Running low on space when you’re running a warehouse operation presents a problem. Efficiency decreases, stock piles up in inconvenient places, and disorganization reigns. Properly organizing your warehouse space using simple evaluations, as well as the proper steel racks for warehouse use, can get you on the right track.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Inventory
Know what you’re receiving, storing, and shipping, and know it well. What moves in and out quickly? What moves more slowly? What inventory have you had sitting around for too long?
The answers to these questions will help you know best how to organize your product. Items that move in and out quickly should be organized within easiest reach. Items that are regularly purchased together should also be stored close to each other.
This simple step allows you to pick items efficiently instead of crisscrossing the warehouse to find products. If you find that you have products you’ve been storing for too long, consider your options. Discounting the product, donating it, or scrapping it may be necessary to move it off your floor and free up that space for other product.
It’s also important to consider the sizing of your products. Items that fit compactly are best stored together, while larger and bulkier items can be stacked in a different section.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Warehouse Space
How many square feet do you have to work with? Have you evaluated your space as a cube? Not properly utilizing vertical space is a common mistake, but it can be easily remedied with steel racks for your warehouse for sale online.
If you’re not taking full advantage of the air space in your building, consider adding vertical shelving, a mezzanine, or a raised work platform.
Doubling the depth of your shelving is another option for organizing your warehouse. This method allows you to stack your products two shelves deep without the added floor space of aisles. Cantilever shelving and pallet racks are great options for doubling.
Consider your aisle space when evaluated your warehouse space usage. If your products require loading and picking with a forklift or other heavy duty machinery, aisles are necessary. However, if your items are smaller and easily handled it might benefit your operation to consider automated shelving. These compact units work without the restraints of aisles. This can save you as much as 50% of your floor space.
Step 3: Evaluate Your Shipping and Receiving Areas
If your shipping and receiving areas are too small or too large it can create organizational issues. Too large and your products can become misplaced or overlooked. Too small and you’ll run into inefficiency due to crowding.
It is often best not to use the same dock for both shipping and receiving. This can lead to mistakes, with shipping being misplaced with receiving, or vice versa. Designate different spaces for each task to prevent confusion.
Study your shipping and receiving areas, and how they run. Use that knowledge to create your optimal shipping and receiving dock space. Statistics tell us that a warehouse using 85% or more of their floor space is overcrowded. Keep your space organized properly to avoid this issue. Evaluation and planning can help you organize your most efficient warehouse usage, which will lead you to smoother operation and better product management. Utilize these simple steps to create the work flow that works best for you.