Space is one of the most valuable commodities today, especially in the warehouse industry. However, if you’re starting to run out of space you don’t necessarily need to move to larger premises or extend. There may be some smart ways that you can save space in your warehouse instead.
1. Use vertical space. Smart warehouses don’t just use floor space but the area above it too. There are many different ways to make the most of vertical space in your warehouse, from a mezzanine to taller shelving. If you’re going to extend upwards make sure you also have processes in place for safe retrieval, whether that’s a vertical lift or automated storage and retrieval systems for items at taller heights.
2. Add beams across the aisles. Over-aisle space is another often very underutilised area in your average warehouse. All you need to do to make use of the space above your aisles is add in beams. This can create significant extra room for additional pallets and storage.
3. Reduce the size of the aisles. As soon as you shave a little off the space that you’ve allocated for aisles you can immediately start to make space savings across the warehouse. For example, if you switch from a sitting to a standing system you can have smaller aisles and create more room in the warehouse as a whole - stand-up trucks require just 96” aisles whereas traditional sit down equipment could need as much as 168”.
4. Diversify your storage types. If you’re currently using one type of storage for the entire warehouse then it’s likely that you’re wasting a lot of space. For example, not every product in your warehouse is likely to be suited to shelving and this may be the least efficient way to store the inventory that you have. There are many different options for diversifying your storage types, including using carousels, automated storage and retrieval systems or racking instead of shelving. Key to this will be understanding which items are fast movers – you may even be better off floor stacking these – and which are likely to need storage space for longer.
5. Use the space above dock doors. A simple pallet rack can provide essential additional space above dock doors or you can install a specially designed over-dock system – just make sure it can withstand the impact of increased forklift traffic at the doors.
6. Reduce wasted beam space. By changing pallet dimensions you may be able to minimise the space that is required for pallet lift-off and create up to an additional beam level of storage.
7. The use of slotting systems. Slotting effectively selects the right storage locations for SKUs based on factors such as their popularity. It can help to optimise travel time, reduce warehouse congestion and create more space.
There are many systems available to help create more space within your warehouse. If you’d like to discuss the options for your particular premises, get in touch.