How To Utilise Storage Space In Your Warehouse

Monday 1st March 2021

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Large warehouse with forklift

CONTENTS

Many businesses suffer from poorly utilised warehouse space. 

Poor utilisation is often the result of rapid growth and enhanced service requirements, causing warehouse operations to become unstable. Without smooth operations in place, companies face the risk of loss of profits. 

Whilst there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to improving operations, the first step is to optimise your storage space.  

What to consider

There are several things to consider before creating a plan. 

To begin, think about your current and future needs. If your business is growing at a fast rate, is there a chance you’ll outgrow your current warehouse in the next 12 months? If so, it may be worth investing in a bigger warehouse altogether. 

It can be hard to determine whether your warehouse has reached full capacity. According to Multichannel Merchant, a warehouse operating at between 80-85% will likely suffer a loss in efficiency due to restricted movement. Therefore, optimal capacity is less than 80%. 

For a more accurate figure, check out T.P. Supply Co or Interlake Mecalux

If you’ve decided that the size of your warehouse is adequate for the foreseeable future, re-evaluate the space you have to work with. Take proper measurements of your facility and define any fixed obstacles, such as heavy machinery or doorways. 

You should also take the time to understand the product(s) stored and handled. Are your objects heavy or light? Can they be compressed? Establish whether or not they can be stacked.

One of the biggest issues that warehouses face is excess stock. Whether you’ve got too much of the right product or too much of the wrong product, excess stock can be costly and frustrating. 

Storage techniques 

Once you’ve assessed your stock, it’s time to consider alternative storage techniques. 

A structured shelving arrangement can make a huge difference. Where possible, condense your shelves. By moving your shelves closer together, you can minimise empty wall space. 

Most warehouses have high ceilings, so why not take advantage? A technique known as ‘vertical cube utilisation’ allows you to take racking to a new level, providing additional space for pallet storage.

Likewise, you can reduce aisle width in the racking area. However, when considering this option, lift equipment must be evaluated. In some cases, your workers may not be able to work in such narrow aisles. 

Mezzanines are also a great option. By installing a mezzanine above a floor-level process, you can nearly double your floor space. Of course, the floor loading must be able to handle it, so determine this before considering the idea. 

Short-term solutions

For businesses prone to seasonal changes in demand, short-term storage solutions may be an option. 

The most common form of temporary storage is trailers. Trailers allow for additional space without the fuss of an expansion. 

How to remain organised

Regardless of whether you opt for a short-term fix or a complete rearrangement of your warehouse, good organisation is essential. 

All stock should be strategically arranged to maximise warehouse efficiency. Linking relevant products together and condensing empty boxes will make it easier to locate similar items. Don’t forget to label your boxes too!

You may choose to place bestselling items at the front to allow for easy access. Perhaps, at the end of each quarter, evaluate your most popular products and rearrange your shelves accordingly. 

Another option is to introduce a warehouse management system to keep track of all your products. From improved time management to happier employees, the potential benefits are infinite.

The importance of a professional cleaning schedule

Cleaning plays a huge role in warehouse organisation. 

Even after you’ve fully utilised your storage space, your warehouse is not complete without a detailed cleaning plan. 

The added value of a professional cleaning schedule is immense. An organised warehouse will only be able to reach maximum efficiency with a strict agenda in place. 

Set out your daily, weekly and monthly tasks, and hire a professional cleaning company where necessary. For example, companies still operating during the pandemic may require regular decontamination sprays to keep their workforce safe.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer both deep cleaning and virus decontamination services for warehouses.

Call us today

To find out more about our warehouse cleaning services, give us a call on 0333 577 5805 or email us on [email protected] A member of our friendly support team will be able to address any concerns and decide on the best solution for your situation.

If you’re worried about the wellbeing of your warehouse staff, we’d recommend a full decontamination service twice a month. Our ICE Shield™ technology effectively eradicates harmful airborne pathogens and forms a protective barrier on all surfaces. 

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Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

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