Warehouse and pallets

6 Warehouse Space Saving Ideas

November 11, 2020

What are some space-saving ideas for your warehouse?

  1. Know your warehouse’s storage capacity
  2. Determine the right beam spacing
  3. Make your aisles narrower
  4. Implement a different storage system
  5. Maintain warehouse cleanliness
  6. Get rid of obsolete inventory

 

Adequate space is important for every logistics warehouse. Think about it. There are a lot of activities that take place in this kind of facility — there’s loading/unloading of shipment, picking of SKUs, arranging pallets, assembling inventory, and many more. Not knowing how to properly maximize the space of your warehouse can lead to a dip in efficiency. Luckily, these warehouse space-saving ideas that we’ll be discussing can greatly improve most, if not all, of your warehouse’s day-to-day operations. Read on to learn more.

 

Know Your Warehouse’s Storage Capacity

boxes and containers on shelves in modern warehouse

Before you even begin making certain changes to the layout of your warehouse, it’s important that you first have an idea of its existing storage capacity. Doing this will help you identify bottlenecks and high-traffic locations in your facility that need to be fixed.

First, you’ll need to compute the total square foot of the area. After, you’ll want to multiply this figure by the warehouse’s clear height — the limit at which objects and pallets can be continually stacked. Then, you’ll want to subtract the areas of your warehouse that are not used for storage from the resulting figure.

Make sure that you have a layout of where every location in your warehouse is located, whether it be the inventory, picking areas, forklift storage, returns area, and the like.

 

Determine the Right Beam Spacing

Your warehouse’s physical structure needs to have the right amount of beams/columns to ensure that the entire building is structurally sound. If your warehouse needs multiple columns, then you might need to determine the right spacing between each column to make sure that the space they take up doesn’t impede certain activities.

To determine the right beam spacing, you’ll need to find out the following information: rack depth, flue spacing, and the width of the aisles. Then you can figure out whether your facility is conducive for standard, or optimal spacing. Typically, standard beam spacing is 48-inches, but this ultimately depends on other factors of the warehouse size.

 

Make Your Aisles Narrower

Porter carrying boxes in a warehouse

You have to be careful when you’re trying to decrease your aisles — too small and your warehouse could have difficulty in trying to fit forklifts into these spaces. On the other hand, aisles that are too spaced out can reduce the space needed for storage.

You need to be able to find the right balance between allocating enough space for physical movement, while subsequently optimizing the storage capacity of the warehouse. While you could go as low as 6 feet aisles, this might not really be ideal. Instead, you’ll want to experiment between 8 to 14 feet aisles, depending on your requirements.

 

Implement a Different Storage System

If you think that your current storage system may be doing your warehouse more harm than good, then it may be time to consider other storage schemes.

One thing you should know when implementing a different storage scheme is that your warehouse is handling a variety of products. Take a look at your current inventory for example. If you’re not necessarily housing large SKUs like television sets, then it may be useful to switch back to more basic forms of shelving, like a storage shelf.

Another tip that you could use, is to ensure that you’re using the right kind of container for each type of SKU. After all, storing small objects from your inventory into large pallets may not be practical, in much the same way that storing large objects in small shelves isn’t ideal.

 

Maintain Warehouse Cleanliness

An interior of a warehouse with pallet truck.

One of the simplest ways to maximize the space around your warehouse is to reduce the level of clutter and maintain its cleanliness. You’ll want to make sure that equipment can smoothly be transferred from one location to another, while your staff could easily navigate the facility safely and with very little difficulty

A good practice is to quickly mop up or clean up any spill or rubbish that’s found on your warehouse floors. For example, discarded boxes shouldn’t just be lying around the warehouse — these should be immediately thrown away, so as not to affect the maneuverability of the space.

 

Get Rid of Obsolete Inventory

If your warehouse is still storing old stocks that have already reached their end-of-life, then it may be best to have them thrown out. These items are just taking up empty space that could have otherwise been used for more practical uses.

Obsolete inventory can either be one or both of the following: products that have not been sold for a long time (at least 1 year), goods that have already perished, or defective products.

If you don’t entirely want to discard obsolete inventory, you could always donate it, give it away to industry partners, or sell them at much lower prices.

 

Key Takeaway

Some of the warehouse space saving ideas that you should know about include the following: knowing the storage capacity, decluttering the space, observing cleanliness, implementing another storage system, or getting rid of obsolete inventory.

It’s advisable that you use these tips in combination with one another if you really want to have an optimal warehouse space. The more consistently you practice these tips, the better your warehouse management and supply chain organization will be.

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