If you’re not maximizing your warehouse space, you’re throwing money away. In fact, many of the ways you can maximize your warehouse’s productivity and efficiency are low-hanging fruit. You don’t have to make huge capital investments to see improved productivity and efficiency -- though that can help. Here are 10 ways you can start maximizing your existing warehouse space.
You Have a Cube, Not a Square
Your warehouse isn’t a square, it’s a cube. So stop thinking in terms of square footage. Instead, thinking in terms of cubic footage. Contemporary warehouses have huge overhead spaces these days. Build up as high as you can without sacrificing safety. That can easily expand your warehouse by orders of magnitude.
Smaller Lifts, More Storage
Do you have more lift than you need? You might be surprised. While it’s common for companies to buy a 3,000-pound lift, the average load is much smaller than that. Pallet trucks can often handle your average payload. Having more lift than you need doesn’t just cost more when you buy the lift. It can cost you in terms of more warehouse space going to aisles rather than inventory. Smaller lifts have a tighter turning radius, allowing you reclaim aisle space for something more productive.
Electric Lifts Control Fuel Costs
You don’t need us to tell you that fuel costs can fluctuate wildly. That can make it hard for you to plan your budget. How much is propane today? What will it be in six weeks, six months or a year? You have no way of predicting. The costs for electric-powered lifts, however, are reasonably stable. That will help you to manage your energy budget with more consistency.
The Internet of Things Building Control
There’s no need to use 20th Century systems control in your building. The Internet of Things and other automation processes now mean that lights are only on when they need to be. Temperature can adjust automatically to meet company needs in real time. If you want to cut your energy bills, the Internet of Things is a quick, easy win that will pay for itself rather quickly.
Choose the Right Racking
Racking solutions vary depending on your inventory, how much space you have and what kind of lifts are at your disposal. Most companies, however, don’t choose a racking solution, relying instead upon a “catch-as-catch-can” approach to racking. Review the leading racking solutions, then decide which is best for your organization. It’s a lot more productive than just working it out on the fly.
Find the Right Warehouse Management System
Similarly, too many organizations remain stuck in the 20th Century, using pen-and-paper warehouse management. Updated, computer warehouse management systems can help track your inventory in real time, show you what’s moving and what’s not and even locate missing inventory rather than having you hunting around for it. The right warehouse management system will pay for itself almost immediately.
Plan for Seasonal Needs
Failing to plan for seasonal needs can have you scrambling to move existing inventory around. Now you’re trying to figure out where you put things while wasting time figuring out where to put all this new stock. Planning for seasonal needs, rather than just letting them happen to you, means you’re prepared for a massive influx of inventory, using the slower calm before the storm to prepare for what’s to come.
Organize By Demand
You probably haven’t given much thought to the location of goods and how it impacts your labor costs. But if a picker is taking a long route to get to commonly shipped goods, that can add up quickly. On the other hand, keeping your most high-demand goods closer to the loading dock means faster turnaround time and less money spent on walking around the warehouse.
Sustainability isn’t just about saving the planet, it’s also about saving money and engaging employees. Predictive maintenance and telematics can increase the lifespan of your lifts. Studies show sustainable practices equate to more engaged employees and improve the lifespan of your buildings.
Reduce SKU quantities
If you have a warehouse management system, you can find out what items just aren’t moving. From there, you can get rid of that stock or, at the very least, just not replace it. If you have a lot of stock sitting around, it’s taking up floor space that could be used by stock that will move.
To read more about how to get the most out of your warehouse space, check out our free E-Book. It offers detailed information on optimization solutions that can start saving you significant money starting today.