Are you concerned about outgrowing your existing warehouse and not sure how to maximize excess vertical space? Try to consider the expected growth of your company year over year and see how this may translate into a requirement for extra space and further Storage Optimization.
If you currently store 1000 pallets and your expected growth is 10% per year. Over 5 years you are going to need to find space for another 500 pallets.
It is important to start by determining how many Pallets you currently store in your warehouse and then break this number up into how many different Sku’s (Stock-Keeping Units) make up these pallets. Try to identify how many of these pallets are slow moving or fast moving and think about organizing accordingly for maximum storage optimization.
An efficient warehouse design should incorporate multiple storage mediums. Most warehouses are exclusively outfitted with Single Selective Racking. This will offer maximum selectivity but will not allow you to maximize your total cubic footprint.
Here are a few good ideas to think about to further optimize your storage environment.
Very Narrow Aisles (VNA) – You may be able to re-configure your existing rack layout to create narrower aisles making room for extra rows of pallet racking. If you choose to go down this route it will be important to consider Forklift Equipment that will be able to operate in these narrower aisles. When operating forklift equipment in these narrower aisles the typically run on a Wire-Guided line that is embedded into the concrete floor. This will ensure that the forklift does not damage your racking system.
Pushback/Drive-In Racking/Pallet Flow – For scenarios where you have a high number of pallets consisting of low amount of sku’s – these types of storage systems can help you maximize your total cubic footprint usage while not sacrificing on selectivity.
Mezzanine/Work Platforms – Consider locations where you have unused vertical space. Maybe it is an area where there is production equipment or an in-plant office. These are great locations to construct work platforms or mezzanine structures while creating extra floor space.
It may be in your best interest to work with a Storage & Material Handling specialist to design a tailored warehouse layout for your facility.
Visit my Racking 101 Blog to learn about more Pallet Rack concepts.