There are many reasons a company may need to improve their warehouse storage capacity. Whether business is booming and the purchasing department needs to order more goods or inventory is taking up space for longer than anticipated, there are excellent solutions to maximize storage space.
Business owners should always try to keep some free space in their warehouse. If capacity is at 100%, it takes time to move all the other inventory out of the way before staff can access what they need.
Not only is this inefficient, but it costs more money than if the staff could have easily located the product.
While businesses have many options to choose from when improving their storage capacity, it is essential to choose the right one to get the most beneficial result.
Why Do I Need to Improve Warehouse Organization?
Staff trying to run a warehouse efficiently will likely come up against the problem of not having enough square footage. Intelligent space utilization can improve the picking of orders, inventory management, warehouse productivity, and ultimately be cost-saving.
Warehouse operations demand a great deal of organization, compact storing of inventory, and some free space to allow staff to go about their work unhindered.
A business with a well-designed plan for storage can also keep staff safer. If colleagues are unable to see where they are going or have to squeeze through narrow spaces, then their health and safety are put at risk.
One of the more obvious places to look for extra space in storage units is vertically. Most warehouses have plenty of height and have equipped their building with Early Suppression, Fast Response (ESFR) ceiling-mounted sprinklers. Regulations allow storage up to within 18 inches of the sprinkler system, allowing plenty of space for extra storage.
Mezzanines can be an excellent option for many warehouses. They add a second floor to your building, and can potentially nearly double your storage space. Owners can configure mezzanines in various ways for added flexibility. They are sturdy and can support beams and windows, as well as the extra load from the weight of the inventory.
Businesses can install these structures separately, or as shelf-supported mezzanines, the shelving uprights providing the necessary support for the extra weight. Members of staff can access the extra vertical space by adding stairs. Depending on the requirements of the warehouse, stairs can be configured in U or L shapes, or as a straight staircase.
Of course, as well as adding extra storage space, it is crucial to consider the effect the additions have on your staff. Installing a second floor to leave colleagues below in darkness would be unacceptable. The flooring for mezzanines comes in various materials to meet most requirements.
A warehouse installing mezzanine flooring can benefit from using grating, which allows light to penetrate the flooring and air to circulate more freely. As the materials allow air to move freely, they are well-suited to the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC) for heating or cooling air temperature as necessary.
As a mezzanine is essentially a second floor, there are health and safety considerations. All SRS-I mezzanine flooring systems come with a handrail or safety gate to reduce the risks of falls.
Mezzanines are not the only vertical storage solution. It’s not unusual for warehouses to have a collection of empty pallets. Although staff will eventually reuse the pallets, while they are lying on the warehouse floor, they are taking up space that the team could put to good use.
Over Dock Door Pallet Storage System
An over dock door pallet storage system enables a warehouse to safely store their extra pallets while freeing up the space they are currently occupying. Above a loading dock door is often overlooked space in a warehouse. The focus can be on the loading and unloading of inventory, but the space above the door could be a useful storage area.
Our systems can be floor mounted, usually in conjunction with wall mount support, or ceiling mounted. If the area around the dock door is typically clear, then a floor-mounted system can be used.
However, if that space is in use, then a ceiling-mounted pallet rack may be the right choice. The supports are secured to the trusses in the ceiling, allowing the forklift driver to store the pallets above the dock door, without taking up any additional floor space.
Mobile Shelving Systems
If going vertical isn’t an option, then our mobile shelving systems may be just what you need. Shelving is attached to mobile base units connected to the tracks-rails on the warehouse floor. If prefered, casters can be provided for the mobile platforms.
If the inventory is generally light, then a manual system can be used. More substantial stock may require an electronically assisted unit. Using a mechanically assisted mobile storage system, users turn a crank to rotate the shelving to the left and right. The effect is to create a new aisle’ allowing staff access to the inventory they have stored on that unit.
Mobile shelving systems are excellent for creating more space, sometimes up to 100% more storage capacity. The warehouse benefits from not just greater convenience but also increased productivity. Ultimately this saves both time and money.
Our mobile systems can be utilized in many scenarios, and are popular with businesses that store archived materials, sometimes for years. Records of all kinds can be securely stored.
Users can also fit the units with computerized password protection systems. Only staff with proper authorizations can access the stored items. A password protection feature is an excellent option for businesses in fields such as medicine, law, accountancy, and any activity which requires confidentiality.
Automated Storage Software
A business can make more efficient use of its space by using warehouse a management system (wms). Shelving + Rack systems, Inc. supply automated storage software to help improve order picking, material handling, travel time around the warehouse, and to increase cost savings. Our software integrates with computer-controlled vertical lift modules and carousels.
The automated storage software enables inventory to be stacked in tighter spaces, as staff do not need to retrieve the items. The system can track which items are in stock and provide a real-time report of your inventory at all times.
The software reduces the margin of error than if a member of staff was required to check the stock levels and write a report manually.
Purchasing departments can become more efficient as they no longer need to wait for a warehouse manager to hand in a list of current stock. The intelligent software can track inventory through the supply chain, from when it enters the warehouse to when staff send it on to distribution centers.
The picking process is also safer, while warehouses have robust health and safety procedures; there is no way to entirely eliminate risk when staff are in proximity to bulky goods and machinery.
While this is one of the more expensive ways to improve warehouse storage space, the results can be worth it as the business owners see their investment return with increased efficiency, productivity, and an increase in staff safety.
Warehousing requires organization and planning to maximize every square foot of space. At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we can provide innovative solutions to help businesses to make the most of their space. The results can sometimes make up to 100% more space available, allowing enterprises to profit more from their storage areas.