When your business is thriving, but your warehouse is too small for your rising stock levels, you face a dilemma. Moving to a new warehouse is expensive and logistically challenging; however, taking no action will limit your inventory and risk the loss of lucrative sales in the long-term.
Pressure on warehouses can soar for several reasons, including seasonal inventory, sluggish sales, sudden business growth, or inefficient stock management. As overcrowding results in slow order fulfilment and lost revenue, it’s vital to find a cost-effective solution – and the answer often lies closer to home than warehouse managers realise.
Effective Ways To Optimise Your Existing Warehouse Space
Making better use of the space you have should always be your first action when faced with a lack of room. The following tips can help to you to optimise your warehouse more efficiently, making an expensive move to another location unnecessary:
1) Maximise The Vertical Space.
In the late 19th Century, architects in Chicago realised that the only way to accommodate more businesses and residents in the city was to make use of vertical space, leading to the construction of the world’s first skyscraper. In warehouses, the same principle applies: effective use of the building’s height can drastically improve the volume of inventory. With the right warehouse racking systems and access equipment, considerably more stock can be carried.
2) Store Related Items Together.
Fulfilment times are critical to secure high levels of customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business, but poor warehouse organisation means staff may have to walk extensive distances to pick similar items. By reorganising inventory so that related stock is together, it will be quicker to assemble orders, while implementing warehouse automation will be easier and more cost-efficient.
Ensure The Right Products Are In The Right Space
If stock is not saleable for whatever reason - be it aged, damage, awaiting action - it needs to be moved on quickly. If you have archive material etc., occupying storage locations needed to service the business, they need to be found alternative homes. The warehouse storage and fulfilment operation should have priority. The storage and picking locations need to be sized for the product and unit loads to be stored in them. An analysis of pick and storage profiles and their volumetrics will highlight any issues.
3) Adjust Aisle Width.
Warehouse aisles can vary in width, so a balance must be struck between aisles that are too wide, thereby creating redundant space, and aisles that are navigable with standard warehouse equipment. For example, reducing an aisle from 3m to 2m will gain around 17 per cent more space which, if replicated throughout the warehouse, could create valuable additional storage space. However, lift equipment and trolleys must be usable in the restricted space, so assess the likely impact on working practices before rearranging the warehouse floor.
4) Seek An Expert Opinion.
Whether you want to improve your warehouse team’s knowledge of warehouse layout and operation or need to overhaul your storage space to increase inventory, professional consultancy and design can deliver tangible benefits for your business. At LPC International, we help our clients to redesign their existing warehouse facilities to increase capacity and productivity, without incurring unaffordable costs. We will work on-site with your warehouse manager to audit your operation and provide effective solutions to all your inventory storage problems.
Contact LPC Today
If you are planning to optimise your warehouse space instead of relocating to a new site, LPC can help, so please contact us today on 01285 640038 or send us a message.
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