Owning a warehouse means that you are running a large operation that requires a lot of space. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you are using your warehouse space to its full capacity and in order to do that, you have to use certain tricks. Read below to discover eight must-know tricks for maximizing every inch of your warehouse space.
1. Utilize Vertical Space
The reason why businesses use warehouses for storage is because they offer a big open space that can be transformed into virtually anything they need. No walls to separate sections, no floors to divide levels, just a big, tall open space. For businesses that need to use every inch of warehouse space, all they need to think about is all of the open air above them. Installing storage systems all the way up to the roof exponentially increases storage space than if you were just to use floor space.
When mapping out your plans for the warehouse, make sure to measure out the height of the warehouse and begin thinking about ladders, pulley systems, and other equipment you will need to make sure that you can stock and retrieve inventory as high as possible. When utilizing vertical space, remember that safety is the most important thing, so once you build your complete storage system make sure to have thorough training with your warehouse staff to make sure that everyone is using it correctly and safely.
2. Organize The Space
Warehouse space cannot be utilized without a good plan of organization. The best approach to an organized open space is shelving. Warehouse shelving is easy to install, can be altered to whatever height or dimensions are needed, and can be disassembled and reassembled when needed.
There are many types of shelving that you can purchase for a warehouse, so you have to consider what kind works best for your type of business. The most useful type of shelving you can use to organize a space with a lot of inventory is to look into pallet racking solutions that can be installed in your warehouse to maximize the space. Most inventory that is delivered to warehouses is delivered on pallets, so carving out a good chunk of shelving space just for palleted products is one of the best ways to keep inventory condensed until it is needed. This frees up a lot of space and allows other areas of the warehouse to be used for loose inventory that is getting ready to be sold.
3. Measure Out Narrow Aisles
The narrower the aisles, the more shelving you can put in a warehouse space. When you are installing storage shelving, make sure that your aisles are just big enough to fit the necessary equipment and machinery. Making them any bigger would be a waste of space. This coupled with high vertical storage space will maximize as much of your warehouse as possible.
4. Sort Everything
Once shelves are installed and the general layout of the warehouse is set, it is time to create sections of the warehouse where different functions are performed. From receiving to long-term storage to packaging to shipping out, every corner of the warehouse should have a purpose. The most logical format for this is to have a system working in a clockwise circle with incoming pallets coming in at the front and either being stored on shelves or moving on to the next action to be unpacked and sorted. Then certain products can be moved to the shipping-out section on the other side of the warehouse. Having everything sorted like this means that every inch of space in the warehouse will be utilized and each function will have its own separate place, avoiding confusion.
5. Stock Intentionally
The act of stocking intentionally means that you load up merchandise or materials according to demand. If there are items that are seasonal or in less demand at the moment, then those should be stocked on higher shelves until needed. You should also use either the FIFO system or the LIFO system to keep inventory stocked in an organized way.
The FIFO system stands for “First In, First Out”, meaning that the inventory that is put in first is the first to leave. This kind of stocking can be sorted shelf by shelf so that you can keep track of which shelves were stocked first. The LIFO system stands for “ Last In, First Out”, which is a system that works for certain businesses that work with non-perishable goods or long-lasting products.
6. Invest in a Digital Warehouse Management System
A digital warehouse management system is something you can set up to keep your employees up to date on inventory deliveries, keep track of all of the inventory, and generally help with communication. This system can be set up in any warehouse and can assist with keeping everything organized. Each and every item can be categorized and sorted with a barcode system that employees can scan in order to find out exactly where things need to go.
7. Take Stock of Inventory Regularly
By monitoring the inventory in your warehouse every day or every week, you will be able to consolidate items that have decreased in volume and make space for new items that come in. Regular schedules of taking stock and consolidating will help you to stay on top of warehouse organization and be prepared for incoming items. This system will help you determine what kind of inventory is not moving and should be removed and what inventory is moving quickly, so should always be placed at the front.
8. Use Modern Machinery
To keep up with a well-stocked warehouse, you need to have the most up-to-date technology and that means using equipment that is reliable and safe. From forklifts to ladders, every tool in the warehouse should help to maximize the storage space.
Using a warehouse is an essential piece in the puzzle of any successful business, so it is important that it is well-organized and stocked as fully as possible. Keep these tricks on hand when you start to establish your own warehouse.