Part of many product business costs is rental space, typically an office and a warehouse that has been combined. It is typically one of the highest costs that a business incurs and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
So, when you find a warehouse that suits your needs, the next step is to make sure that you are making the most of the space.
Correct organization and utilization of the warehouse can mean that you get more space and extra value.
But how can you make the most of the space?
Photo by Jacques Dillies on Unsplash
Adding extra space can be much easier than you think. Look at all unused spaces over doors, dock doors, and other high areas. Adding storage in these places means you don’t lose a single inch of floor space and can increase the storage by a considerable amount.
Keep in mind that many of these higher storage options will come with weight limits and aren’t designed to carry excessive loads for prolonged periods.
A warehouse mezzanine will instantly give you more floor space, and you can use that for storage, too, if you need to.
Consider if you need high storage density or if you’d be okay with a minimal amount. Think about your pick and pack operations, and does your system need to consider FIFO or LIFO inventory management?
There are a couple of options, and each one will benefit your operations, but you’ll need to carefully consider if it is truly the best thing for your business needs. Here are a couple of common options for storage.
- Pallet flow racking uses an incline and a roller system to move items from top to bottom.
- Drive-in or Drive-through racking stores pallets on rails instead of shelves and is great for quick pallet removal and placement.
- Push-back racking has a range of nested mobile carts and glides using rails. As new pallets are loaded, the other carts get pushed back. A great option for limited storage space and products and materials consistent in weight and size.
- Selective racking consists of one deep pallet ideal for high pick selectivity but low storage density.
- Floor stacking is commonly used, and pallets are stacked on each other.
If you work more with guesstimation than you do with accuracy, then you are going to have half-filled spaces or not have enough space for products – both of these are not ideal. So one of the most important factors of your warehouse optimization is looking at processes you already have in place.
So how can you improve the accuracy of your forecast?
- Take a look at your forecasting system. Are you using software and automation to get accurate results?
- How often are you running forecasts? If you started out by not needing to do it often, but your business has expanded, you might need to adjust the forecasting intervals to get higher accuracy.
- What are you using to measure the accuracy of your current forecasting? What figures can you use to track and measure?
Many warehouses run into this issue in their early days, but if it isn’t managed, it can continue and cause issues long-term. Having too many SKUs because you purchased too much upfront or have a running contract that is still going can mean you have a warehouse packed with one specific product.
Too much inventory can be just as much of an issue as not enough, but if your inventory is made up of many identical slow-moving items, you’ll need to make adjustments.
- As the supplier to space the deliveries further apart
- Consider reducing the quantities that the purchasers can make in one go
No matter what type of storage you have, if there is no policy to make sure that the warehouse floor is cleared of boxes and other items that don’t need to be there, you will lose valuable space. Not to mention that the general usage of the floor will not be optimized either.
- Are there enough bins?
- Do you have a recycling program?
- Do you have a work policy for tidying up?
- Does the equipment need to be there, or could it be moved?
Where possible, always look to go up rather than outward. Going up means you can make the most of the height of the space and use a minimal amount of floor space to achieve it.
Often making sure your warehouse is optimized is just one part of the puzzle, and you need to look deeper into other processes too: How To Keep Your Manufacturing Processes Streamlined – B2B News Network.
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