Running a successful business takes more than having an efficient business operation and gaining more profit. Optimizing your warehouse space could save you tens of thousands of dollars, and you can ensure the safety of your forklift drivers and other staff.
With this said, there are several steps to take to maximize warehouse space. Planning and forecasting are the very first steps to take. These steps are crucial to eliminating unnecessary financial costs, to ensure safety by removing clutter, to optimize underutilized space, etc.
Planning and Forecasting - The Most Crucial Step
When it comes to planning, you must thoroughly plan your inventory, material handling, and so forth. You must consider the size of your items so that the bigger things are stored at the bottom and store items from the bottom row to top row and from the heaviest being on the bottom shelf to the lightest on the top shelf. Other considerations include the amount of inventory needed for items that are more in-demand to items that are in less-demand.
When it comes to forecasting, it is best to use a sophisticated system instead of the traditional spreadsheet for forecasts. With better prediction, you will save money on handling costs, inventory acquisition, and obsolescence. These modern forecasting tools will include planned promotions, seasonality, and best fitting algorithms.
An effective inventory management solution or enterprise resource planning (ERP) helps by generating the requirements of inventory, so you can reduce inventory on-hand without increasing stockouts or reducing customer service levels. You will use less space due to less inventory, so your overall warehouse space management will automatically improve.
Once you complete the planning and forecasting stages, the following steps to achieve more efficient warehouse space management will be much easier to obtain.
Vertically Extend Your Racking Upward
For those in a newer building with a fire suppression system, storing inventory within 18 inches of this area is permitted. Keep in mind, however, that you must have base plates or racking uprights appropriately sized. A good option for proper sizing includes a PE and a structural engineer.
Narrow The Aisle Width In The Racking Area
You can save approximately 15 to 20% when reducing the width. Not only will you save significant space, but you also will ensure your fork trucks can safely fit in those aisles. On the other hand, you must ensure you are maintaining the operating efficiency and the required minimum width for your material handling equipment.
Install A Mezzanine
Adding a mezzanine is one of the best ways to increase space. Adding it above floor-level, such as a receiving or shipping area, can approximately double the space.
However, you must be sure the floor landing can handle it. If a mezzanine is permissible, using it to house functions not requiring high-bay storage will maximize warehouse space utilization even though this can be expensive.
Use Half Pallets
Condensing your pallets makes room for more pallets. So, you can store more products in the same area without having too much white space. For more information about different types of pallets, contact experienced and reputable pallet manufacturers in California.
Use Underutilized Space
Utilizing space is also possible if you have pallet racks with slow-moving materials or with tons of supplies. If the pallets are in preparation for outbound/inbound products that haven't been processed yet, then space utilization is still possible.
If you have a pick module in the building, you also can hang a shelf above the conveyor that is down the center of the module. With this step, you can quickly increase space for slower-moving or smaller items that don't require as much replenishing as other products. And thus, these products can be replenished by the conveyor system or by hand.
Analyze Departmental Space
Many times, there is unused overhead space in large departments, such as shipping and packing. It is also vital to identify functions where there may be high ceilings that can be used.
Size Your Slots Accordingly
For this step, match according to the item's size and its sales to the right-sized pick slot to maximize the space utilization. Picking slots of various sizes can assist in this process. You should also use this technique when it comes to where you overstock or store reserves. And from that time forward, you should reduce replenishment by keeping four to seven days of sales by SKU.
Organizing Supplier Or Offsite Storage
For large excessive quantity inventory, consider storing in offsite storage a few times. When you do this, you will gain space for fulfillment operations.
If you store the same item in multiple locations, consider combining them to produce better warehouse space utilization. You can go through this process as a standalone function or during the putaway process.
Subpar warehouse space management could be costly and harm your business in various ways. However, adhering to the steps above will save you tons of money and ensure more stringent safety measures.
One sure way to help optimize your space entirely is by utilizing half pallets, as previously mentioned. You also can use recycled pallets, obtain pallet repair, and more to save. To get more information about these pallets and to receive a pallet online quote, contact Pallet Market, Inc today.