We’re asked all kinds of questions when we visit multi-channel warehouse operations. It’s especially common for people to ask when a warehouse is at full capacity. In our experiences, efficiency starts to decrease when a warehouse is between 80% and 85% space utilization. When a warehouse reaches this point, pallet movement is restricted, which can make it difficult to move around. Aisle movement can also be restricted by temporary floor pallets. This means that it might take multiple moves to complete a single action. This can lead to slower processing and higher costs. In many cases, businesses need to either use their warehouse space more efficiently or look for a new, larger facility. One of the more difficult things to figure out is whether or not you can gain space by looking at the age of your inventory and liquidating any overstock. It’s essential to look at these things when you’re talking over space utilization with people in management positions. When you’re looking at your storage profile, you need to consider both utilization and capacity. If you take the time to understand the way the current layout is utilized, you may be able to resolve some problems. You’ll want to look at how racks are configured, how inventory is managed and replenished, and consider your slotting philosophy.
Take Advantage Of Vertical Space
If you think you’re running low on storage, look up. Check to see if you’re utilizing available vertical space within the portable warehouse buildings. Calculate how many cubic feet of vertical space is going unused. Look at your portable warehouse buildings height and find storage media that will let you take advantage of that space. Before you make major changes, you should consider your sprinkling system, as well as fire code regulations. Make sure that stacking things higher won’t cause a problem for you.
Look At Your Department Space
It’s common to see large amounts of overhead space going unused in certain departments. For example, shipping and packing departments frequently don’t take advantage of their high ceilings.
Consolidate Your Storage
If you’re storing the same type of item in several different locations, you might want to combine these separate storage spots into one location. This can significantly improve the space utilization in your warehouse. You can take care of this during your putaway process.
Match Items To The Right Slots
When you’re choosing a lot for an item, you should consider both the sales and size of that item. This will allow you to use the picking slot cube more effectively. If you have picking slots in a variety of sizes, this will be a lot easier for you. You should also apply this philosophy to the area where your reserves or overstock is stored. It’s a good idea to store 4-7 day’s worth of sales by their SKU. Forward picking can lower your replenishment rates.
Keep Your Overstock In An Off-Site Location
If you have large amounts of overstock for certain items, you might want to look into an offsite storage solution. If you find a new location for your excess industry, you’ll be able to free up more space for order fulfillment.
Consider Drop Shipping
If you ship and store larger items, you should look into drop shipping. This could save you money and free up in-house inventory space.
Look At The Width Of Your Aisles
You should make sure your warehouse aisles are as narrow as they can be without getting in the way of your operating efficiency. Figure out what the minimum width requirement is for your material handle equipment. Once you have that figured out, you can narrow your aisles and fee up extra space.
Look Into Cross Docking
You may want to think about cross docking large numbers of single-line orders or back orders. If you do this, less of your inventory will require storage space.
Use Your Building Effectively
Take a closer look at your building and see how you can improve the way you’re using space. Take all kinds of things into account, from column spacing to clear stacking height to process flow to the impediments built into the portable warehouse buildings. Use the building’s natural characteristics to meet your needs.
You should try to use more vertical space, and you should also look at the depth of your storage. As an example, you may want to look into double-depth racking.
If your portable warehouse buildings are being used to store packing materials and other types of supplies, you’ll want to manage that inventory carefully. You may want to see if your supplies can hold inventory for you and make deliveries every couple of days.
If you have separate docks for shipping and receiving, look into combining them. This could free up some much-needed space.
Look Into Mezzanines
I fit’s possible to add a mezzanine to your building, you should consider this option. Adding a mezzanine can be costly, but it can also be highly beneficial.
Keep Things Simple
If you have to decide between a solution that’s simple and something that’s more complex, always opt for the simpler option. Making things too complex could lower your productivity. Whenever you come up with a potential solution, you should think about whether or not this solution will provide a return on investment. It’s not unusual for portable warehouse buildings space to represent between 15 and 20% of the cost for each order. While it’s possible to move to a new space, this is costly and time-consuming. You should focus on analyzing your warehouse space utilization so that you can use the space you do have more effectively.
James is an engineer by profession. He has over 6 years of experience in building temporary warehouses for both residential and commercial purposes. He is a hands-on guy who makes sure his works are high-quality and he ensures that every customer’s needs are met.