How to use the warehouse capacity safely and efficiently?

What if now every inch of space in your warehouse is taken up – then what do you do? Finding a larger building may be an option, but it”s not the only option. Maybe you can try to use your space more efficiently? It can take a lot of time, effort and planning, but with the right partners on your side, you can maximize the potential of your existing space.

Let’s look at the steps needed to plan for more efficient use of your storage capacity and how best to proceed with it.


Warehouse Profile Detailed Analysis

To start with, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your warehouse profile. How is the material flow laid out and how are current procedures applied? This includes shelf configuration, distribution/retrieval concepts, stocking, replenishment inventory, inventory management, packaging and shipping. Don’t forget to include any seasonal fluctuations! You will also need to determine the exact amount of goods flowing in and out.


Consider the architectural features

In the next step, you need to look at the features and structure of your premises.


1. Can the ceiling height be optimized?

Are the ceilings high enough to expand your storage capacity upward without jeopardizing the safety of your warehouse? Your footprint may be limited, but perhaps you can create more usable space by introducing a proper vertical storage system? This can make the most of the height of the space without compromising efficiency. For storing pallets, it may be worth investing in some “very narrow aisle” pallet racking (VNA systems), which can be up to 17 meters high. For storing smaller parts, there are modular warehouse lift systems that can reach heights of up to 23 m.


2 . Will the depth of racking be maximized?

It is not just the height of the racking system that makes efficient use of warehouse space – the depth of the racks also provides maneuvering space. If you need to store multiple pallets per SKU (stocking unit), you may want to consider investing in a push-back rack. This uses a LIFO (Last In First Out) system, which can expand storage capacity by up to 90% compared to selective racking systems. Once a new pallet is placed on a rack, the pallets behind it are pushed back into a space. The opposite happens when a pallet is removed. Once the front-most pallet is removed from the rack, all pallets behind it are automatically moved forward one space. Storing 2-5 product pallets in a space that is only one pallet wide quickly increases the storage density of your warehouse exponentially.


3. Can I install a raised platform?

One of the fastest ways to create additional storage locations in your warehouse is to install a mezzanine or raised storage platform, if the floor and building structure allow it. Introducing one, two or even three new storage levels in the warehouse will quickly turn otherwise unused space into usable storage space. New levels can also be used for work processes such as packing or preparing goods for shipping.


4. Can you modify your current warehouse concept?

When you change the layout of your stored products and SKUs, you will need to reconfigure your racking system. If you try to use the same rack configuration that no longer fits, you will not be able to fully utilize the storage capacity. A completely new warehouse concept may seem like a huge investment at first, but it will pay off quickly. If you have any questions about how to proceed, our warehouse experts will be happy to provide you with free advice: Click here to contact us.


5. Can you change aisle widths?

The most important factors to consider when determining the right aisle width are productivity, space utilization, flexibility, safety and equipment. Choose an aisle width that allows industrial trucks, such as forklifts, to move unimpeded around the warehouse. You may also want to include a buffer for protruding pallets, as it’s not uncommon for pallets to stick out a little beyond the edge of the rack in a warehouse. You will also need experienced forklift drivers. Here, you may want to seek advice from your supplier of racking systems and industrial trucks.


6. Can you manage your inventory more effectively?

Know your inventory in detail: what products are stored? What is the volume of material processed? How high is your inventory turnover, i.e. how often do you sell and ship stored items in a given time period? Storing unsold items costs your company money and takes up valuable space in your warehouse. To effectively manage your inventory and avoid excessive storage, talk to your customers and staff in sales and production to better understand order patterns.


7. Can you describe the demand-based process (“just-in-time” principle)?

Waiting until they are needed to bring goods in (just-in-time principle) can improve your warehouse efficiency and reduce the costs associated with stocking items. You may want to discuss the possibility of using this principle with your core suppliers.


8. Can you put in extra effort to ensure that warehousing is structured and transparent?

A clean and well-structured warehouse is an aspect that is often overlooked. Ensuring that everything is in the right place can improve warehouse efficiency and productivity. It also makes for a safer work environment and makes it easier to identify and correct potential slip, trip and fall hazards – the most common cause of warehouse accidents. Efficiency and safety go hand in hand. A safe work environment means less lost time, less damaged inventory and fewer mechanical repairs.

As you can see, there are many options and possibilities that can be achieved in the warehouse with relatively little effort, but they offer a great deal of added value. Talk to our experts about how to optimize your current warehouse environment. They will be happy to help. Click here to contact us.




Further Reading:

Five Cantilever Racking Health Checks

Method of calculating the height to width ratio of pallet racking and cantilever racking

Nine frequently asked questions about pallet racking systems

Is a double-deep pallet rack suited for me?

Cold storage and freezer pallet racking system solutions

Post time: Apr-01-2022