Thinking Vertically: How To Make The Most of Your Industrial Warehouse Space
Did you know that almost 40% of companies don’t track their inventory items? This means that their warehouses can be full of unused products, taking up space and making the company lose a lot of money in the long run.
Ideally, you wouldn’t make the same mistake, whether you have a commercial or industrial warehouse. Organizing the space inside your warehouse and using high-quality tools such as loading dock ramps and forklifts will only make life easier for you when you need to move inventory around or find something fast.
Keep reading this article to find out several tips and tricks to make the most of your warehouse space.
1. Use Vertical Space to Stack Boxes
One of the best ways to save space in your warehouse is by using the room between the ceiling and your highest boxes. In many cases, there’s an area up there where you can easily fit one or two rows of boxes and containers. You’ll need a strong ladder and/or a powerful lifting mechanism to raise the boxes that high, but it’s worth it because you’ll save a lot of space.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure that you always put the heaviest boxes at the bottom and the lighter ones on top. By doing this, you prevent falling accidents and you can easily move the top boxes around when needed.
2. Stack Similar Items Together
In almost every warehouse, there will be a group of items that look similar or belong to the same category (shoes, bricks, paints, etc). You can save a lot of time and hassle by grouping these items. This will help you to find what you need quickly and also prevent boxes from becoming lost in your warehouse.
3. Use the Right Containers for Your Products
There’s no point in using a large box to house a small item. Instead, use the right boxes for the right items, based on their dimensions. For example, you don’t need a 3′ box to transport a 12″ ceramic vase. Analyze the items in your warehouse and downsize boxes so they fit the products perfectly.
Getting rid of all that “air storage” will free up a lot of room for new stock. A box of appropriate size will also give you a quick visual cue on how big or heavy the items in your inventory are.
4. Analyze the Safety Stock and Reduce It If Possible
Safety stock is a collection of items stored by companies in their warehouses so that they don’t get “sold out”. Although it’s a good idea to have a safety stock on some of your best-selling items, make sure that it’s not too large. Keep track of your inventory and resupply your stock as needed while saving space in your warehouse.
Do you have safety stock stored for items that don’t sell well in the first place? Save warehouse space by selling this stock at a discounted price. You’ll make some money in the process and free up space in your warehouse.
5. Make Aisles and Paths Narrower, If Possible
Most warehouses shouldn’t have excessively large aisles because this is only a waste of space. Try to reduce the width of your aisles, if possible, while still leaving enough room for people to move around safely.
If you have a large warehouse and you routinely move heavy boxes around, you probably also work with a forklift or industrial platforms. In this case, you should make sure that a forklift fits perfectly between the aisles with enough room to move items and turn around.
6. Keep Your Warehouse Tidy
Speaking of an organized warehouse, now is probably a good time to look around and see if you have a lot of clutter lying around. A warehouse that’s full of junk wastes both time and money. For example, see if you’ve been hanging onto unused boxes, tools, or broken and obsolete equipment.
Hunt for pieces of debris, old components, or items that were discarded at random. If you don’t need it, take it to the trash. Keep all mandatory items, like fire extinguishers, MSDS sheets, and first aid supplies, in an accessible and central location.
7. Use Industrial Mezzanines For Heavy Containers
Some businesses need to store heavy boxes full of valuable contents. In this case, using industrial mezzanines made from stainless steel is often the best choice. Such structures are intermediary floors which can be accessed via a staircase or ladder.
They can be custom-made, depending on the needs and preferences of the owner, and can also accommodate offices, electrical systems, computer equipment, etc. Industrial mezzanines come with steel supports and are modular, meaning that you can arrange them in different positions in your warehouse.
Another benefit of mezzanines is the broad overview you get when you climb on top of them. This allows you to quickly oversee the operations in your warehouse and keep everything more organized. Mezzanines are often backed up by a warranty period of 10 years, so your investment is protected.
8. Donate Items That Don’t Sell
Just as some items sell very well, there are products in most stores that don’t sell at all, even at discounted prices. They still occupy a lot of space in your warehouse, but you cannot seem to get rid of them.
Remember that your priority is to save as much warehouse space as possible. Instead of keeping it forever, donate this stuff to a charity to get more room. On top of liberating your store, donating items to a charity can help you build community relationships and might get you a tax write-off.
Ready to Free up Space in Your Industrial Warehouse?
As you can see, these basic tips and tricks can be put into practice in almost any industrial warehouse. If you stay on top of your inventory, clean out the clutter, and get creative with how you use your space, you’ll be able to carry more stock without increasing your square footage.
If you’d like to make the most of your industrial warehouse space, contact us today. Our multi-level mezzanine structures and other vertical space solutions can expand your storage area fast.
Questions about maximizing space for your warehouse or facility? Feel free to get in touch with us.