Running a warehouse on a large-scale can be very expensive. Because of this, it is important for warehouses to run efficiently, which requires a bit of finesse on the space optimization end of things. The primary objective in a warehouse is to effectively and discriminately use space to allow for the most efficient material handling, provide the cheapest means of storage in terms of equipment cost, utilize space effectively, and many more. With this in mind, here are a few of the most effective ways that you can optimize space in your distribution center without spending an arm and a leg. There is no one way to optimize space in your facility, however there are a few techniques that are used the most that you should consider implementing into your facility if you have not already.
Revamp or Add Racking
When you start to look into warehouse space optimization, racking or selective pallet racking is generally one of the first things that you should consider. It is important, however, to think about the effectiveness of a rack revamp based on your specific inventory and storage needs. In an ideal situation, racks will have 4-6 inches of space between the top of the pallet and the base of the beam so that forklifts can operate easily. If you are lucky enough to have more space than that, there is room to revamp and add some additional space in your system.
Install a Mezzanine Floor
Mezzanine flooring is one of the best ways to maximize space without expanding. This option can be a little more expensive than others, but it is easy to install and it’s permanent. Mezzanine flooring gives you access to the unused height in the warehouse and maximize the cube of the building rather than the square footage alone. This option is great if you can afford it, otherwise you may want to consider taking down additional space.
If you run a warehouse that serves the purpose of storing and shipping large items, it is a good idea to consider utilizing a form of drop-shipping to reduce your in-house inventory and the costs associated. Most companies are now using drop-shipping, and it is a really good way to avoid any warehouse stocking by shipping directly from supplier to customer.
Adding and using automated storage and retrieval systems can almost completely remove the issue of space. This generally includes a series of mechanisms like lifters, conveyors, and other technologies. With warehouses becoming more and more automated every year, the options are only adding up.
Saving space in your warehouse is important to the overall functioning and success of the company. It is important to consider the exclusiveness of every operation requirement before implementing any change. Consider your budget and options before making any decisions, then work towards optimizing your space more effectively.