No matter the size of your warehouse or the diversity of the products housed, space—and using it efficiently—is key to your success and profit. There are various methods for either increasing space, maximizing the efficient use of current space, or reducing space waste that can be implemented in a variety of warehouse environments.
Here are 10 of the best ways to create and utilize extra space in your warehouse.
1. Think vertically: When pallets are stuck together as tightly as possible, there still needs to be ample room for employees to circumvent the stocks to quickly and safely find what they need. Adding new rows is not always the solution. Using the space above racks by installing beams and cross-rails can be an extremely effective and safe method for finding vast amounts of previously unused space.
2. Diversify your storage methods: The first thought when looking for more space can be to simply put smaller products on top of pallet racks, but this often leads to loss. Instead, try to use a variety of different sized racks to make the best use of your products’ variety.
3. Store like with like: Storing like with like, not only in terms of product type, but size, inbound and outbound frequency, and regularity of delivery can make a tightly packed warehouse much more.
4. Use a mezzanine: Above the pallet space is the mezzanine. Mezzanines come in a wide range of sizes, capacities, and customizable structures for forklifts and handrail options, etc. You can double your space while maintaining ease of access and all the highest of safety standards that are always the priority of any warehouse.
5. Double deep systems: Many warehouses use single selective pallet racks, as their ease of access and simplicity are an obvious advantage. If space is your main concern, though, you might consider using a double deep system. Access to product might be limited, but the increased space can be necessary when storing high volumes of a single product type.
6. Make cleanliness a priority: With high volume and high turnaround of inbound and outbound product, warehouses of any size can fall into habits of seeming to prioritize time over effectiveness, but they are one in the same. Any time you are removing, moving, or restructuring your pallet racking system, an intense deep clean of the underlying space can improve layout options and worker efficiency.
7. Have a modular office: Whether on the ground or on your mezzanine, having the option of a modular office is an effective way to save space while maintaining an active presence in your warehouse. In-plant modular offices, offered by , can even accommodate two-story office needs to further maximize your floor footage.
8. Invest in ergonomic equipment: No matter what, your workforce is your most important asset and investing in their long-term capabilities will only help the success of your warehouse. Many workplace injuries are of a musculoskeletal nature, and these can compound over time. Ergonomic equipment, including the office furniture, can greatly decrease your risk of workplace accidents.
9. Use durable shelving: Breaks and falls are high intensity hazards and can harm your staff and your business. Being confident in your shelving is key to maximizing space, as it lets you keep the heaviest product safely out of the way. Metalware shelving can hold up to 600 lbs and is ideal for equipment storage when space is limited.
10. Make use of AutoCAD: The Material Handler have specialized engineers trained in AutoCAD, a computer program which can digitally map out and construct spaces for maximized efficiency, to make use of a product’s precise dimensions and your specific layout needs.
Maximized use of space can create a safer and more efficient working environment, ensuring your staff and your product are well-housed.