11 ways to better utilise warehouse space

It is estimated that when the capacity of a warehouse reaches between 80% to 85%, efficiency can drop from a storage and movement perspective. Well before reaching near-full capacity, the utilisation of space needs to be optimised. Here are eleven ways to do this:

1. Use vertical space

If you are not fully using vertical space, consider heightening storage racks or shelves. As long as fire sprinklers are not obstructed, use floor to ceiling racks.

2. Consolidate areas

If different locations are storing the same lines, combine them in one space.

3. Make slots the right size

If smaller items are stored using slots, make sure that the slots are no wider or taller than needed.

4. Consider using offsite locations

If you have overstock items or seasonal products that are stored out of season, consider using offsite storage locations for temporary use until the stock is needed. If there is car park space available outside or near to the warehouse, temporary storage containers can be erected for items not currently in demand.

5. Dropship

To save space, large items that need shipping to customers may be better dropshipped using third-party logistics companies.

6. Install mezzanine space

If the building layout permits, install a mezzanine floor for extra space or for use as administration offices. Planning permission for mezzanine alterations may not be needed.

7. Combining docks

If you have separate receiving and dispatching docks, consider saving space by combining them in one dock, provided that this does not interfere with the smooth flow of goods.

8. Avoid overstock

If possible, avoid overstocking items. If you need to buy bulk items in order to qualify for discounts, the supplier may be open to delivering them in more than one batch over a period of time.

Look at packing material stock levels and make sure that you are not carrying too much stock.

9. Narrow aisles

Extra storage space can be gained by reducing aisle widths, as long as this does not interrupt the movement of trolleys. Alternatively, narrow picking trolleys allow easier access to narrow aisles.

10. Cost-effectiveness

Warehouse storage costs can represent 15% to 25% of the value of an order. Moving to a new warehouse due to running out of space is expensive. It is often more cost-effective to reorganise the existing warehouse to utilise all the available space.

When spending money reorganising a warehouse, make sure that the investment can be justified in terms of cost savings. As a general rule, a better organised warehouse with maximum space utilisation will save money through increased productivity and more orders being dispatched each day.

11. Warehouse equipment

Another key to an efficient warehouse is having top warehouse equipment. Contact Steely Products to learn about the warehouse trolleys, packing tables, shelving and other equipment we supply, which you can rely on to keep your warehouse operations running smoothly.

To start the conversation about improving your warehouse operations, contact us using the form below or give us a call.

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Posted by Derek
23rd December 2020
Retail & Warehousing

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