Warehouse Organization Tips to Maximize Storage
It’s not uncommon for warehouses to run out of space due to rapid growth during seasonal peaks or even from a slow sales period. There are generally three types of space inefficiencies that can be addressed through better warehouse organization to maximize the area you have without spending resources on relocation or expansion.
Inefficiency #1: Too Much Overstock
When warehouses don’t have an efficient inventory management system, they often overstock frequently used items. Warehouses with too much overstock will typically operate below productivity and safety standards. Pallets of overstock may be stored in aisles, stacked in walkway or dock areas, placed on rack endcaps, or with multiple SKUs mixed into single bins. This creates safety hazards for workers and drastically reduces visibility, which in turn leads to decreased productivity.
Inefficiency #2: Too Much Low-Demand Product
Too much product that isn’t moving through the warehouse usually indicates that the warehouse isn’t managing inventory levels or outdated product properly. Obsolete inventory could remain untouched for months or years, taking up space that could be used for faster-moving inventory.
Inefficiency #3: Poor Warehouse Inventory Organization
This inefficiency is common in warehouses experiencing growth or undergoing changes in their storage and service requirements. Warehouses often incur long-term penalties by implementing poorly considered warehouse shelving organization. Forms of poor warehouse organization include not utilizing vertical space, creating wide aisles, and placing multiple products in warehouse organization bins.
Use Your Existing Space
When expansion or relocation isn’t an option, try to maximize warehouse space by improving your inventory management, redesigning your warehouse, or using outside or temporary storage. We’ll describe all three suggestions below.
Improve Your Inventory Management
If you don’t have a real-time warehouse management system (WMS), you should probably think about getting one. A WMS is the best way to properly manage your inventory, providing real-time, on-demand information at all levels of the supply chain. A cycle counting program can be implemented to track inventory and ensure obsolete product isn’t taking up space in the warehouse. This way, you can also eliminate your tedious annual physical inventory by doing a little bit of cycle counting every day. A good WMS can also direct products to the best storage location.
Redesign Your Warehouse
One of the best warehouse organization tips we can offer is to look at how you are using your current space. Are you optimizing your space and investing in the right industrial storage solutions, like high-density mobile shelving, automated storage systems, and vertical lifts?
To prepare your warehouse for redesign, measure the space that you have to work with. After that, define your fixed obstacles such as walls, doors, columns, and clearances. Define storage condition zones, the product’s throughput and replenishment requirements, and the unit handling loads. Establish your material’s flow paths; from here, you can start generating ideas and evaluating your alternatives, making sure that you’re within safety and regulatory compliance.
Not sure where to start with your warehouse redesign? At Southwest Solutions, our design team can help you re-visualize your space to improve the flow and productivity of your warehouse.
Use Outside Storage
As a last-case scenario, you can always consider using temporary outside storage to hold overstock during seasonal peaks. However, if you find that you constantly need to rely on outside storage, you may want to consider investing in new storage equipment that can allow you to store more in your existing warehouse. In the long run, this option often saves businesses money.
How to Improve Your Warehouse Shelving Organization
Even with plenty of warehouse organization tips under your belt, you may still feel unsure of how to improve your warehouse inventory organization. We’re here for you. Southwest Solutions has worked with businesses big and small for over 50 years, helping them improve or completely overhaul their storage systems. Take a look at what our past clients say about us!
We believe that a well-designed warehouse is the foundation of a healthy business. Contact us today to speak to a representative about your warehouse challenges.