Many warehouse operations find themselves running out of space at some point. Simply adding a few more industrial shelving units or racks may no longer be feasible.
Leasing or buying new space is certainly an option, but first consider some of these ideas to improve efficiency and add space for your growing operation.
Many warehouse owners forget to look up. A lot of buildings have massive ceilings with lots of air but not much else.
Most standard forklifts can reach up to 15 feet. Specialty forklifts can reach up to 36 feet.
Consider building a mezzanine. You can double or triple your space by utilizing a well-planned-0ut mezzanine level.
Certain types of storage systems, such as vertical lift modules or vertical carousels, can make it easy to grow vertically up to one hundred feet and without the need for walkways and ladders.
Make your Aisles Narrower
You can easily shrink your aisles to less than 10 feet wide and still use certain types of forklifts, pallet jacks, and reach trucks.
By measuring your current aisles and all unoccupied floor space then sitting down with a designer at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. you may find a surprising amount of square footage you can reclaim.
Changing Pallet Systems
Using open storage instead of closed storage, for example, may add enough space to meet your short term or even long-term growth needs. Using multiple pallet racking systems saves you space.
You may be able to handle the workflow, for example, without oversized forklifts or other types of machinery that require more space to operate and add to usable square footage.
Sometimes more space is more a matter of better organization than it needs additional square footage.
Sit down with your team and see where you can organize your inventory management better.
Review your reorder points and see if you can realize any economies of scale by changing the way you replace inventory.
Take a hard look at your stock and turnover rates. If some products don’t meet a reasonable turnover criterion, reduce your stock, or remove the product from your inventory.
Poor Space Utilization
You may find that the areas used for offices or intake and outtake can use less square footage and still accomplish the work.
Downsize office areas. Review your dock areas and see if space there is underutilized.
Instead of needing a workspace for filling out paperwork, research software, and portable hardware solutions.
Hand-held tablets, Wi-Fi, good warehouse management software, and cloud storage allows supervisors not only to work more efficiently but can also save on office space and increase available storage square footage.
Many warehouses have grown that managers have become fixated on adding space.
Take a hard look at your existing setup. Think about reorganizing and shifting around your various operations, locations of shelving and offices, and modular additions that might have become fixtures over the years.
Replacing some or simply relocating them in a more efficient manner can create more space than you may realize.
Consider the Outdoors
What space do you have surrounding your building? Do you need, for example, all the parking space available or could you convert some of it to outdoor storage.
Depending on the products you stock and the climate where the warehouse sits, outdoor storage may be an excellent option for increasing your storage space.
If you are looking to maximize your existing warehouse space, please contact us at (800)-589-7225 (RACK) for assistance. We have more than 50,000 square feet of new and used inventory, and our design team can help you determine the right material handling and storage equipment for your needs.