“The average cost per square foot of warehouse and distribution centers in the U.S. is $5.08. – Colliers international”
Warehouses are more than just safe places for stocks and managing its space contributes towards better warehouse management and ensures that there is enough room to meet ever-increasing storage space demands.
Warehouse space planning is something which can be outran in a course of time due to reasons like seasonal rush, rapid growth, low sales period. Maximizing warehouse space is an option but a cost-consuming one to be taken into consideration.
So here comes the question no how to maximize warehouse space without expanding in real estate. Well, in this blog we have briefed about warehouse space management techniques that could help you accommodate more within the existing space.
Rake in Space by Revamping Racks
Racking is the first thing to be considered for warehouse space optimization. But just before going for a rack revamp, consider the following idea that actually determines whether your attempt will be worthy enough to earn the additional space you are longing for.
Make a note of every rack elevation and the pallet heights. An ideal arrangement will have 4 to 6 inches of gap between the top of the pallet and the base area of the beam for forklifts to operate easily. If your racks have more space than that, then you’ve found your opportunity for the additional space. Well, there are other factors to be taken into consideration before going for a space revamp like forklift’s operating height, fire safety precautionary space etc.
Double Your Warehouse Space With Mezzanine Flooring
One of the best ways to increase warehouse efficiency without expansion is Mezzanine flooring. It is generally a structure which looks like a raised floor. This allows access to the unused height of a warehouse space and remember the space below the flooring can also be used. Thus your warehouse storage space gets doubled.
Depending upon the weight of the objects stored, mezzanine flooring can be built with materials like steel, wood or more stronger material like concrete. This type of flooring is much easier to install and doesn’t disrupt the existing space much. When you maximize warehouse space using mezzanine flooring arrangement, it turns your stocking area into a facility where customers can walk into have a look.
Storage Space – (Excess + Unwanted) inventory = More Warehouse Space
Stocking too much of products high on demand just to make sure they are readily available is never a smartness rather a shortcoming in terms of warehouse space. Additional stocks are often mixed with other SKUs creating confusion and thus delaying time for accessing it during shipment.
Next thing to focus is the storage of stocks that aren’t performing well. These stocks are often termed as dead stock. Removing dead stock from your inventory can release additional storage space in warehouse. However, there are several ways to turn dead stock into cash like promotions, extended sales offers etc. practices.
And too much of the wrong product also suggests that your sales projection is not accurate. Making sure the stock levels are maintained at an optimum level ensures that you utilize the existing space to the maximum without considering warehouse redesign process as an option.
Use Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
The previously discussed points educate on how to increase warehouse space only for a limited time period. Using automated storage and retrieval systems can actually avoid it completely. Automated storage systems consists of a series of mechanisms like lifters, conveyors etc. These systems reduce space occupied by aisles, utilize the space to the maximum and minimize labor requirements. These advantages make AS/RS systems a most sought after idea for avoiding space expansion.
However, there are a few downsides as well. These automated systems are expensive to setup and should be maintained with care. Making changes to it or reconfiguring the setup according to your evolving business needs is too tough. So make sure that these systems, before being built and placed, are planned in such a way that it accommodates your future requirements as well.
Maximizing warehouse space can also be achieved by raising its roof. Where real estate is too costly to consider expansion an option gaining additional space, improving the height of your warehouse space can do good.
This can give space for additional levels of pallet storage. The things to be taken into consideration before going for raising the roof. Consider the engineering limitations and building codes so that your additional height doesn’t become illegal.
Making use of any one of these warehouse space optimization techniques or a combination of these can help in improving but never forget to consider that each storage facility has exclusive operational requirement that must be addressed. Forecast and plan ahead so that your warehouse space management measures not only serve the immediate requirements but also flexible enough for long-term needs.