All warehouses can do with improvement from time to time. This is because the way they have been set up is usually to do with the way that the business used to run. Over time all business needs change and this includes the warehouse facility. Perhaps expansion means that you need to create more storage space. On the other hand, maybe your storage is set up to prioritise the wrong lines, ones which are much less picked than they used to be a few years ago. Updating and refreshing your warehouse refocuses the mind on improving storage and workflows, so what are the tips business managers should be looking out for?
Set Out Your Stock In Zones
Ensuring that your picking methodology suits zonal picking can be beneficial for many sorts of business, from retail organisations to e-commerce box shifters. Whether you opt for single order or multi-order picking in batches, creating zones for similar products or components helps to reduce the time operatives take getting what is needed. With zonal picking, you can find that stock is less likely to be ‘lost’ in the wrong place only to be discovered again at your quarterly stock inventory check. Of course, you may need more shelving units to lay your stock out according to type, but the investment can definitely be worth it in terms of productivity, thereby leading to cost savings.
Opt For Pallet Racking
Smaller SMEs tend to avoid pallet racking because they think it is really the preserve of larger businesses which use forklift trucks to move their stock around. Even if you have a warehouse that is organised around storing smaller items, pallet racking can be hugely beneficial and save money Warehouse storage solutions provide Pallet Racking service to different businesses all over UK. Firstly, many pallet racks can be set up for conventional shelving units as well as holding pallets. Secondly, the racks can be easily converted to hold pallets as and when the need arises. You might not have a forklift operative in your warehouse but a hand trolley that can shift pallets will be invaluable if you start to despatch multiple items in orders and use pallets to do so. This makes sense for your courier, as you order sizes start to grow, thus rationalising your goods out processes and lowering customer delivery costs.
Use The Available Height
Many businesses don’t use all of their warehouse because they don’t store items above eye level. Nevertheless, doing so can vastly increase the amount of storage that you have available and do so without expanding your foot print. Racking systems that extend upwards provide all of the strength and rigidity you might need, although heavier and bulkier items should be stored on the lower levels for operative safety. Where you only stock lighter items, then more lightweight beams and cross sections can be used. This sort of racking is highly versatile especially if you are able to access the storage space from both sides, with a picking aisle to the front and the back. Of course, for the full use of the available height in your building, you might also consider a mezzanine floor. Racking can be set on this allowing easy access for storage and picking whilst still maximising your floor space. Indeed, mezzanines can also be used for other purposes too, not just augmenting your warehouse space.
Rationalise Your Containers
Keep smaller items in two or three sizes of container only. If your opt for cartons or plastic bins, it doesn’t matter, but keep the different sizes down to just a few. Restricting the number of dimensions of container you have helps you to organise how they fit into your racks and shelves so that items are not shoved in, placed on top of one another askew or lost with smaller ones hidden behind larger ones.