How to Get More Life Out of Your Warehouse When Moving Isn’t a Viable Option
Picture this scenario: Business at ABC Company picked up significantly over the past three quarters. The increase in new orders is good for the company but starting to cause capacity problems in the warehouse. Management is pleased with the growth but for several reasons is not willing to consider relocating the warehouse operations to a larger facility. They are however willing to consider alternatives to ease the problem.
What does one do? The size of the warehouse will not change. Constantly rearranging products to capture the most floor space is not efficient. If your company’s warehouse is bursting at the seams, maybe it’s time to look for inspiration.
I’m not talking about prayer, although that might not hurt.
Most warehouses contain more space than one realizes. That unused vertical space offers the potential to transform the warehouse footprint from tight spaces into one with plenty of room. The key is tapping into unused space with the right products.
Let’s explore how you can maximize the value of your space using customized storage solutions.
Increasing Vertical Storage in Your Warehouse
One of the easiest ways to increase the available space in your warehouse is to look into expanding your racks vertically.
Most modern buildings allow for vertical expansion of storage racks up to 18 inches away from your ESFR sprinkler system—that should leave plenty of room to build upward in your facility.
If you’re interested in expanding your storage vertically, schedule a time to chat with a professional. They will be able to ensure your uprights and base plates are correctly sized for the type of additions you’re exploring.
The following list includes common options for increasing vertical storage at your facility.
One of the most popular options for increasing vertical storage is mezzanines. These are platforms that can increase the floor space in your facility by adding a second floor to your warehouse.
According to an article in Material Handling & Logistics, the average height of the typical warehouse/distribution center is between 28 and 36 feet. Adding a mezzanine to the warehouse can, in some cases, double the available floor space, increasing productivity and efficiency.
An industrial mezzanine has the ability to withstand heavy loads, making it a viable alternative when moving is not an option. Mezzanines also cause less disruption as assembly does not require a facility shutdown.
You likely already have pallet racks in your warehouse, since they are among the most common and versatile types of racking. If you haven’t considered stacking them higher vertically and making use of a forklift to access high-up products, then schedule a time to chat with a professional to make this solution work for you.
Carton Flow Racks
Depending on the type of inventory you’re handling, carton flow racks may be a great option for your facility. These systems have slanted shelves that guide the products toward the front as inventory is removed, making them great for FIFO processes.
Industrial cantilever racking is ideal for non-uniform, oversized, and long products. Building materials, furniture, and other non-standard inventory can be accessed more easily on these systems. They can be built up vertically, but materials will need to be moved with a forklift or other heavy machinery.
Other Ways to Maximize the Available Space in Your Warehouse
If increasing your facility’s vertical storage isn’t possible, no worries. There are a variety of other ways you can improve the functionality of your space. Let’s discuss a few options.
Increase Rack Depth and Decrease Aisle Width
Decreasing the width of your aisles to increase the depth of your rack systems is one way to improve the availability of storage space in your warehouse.
If you plan to redesign your facility in this way, it’s a good idea to speak with a specialist to ensure your warehouse meets OSHA standards. We don’t need to tell you how important it is to keep worker safety and accessibility in mind when designing your space. Also, don’t forget to consider mobility and navigability, especially if you operate a forklift or other heavy machinery in the building.
Pushback Rack Systems
Pushback rack systems offer warehouses at or near capacity the ability to maximize floor space and improve efficiency. A pushback rack can accommodate between two and six pallets and load/unload from the front position, reducing the time it takes to access the products. They are ideal for LIFO processes.
Think of all the unused space floating around your half-pallets. Putting up half-pallet locations can save space in instances where inventory is half-pallet in quantity. In these cases, you will be able to add more pallets and accommodate more product, while reducing the amount of underused negative space.
Rethink Underutilized Space
When redesigning your warehouse, it’s a good idea to chat with a specialist. Professional storage equipment planners will be able to estimate the value of your current layout.
There may be space in your warehouse that you didn’t even realize was being underused. Those spaces can be condensed or reworked to increase the amount of available space you have for other operations or products.
Slow-moving materials that may be taking up precious floor space, for example, could find a new home in the space above shipping and receiving doors. While they would still be accessible, they would not require the same level of access as a fast-moving product that is accessed on a regular basis by your team.
Working with a storage equipment specialist will help you to determine how to maximize the efficiency of your facility’s space.
Looking for Personalized Storage Solutions?
We’ve got you covered. At East Coast Storage Equipment, we provide customized equipment solutions that maximize space and efficiency in your warehouse. CONTACT US
Buying New or Used Warehouse Storage Equipment
So, you’ve decided to invest in some new equipment to maximize the available space in your warehouse facility. Is new or used equipment a better option for you? Let’s review both options.
Used Warehouse Storage Equipment
Both racking systems and warehouse equipment have a long shelf life, but used equipment comes with a significant reduction in price. This makes used mezzanines and racking systems attractive options for outfitting your warehouse.
So long as your used equipment is coming from a reputable dealer, this is a viable option for all facilities.
New Warehouse Storage Equipment
When quality used options aren’t available, new systems are more readily available, making them a great investment for your facility. New products are also a great option for those who have specific requirements that may be more difficult to find used.
Make the Most of Your Warehouse Space
With these tips, we hope you’ll be able to breathe new life into your warehouse facility. Whether you want to build up or do a complete redesign of your layout, these are some of the easiest and most effective ways to get it done.
Looking for ways to get more out of your warehouse space? We’ve got you covered. At East Coast Storage Equipment, we provide customized equipment solutions that maximize space and efficiency in your warehouse.