Aside from the material handling process, the logistics of your warehouse storage is one of the essential elements of any warehousing operation. It’s easy to point at expanding your premises as the primary solution. While this is undoubtedly effective for improving your storage space, it’s not the most affordable or practical choice for most businesses. So what can you do to improve the space you already have?
1. Think about increasing vertical storage
One of the easiest ways to create more storage is to use as much vertical space as possible by extending your racking upwards. Most recent buildings will have an ESFR fire suppression system, which you can store inventory anywhere up to 18 inches of. It’s essential to make sure you choose the proper racking, however. It needs to be structurally stable at the base to ensure it can support the weight of the extension. It may be worth the investment of getting a structural engineer involved to help you understand the scope of available extension using your current system.
2. Cutting down racking area aisle widths
Making your aisleways smaller can have a profound effect on your available storage space. However, you need to thoroughly think about the kind of warehousing equipment you use before implementing this option. For example, your pallet trucks are a vital element of how your logistics operations, so you must take into account their width and manoeuvring requirements when deciding how much space you can save in your racking aisleways. Even a single foot of space saved per aisle can make all the difference, however.
3. Think about installing a mezzanine floor
A mezzanine can be one of the most valuable options for increasing your available storage space, as it basically gives you a whole new storage floor. You must choose a mezzanine that’s capable of handling the weight you intend to store on it, and you should alter your inventory processes to ensure that lighter items are stored higher while heavier items are stored on ground level. You’ll need to account for the space taken up by the columns and base plates dropping to floor level, too. Despite this, a mezzanine can be a valuable addition to your storage space.
4. Change the storage medium that you use
Another option is to rethink your choice of storage medium altogether. For example, if you currently use single-deep racking, the move to double-deep racking will considerably improve your storage capacity. It’s important that you make the necessary equipment considerations too. For example you’ll need a reach truck to load double-deep racking. With the right preparation and an understanding of how you should store your inventory most efficiently, changing your storage medium can considerably affect you.
5. Identify any underused space in your facility
You have space available you may not even have realised you had. For example, you can try to find space above shipping and receiving doors, above conveyors, and other previously unidentified dead space. This will obviously depend on the premises your operation works from, the size, and how tightly packed it is, but every single warehouse and logistics operation has unused space available. Think about sorting out your storage areas and cleaning out anything that you no longer require. This can yield valuable space in which to store more pressing and essential inventory.
Why do businesses end up running out of storage?
A lack of storage space can come from a number of different reasons. You may be experiencing an upswing in trade, requiring more inventory to satisfy customers. There may be a simple error in judgement leading to overbuying a particular item of stock. You may also be carrying obsolete inventory that has been in place for multiple seasons without being bought. Another reason is that your business is simply growing in both scale and scope.
It’s essential not only to understand how you can find more space but why you need that space in the first place. This will help you determine whether your requirement for new space is going to be a short term or long term need. Long term needs may make more investment worthwhile.
The importance of using the right equipment
Having the right equipment available is key to help you rearrange your storage space as you see fit. Reach trucks, pallet trucks, and warehouse access equipment all have a vital part to play. That’s why the services of a company like Complete Material Handling can be invaluable when you’re thinking about expanding your existing storage capacity – we have the broad range of equipment necessary to facilitate your plans easily.
Complete Material Handling is your go-to team of specialists for everything relating to the world of material handling. Whether it’s the latest material handling industry news, insight into the right products to buy for your needs, or answers to your questions relating to servicing and maintenance, we can help. When planning your warehouse storage improvement, contact the team at Complete Material Handling to make sure you have everything you need to make it a reality.