How to Maximise Space in a Warehouse
Warehouse space is critical to many businesses, and being able to maximise this can help with expansion and business growth. The more things you can store, the more items you can have available for customers. Moving to a larger warehouse is an alternative but often more expensive option. In this article, we take a look at tips for maximising your warehouse space.
Evaluate your current space
Before creating a plan to maximise your warehouse space, you’ll need to assess and evaluate your current situation. A floorplan that maps out your current racking, walls and available floor space can be helpful. This review of the space may give you an alternative perspective and additional options for freeing up more space. It will also help with measurements if you plan to add more racking or move things around to use the space more efficiently.
Height should be utilised
Often, warehouses don't utilise the full height of their buildings, resulting in them running out of space prematurely. There are certain restrictions regarding health and safety, but as long as your warehouse operates within these, you can push to the maximum height limit permitted. Consider if you can add higher racking than your current solution to gain more storage space.
Reduce aisle width
By reducing the width of each aisle slightly in your warehouse, you might have enough room to fit in an extra row of shelving at one end of the warehouse. This can be an excellent space-saving option as long as your equipment can operate safely in a smaller isle and the isles aren’t already too close. Plan out moving the aisles to ensure it will give you enough room before going ahead. This type of change will take a lot of time and effort to complete, so a comprehensive plan is recommended.
Consider a mezzanine floor
Adding a mezzanine floor is a great way to double the available space in the warehouse. This space can be used for offices, receiving items and a range of other uses. Mezzanine floors will add columns to the open warehouse below, which can cause issues and reduce the flexibility of the main warehouse floor. However, despite this, it's often much better to add a mezzanine floor to steel framed buildings rather than expanding the footprint of the building outwards.
Poor inventory management can cause issues with warehouse space. If you don’t know as a business what items you currently have in your warehouse, you’re not going to be able to order and manage your inventory properly. You could end up with large amounts of one item that doesn’t sell particularly well. Make sure you evaluate your inventory on a regular basis and don’t order any more items if a product is no longer selling as well in the stores. This will stop you from having too much stock of one particular item and frees up room for things to move in and out of the warehouse frequently.
Use trailers for space
Trailers that aren’t in use can store goods, keeping them clean, dry and in good condition until they’re ready to be sent out. If you have a set of products that need to be stored for a short period of time but you don’t have the space available in the warehouse, you could use your spare trailers. This is a great temporary solution that can work for seasonal items; using it long-term might become frustrating and leave you without a trailer for delivering items.
Extend the warehouse
Another potential solution is a temporary warehouse extension; many businesses offer these as a way to provide warehouses with extra storage space. The extension is constructed from PVC and can be added to the current warehouse doors to create a single space. These temporary solutions are only suitable for good weather conditions and should only be used for a short period of time. However, they can be useful if a company needs to remove all items to reduce aisle width or move things around to create more storage space.
These are just a few of the ways you can maximise space in a warehouse. Always look to maximise your current space before spending money on buying a new warehouse.