Guide to maximize warehouse space utilization

If you are a business owner that deals with wholesale and receive huge amounts of products that you need to store in your warehouse and then ship to your retail stores, you need to know how to maximize warehouse space utilization. Being space efficient is an important part of utilizing your warehouse to its full potential. You do not want empty spaces in your warehouse that can be used with proper organization. Another thing is that running a warehouse is an expensive endeavor. This also makes the need to be more space efficient even greater. With all that said, the main responsibility of a warehouse manager is to bring this aspect to perfection.

How to maximize warehouse space utilization?

Your distribution center is not able to hold any more items beyond the 85% mark. All of the other spaces are used for receiving new goods, shipping, and basically not to restrict the movement of your workers. If you are in a situation when your warehouse is filled beyond 85%, then it is time to consider ways to optimize space usage and increase capacity. This makes the work a lot harder because you will have less space to move your items. You will be forced to take something out of its holding place, in order to get something else out.  Worry not, for there are many ways to do so and we will list them in this article.

Can you extend your racks vertically?

This is a way of maximizing space in a warehouse that most people resort to. This is because warehouses usually have some extra space between the ceiling and the last rack. That is because newer buildings have built-in sprinkler systems which require room in order to function. This can add up about 18 inches of vertical space in your storage facility. However, this has some downsides because that space may not be enough to stack another line of your racks. This is why you need to consult engineers to see if this is possible. You can compare how different shipping companies do this and make your decision.

Extend the racks vertically to maximize warehouse space utilization
Extend the racks vertically to maximize warehouse space utilization

 Can you install a mezzanine?

A mezzanine is an intermediate floor in a building. Consider the option of installing it as it can double the space used for receiving and shipping of goods. This can act as a place for your workers to use to get around the facility easier and to maximize floor space usage. However, there are downsides to this solution as well. The mezzanine needs to be sturdy enough to sustain your load if you are dealing with heavy loads. Also, if something falls down from your mezzanine floor, it will cause a lot of damage, especially if there is something going on below. Work with your engineers and see what kind of mezzanine you need to install in order to be the best for you. Lebanon storage offers mezzanine extensions to your warehouse space so consider checking them out as soon as possible.

Optimizing aisle width

Aisle width is another important aspect of maximizing warehouse space utilization. If your aisles are closer to one another, you may even be able to fit another aisle with the new space. For example, if you reduce aisle space from 12 ft to 6 ft you will double the space in your warehouse. This may be hindered by your equipment. If your forklift is not able to be effective in aisles with less space, you may consider finding new ways to distribute and move your racks around. Getting new, smaller forklifts is a good idea. Another thing is that you need to consider all the staff that is within the isles while the large forklifts are moving. If you are not able to reduce aisle size that much, consider leaving some space to fit everything and everyone. Workplace safety and efficiency are much more important than the amount of stuff you have in your warehouse.

warehouse
Optimizing isle width can help you get more space

Cross-docking

This is a great way to get rid of one step of the distribution process. Cargo companies in Lebanon have made full use of this system. By installing a cross-docking terminal, you will eliminate the need to store your items in your warehouse. The inspection will be done in your cross-docking terminal, and the immediately transferred to outbound trucks which take the load to the next step in its distribution. This will save you a lot of space in your warehouse since you do not need to store everything. This is a bit trickier on the logistical side of things, but a good warehouse manager can probably handle it.

a cross-docking terminal
A cross-docking terminal is a great way of freeing up space in your warehouse

Getting off-site storage

You have to keep close track of your inventory. Therefore, it is not smart to put everything in your main warehouse. If something was not purchased and you are storing it inside your main warehouse, you will use a lot of space. The solution to this is to get another warehouse for the items that are not selling, and you want to keep them in reserve. By doing this you will separate your inventory in smaller, more manageable groups. Also, many suppliers will offer you extra storage, especially for your packing and crating materials. If they offer you to store it and then send it to you in monthly shipments, it will solve a lot of spatial problems for you. They also offer you to change how much of it should they send to you and it offers you more options to maximize warehouse space utilization.

Conclusion

You have to keep in mind that every warehouse is different from the other. This is especially considering the many different lines of work that exist. You can use some of these tips for some lines of work and not for others. This is why you need to examine your situation, discuss it with professionals and make your decision. Good luck!

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