor to the facility, the footprint can be doubled. Installing security doors and rails allows users to walk around and store items on the second floor, just as they would on the first floor.
Mezzanine system is stable structures that can even support windows and allow natural light into the work area. Users can have milled floors so light can also reach the level below and airflow circulation is unimpeded. Companies that use their vertical space intelligently can significantly expand their storage location options, which is especially useful when inventory levels are high.
Automated storage software can be integrated with your current system. Users can control the system without having to step on the warehouse floor. The software will work with vertical loading devices and rotations to store items in the best available space, create logs of inventory received, and send alerts when inventory levels are low.
The software driven system allows for compact storage of unit loads as the machine does not require the same aisle space needed for staff to access items. The carousel allows you to easily swap inventory in and out as needed. Material handling has also become safer. Employees can be vulnerable when co-workers move heavy inventory around the warehouse; the machinery eliminates this risk, creating a safer environment.
Choosing the right racking system for the right task is critical. If a business needs to have items in front of each shelf for easy collection, then a double-deep racking system is unlikely to be appropriate. If aisle width is an issue, then vertical builds or the use of space-saving mobile shelving may be the right choice.
Cantilevered racking systems are well suited for many industrial applications. The shape of the cantilever makes this design particularly suitable for storing large quantities of items, such as pipes or lumber. They are also an excellent choice for fixed pallet racking. Cantilever racking systems allow users to support heavy objects and are a good choice in industries that use steel and other heavy materials.
Warehouse space utilization involves both vertical and horizontal planning. Owners can vary aisle widths to benefit employees working on the floor. In some cases, wide aisles may be required, which can take up valuable floor space.
However, in many cases, wide aisles can be narrowed without adversely affecting the storage and collection of inventory. By using narrow aisles, warehouses can be stacked upwards and stock can be collected using forward-moving trucks. By fully utilizing the available floor space, management can add more aisles for additional storage areas.
By renting rather than owning their own pallet pools, supply chain managers can eliminate the space needed to store and sort large numbers of pallets during peak demand periods. Plastic pallets are often better suited to pooling models than wood because they are lighter, easier to clean, and less likely to break down from heavy use.
Warehouse managers can move some of the less frequently used items to off-site storage and remove them completely from the warehouse floor.
Regardless of which racking system you are using today, there are many solutions that can help you work more efficiently and increase storage space. Effective space utilization is critical when clearing floor areas in your warehouse and maximizing its potential.