5 Ways To Tell If You Need A New Warehouse Storage Design

Posted by Jason Tindley on 22-Sep-2016 09:05:00


Your warehouse represents the hub and therefore most important link in your supply chain. Yet, up to 3,000 hours are lost per year to warehouse inefficiencies that a redesign could fix. Is your warehouse currently suffering from any of the symptoms below? If so, a change in your warehouse design may very well be beneficial to your business.

Symptom #1: Products Are Taking Too Long To Access

On average, half of the time your employees spend on order picking is taken travelling between locations. If your warehouse staff must travel from one end of your warehouse to the other to get the job done, this is an inefficiency that is likely to slow down your picking and despatch process and result in much time wasted.

Consider for a moment your leading products: is it easy for Order Pickers to get to? If your most popular products are a long way from the despatch area, efficiency will go right out the window. In a modern warehouse design, travel time is drastically reduced and staff can pick stock quickly and efficiently. This is more stock layout than storage design

Symptom #2: Your Warehouse Feels Like A Black Hole

Many warehouses continue to use paperwork and spreadsheets to track the status of orders. Doing things in this way can make a warehouse feel more like an abyss, with no definite answers as to whether a product has been shipped when it was supposed to be or how well the picking is being undertaken

Your warehouse didn’t become this black hole overnight. While you were concentrating on building your business, your warehouse filled up with inventory. But as it did so, it may have become less efficient. A new warehouse design and layout can be just what is needed to reclaim that efficiency, without having to invest in new infrastructure.

Symptom #3: Your Warehouse Has Lots Of Vertical Space

Have you looked up in your warehouse lately? If you can see a lot of space above your stock, this is a sign that your layout design needs to change. Ensuring that vertical space is used to its full potential can add locations to your warehouse, creating more space than you may have suspected you had.

Instead of investing in warehouse expansion, consider taller units for storage / added storage levels and the right equipment to access stock from these areas. Going vertical will allow you to keep more stock in the same space, saving you thousands of pounds.

Symptom #4: There Is A Lot Of Space Between Shelves

There are many ways to waste space in a warehouse. One of the most common ways is to place shelving rows too far away from one another. Imagine how many shelves are in your warehouse right now. Even if there are only sya a foot between each shelving rows, this can add up to hundreds or thousands of square feet of wasted space when you consider how many shelves you currently have in your warehouse.

By compacting shelves into a smaller area with, for instance, a solution like mobile shelving, no gaps between them are needed. Employees need only move one shelf to access another. Where you had many aisles you now only need one or two

Symptom #5: Too Much Storage Capacity But No Room For Other Activities

If you have a warehouse that carries stock at ground level ony but is poorly optimised (i.e. half empty), your initial thought may be to leave it as it is to allow for future increase instock. The good news is that you can actually have the best of both worlds; redesigning the space inside your warehouse while still having plenty of room to store future stock.

You can give some or potentially all of your warehouse a second floor without expensive downtime and renovations by installing a mezzanine floor. This type of warehouse space solution gives you above-stock access, allowing you to move anciliary activities or even offices to upper levels, while leaving sufficient space for additional stock.

In using the existing space in your warehouse efficiently, your staff can not only complete their tasks quicker and get more done in their day, but you could save thousands of pounds on unnecessary expansion.

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Topics: Warehouse Design, Warehouse Productivity

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