How to Expand Storage Space in Warehouse Facilities

There are many benefits to maximizing warehouse space. A business that uses their space effectively can increase employee productivity, improve their workflow processes, and save money. Optimizing the available space is not always an easy task. Often staff will be working, and there isn’t enough free time to move inventory around the warehouse floor.

Sometimes the sheer number of items a business is storing makes it seem a difficult task, and a company may leave reorganization for another day. However, there are many innovative ways to implement an efficient storage plan. From warehouse management systems to mobile storage solutions, it is likely most storage facilities can improve their current situation.

Shelving Systems

Choosing the right shelving system for the right task is essential. If a business needs to have items on the front of every shelf for accessible collection, then a double deep racking system is unlikely to be suitable. If aisles being wide are a concern, then either building up vertically or using space-saving mobile shelves may be the right option.

A cantilever racking system is excellent for many industrial applications. The shape of the cantilever arms makes this design especially well-suited to storing substantial items, such as piping or timber. They are also an excellent choice for holding pallet racks. Cantilever racking systems allow the user to support hefty objects and are a great option in industries using steel and other heavy materials.

While they are often used to store very long items, cantilever racking systems also can store vertically. The ability to stack substantial stock can save a great deal of space in a warehouse. As with all aspects of stacking materials, thorough safety standards are required, especially when working with such large and heavy inventory.

Ease of access is always a factor when introducing a storage system. Cantilever shelving can be double-sided, and as they can also stack vertically, storing many items on the one structure. Combined with the ease of installation, many businesses can benefit from a cantilever shelving solution.

Of course, many warehouse facilities do not need to store large or heavy inventory. When a company storing other materials is expanding its storage capacity, they also have the option to build vertically. Using single-deep or double-deep shelving solutions, they can grow upwards to maximize their warehouse space.

Creating new levels of storage areas, allows a business to keep the aisle space free, and they can use a forklift or automated inventory management system to locate and retrieve the items. At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc, we often recommend the excellent Allstor Rivet Shelving system.

Boasting a versatile assembly design, Allstor has been a leading name in the storage business for many years. Customers can use their shelving for Lo-Pr0, widespan bulk shelving, and even a combination of the two.

Other shelving methods can help a company to use as much of their available space as they can. The choice of system will depend on the customer’s needs and what aspects they value most.

Mezzanines

Shelving vertically is an excellent way to expand warehouse space. However, if even more floor space is required, then a mezzanine could be the appropriate choice. By adding a second floor in a facility, it is possible to double the floor space. After installing safety gates and rails, the user can walk on the second floor and store items just as they would on the ground floor.

Mezzanines are stable structures and can even support windows to allow natural light to enter the working area. Users can have grated flooring so light can also reach the level below, and airflow circulation is unhindered. A company using their vertical space intelligently can significantly expand their choice of storage locations, a particularly useful skill when inventory levels are high.

Aisles

Warehouse space utilization involves planning both vertically and horizontally. Owners can alter aisle width to the benefit of staff working on the floor. In some scenarios, a wide aisle may be necessary, and this can eat into precious floor space. However, in many situations, a wide aisle can be narrowed with no adverse effect on the storage and collection of stock.

By using narrow aisles, a warehouse can stack upwards, and use a reach truck to collect inventory. By making the most of the available floor space, management can add more passageways to increase the storage area.

Inventory Management

In any warehouse facility, the stock needs to be precisely recorded. When items come in the loading dock door, management should be able to see at a glance how much inventory they have, and what they need to reorder.

Without the ability to know what is on the floor at any given time, businesses run the risk of overstocking, leading to decreased floor space or understocking, meaning there is not enough inventory to meet their customer needs.

A supply chain is a continuously active channel. Items come in, are stored, go out, and all this happens as customer demands change daily. Even excellent staff can make mistakes in a fast-moving environment.

Automated inventory management systems keep track of every single item that comes in to and leaves a warehouse. Using the software’s system, a warehouse manager can ensure all their stock levels are correct, and if they are wasting space, such as storing obsolete inventory.

Although a user can purchase a system as a standalone product, they can also combine them with machinery, such as an automated vertical carousel. The warehouse manager can control the tool without ever having to set foot on the warehouse floor.

The user can check what stock is available, where to locate it, and send the carousel to collect the items and deliver them to dispatchers.

While these systems can be an expensive purchase, the benefits they bring can see the investment returned many times over. One of the critical aspects of using machines to store products is that they are available every day of the year.

It could be that a customer asks for several unit loads on the same day a forklift operator calls in sick. Material handling is also much safer when carried out using technology.

Unfortunately, warehouse accidents do happen. Staff can suffer severe injury or even worse. Technology is helping make the working environment a safer place, which is good for us all.

By combining software and machinery, the warehouse space can become more efficient, allowing staff to spend more time being productive, rather than trying to find inventory they have lost.

Moving items from one place to gain access to stock stored behind is time lost when trying to get deliveries out to customers. An automated vertical carousel can be more efficient than human workers and help the employees to maximize their productivity.

Final Thoughts

Expanding storage space is essential for a business trying to boost their profit margins. Every square foot of a warehouse is a possible storage area. Whether warehouses need cheaper options such as shelving solutions to gain space, or if they are looking to invest for the future with an automated storage system, at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc, we have an enormous array of options for you.