Imagine this: On your right side is a receiving bay where stacks upon stacks of product boxes have just been delivered. On your left side — a vast, empty space that’s as long as three football fields and at least five stories high. It’s up to you to figure out what to do next.
You’re the lucky one in this scenario, because your warehouse is empty. Now is a great time to make the most of that space. Regardless of whether you’re just starting a business or you’ve been in it for 20 years, much of your success is based on your warehouse efficiency. It’s an intricate performance that requires careful staging, strategic choreography and eloquent exits. Populating that space is as important as shipping product out of it. Things you need to know to have a hit production on your hands:
Don’t Have Two Left Feet: Know the Difference Between Square feet vs. Cubic feet – A professional warehouse designer can help you with space efficiency. The first thing he or she will show you is how to use space in cubic feet, not square feet. You want to measure the volume that your warehouse can handle – floor to ceiling – not just ground space. The best warehousing configurations use all available space – right, left, center, up and out.
Know When to Take to the Floor and When to Lift — Storing boxes on pallets is the traditional way to keep and move product. Not all pallets are created equal; Not all pallet racking systems work with every type of pallet. It’s a complicated dance, but if performed skillfully, it will reflect in your bottom line sales. Choose sturdy, durable pallets that can be stacked without buckling, moved without splitting and used in both a racking system and on the floor.
Dance in the Aisles – Measure the width of your aisles in the warehouse – – aisles too close together prevent free movement and mechanical picking with a fork lift. Too far apart and you waste valuable time and effort jockeying for a position to pick inventory. You should be able to dance comfortably with a partner in the aisles.
Maximize the Entire Stage: Depth, Height and Vertical – If your product is the star, you’ll want it spread out across the stage. Be smart about positioning. Look up, down and around. Identical product can be stacked upwards and backwards. If packing is two-deep or three-deep, make sure it’s uniform product. Can it be stacked more than two pallets high? How will you retrieve products?
Keep Dedicated Performers Within Easy Reach; Clean House of Aging Actors – Know the age of your inventory. Older inventory should be shipped out first, so it needs to move effortlessly to the front or top of the aisle.
Mind Your Secret Trap Doors – Don’t try to fool your audience by putting inventory in secret places. Find areas that make sense and get little use. Over-aisle or over-dock storage are two smart places to store inventory that doesn’t get shipped daily. This space is traditionally lost real estate, yet it is in plain view and easily accessible.
Wow Them with a Technicolor Performance – Use technology to your advantage. Get an app that can configure a basic warehouse plan for you. Try a high-tech inventory system. Don’t be afraid of technology. It exists to make your job easier.
Guarantee Rave Reviews – Everything Warehouse provides warehouse design and layout services. No matter whether you’re starting with an empty, open space or have inventory cluttering every corner, we can help. We can review your current system and make recommendations, or we can give you an independent review of your warehouse and suggest modifications that will make it run more smoothly. We can simply be a consultant or coach, or we can join your team for the long-running show.
Call us today at 1-800-380-7816