Racking systems have the potential to more than double your current storage capacity, if you use them correctly. Savvy planning and the right warehouse shelving racks can create more space, more organization, a safer environment, and increased efficiency.
Creating a more organized system within your storage area could mean starting over from scratch. However, there are many less invasive steps you can take to create more efficient and productive systems within your warehouse Here are a look at some of these steps.
Use vertical storage space.
One of the quickest ways to increase your warehouse's storage capacity is to use your vertical storage space. For every six feet of vertical space you add to your racking systems, you can store about one pallet's worth of inventory. Imagine how many pallets you could add to your current inventory if you simply added 6 feet of vertical space to every one of your shelving racks. Every single one of those pallets could be added without making any other changes to your current layout.
Map out your warehouse layout.
If you need to create more space or efficiency in your warehouse, you first need to evaluate how you are currently using your space. Consider mapping your current layout on gridded paper. Every grid represents one square foot. Then evaluate your layout for areas of weakness and inefficiency. If you can visualize your current layout, you can more easily visualize where you can improve your processes and storage systems to achieve your productivity goals. Then you can map your plans on the same kind of gridded paper in order to make sure your new plan will solve your current storage problems and allow for efficient use of your space.
Divide your inventory into categories based on storage needs.
Not all inventory is the same. A common practice is to divide your inventory into three categories: A, B, and C. Inventory from category A moves quickly and frequently. Category B inventory is less profitable but still moves regularly through your warehouse. Finally, category C inventory does not move quickly, and results in higher costs for you. Once you divide your inventory into these categories, store them accordingly for greatest efficiency: Inventory from A should be the most accessible, while C inventory can be placed in less accessible locations. By organizing your inventory in this way, you can move it more efficiently without needing more space.
Ask your employees for warehouse improvement ideas.
Your employees are on the ground every day managing your inventory. If you need ideas for how to improve your warehouse systems, you need to talk to them. They can articulate pain points and pinpoint inefficiencies you may not have noticed. Listen to their insights, and then begin developing plans to alleviate these pain points and inefficiencies in your warehouse systems.
Eliminate dead inventory.
Dead inventory refers to items that are never sold or that become unsellable because they are outdated or expired. Excess inventory refers to inventory that goes beyond what the warehouse needs to keep in stock.
You should only keep enough inventory in stock to tide you over until you can order more. For example, if it takes you 3 weeks to order more of a certain product, you only need to keep 3 or 4 weeks' worth of inventory on hand. Any inventory more than this is considered excess inventory.
Identifying dead or excess inventory, and removing it, can free up storage space within your warehouse. You can use the space that inventory occupied to store more SKUs, or to store a greater volume of current SKUs.
Label all of your warehouse shelving racks and inventory clearly.
Quickly locating storage spaces, SKUs, and products saves your employees time. And time saved is money saved. Time savings also lead to more productivity, allowing employees to pick more orders, and store more inventory, in the same amount of time.
Help them to achieve high levels of efficiency by clearly labeling all warehouse shelving racks and inventory. Detailed information that you should include are the SKU, the name of the item, the date, size, color, and so forth. Add barcodes for easy scanning. Label all work areas as well as storage areas. The more you label, the easier it will be for employees to complete their jobs because they will make fewer mistakes when storing and picking inventory.
Keep your warehouse clean.
A clean warehouse goes beyond keeping dust off the floors. It involves keeping your materials organized and your shelving racks in good repair. Organized, efficient, and high-quality shelving and processes allows your warehouse to run at maximum productivity. In order to enjoy this level of productivity, make sure you don't just do basic cleaning. Make sure you keep your space organized and in good repair.
Implement a maintenance routine for your warehouse.
Maintenance of your machines keeps them running smoothly and catches problems before they become major issues. Maintenance of your warehouse similarly keeps it running smoothly. Try implementing a routine for maintenance. Do not forget to add tasks like cleaning, clearing out dead inventory, and evaluating warehouse shelving racks for stability and damage. You can even include periodic reviews of your processes to make sure you are completing tasks as efficiently and as productively as possible.
Use a warehouse management system.
A warehouse management system (WMS) can quickly help you identify inefficiencies in your warehouse, and right them. Consider a WMS that can do things like identify empty space in your warehouse so you can begin to make full use of all the space you possess. With the support of an excellent WMS, you can improve both your storage capacity and processes.
Invest in sturdy warehouse shelving racks.
Finally, take the time to invest in sturdy warehouse shelving racks. You want them to last over the long-term, and you want them to hold your inventory safely and securely. Here at Darr Equipment, all of our racking systems are designed for quality. We can provide you with storage solutions that meet your unique needs and allow you to maximize your warehouse's capacity.
If you need help, reach out to Darr Equipment. Our warehouse solutions are a good choice for any storage needs you may have. We can help you organize every inch of your warehouse for greater productivity and profitability.