Choosing the proper storage design has a lot to do with warehouse efficiency. Pallets are a common space-saving mechanism for warehouses. However, many warehouses also contain boxes of ready-to-ship products or large appliances for which pallets are impractical. Shelving should be tailored to the type of products that are being stored, and the containers that are used to store them.
Consider how quickly items move out of your facility when deciding how and where to store them. Items that move quickly are best placed in easily accessible locations near the floor so that handlers can fill orders rapidly. Items that rarely get sold can sit on a high shelf in the back of the warehouse without having much of a financial impact on your business.
Effective inventory management helps keep things running smoothly. Warehouses are large spaces and especially once they are equipped with shelving, it can be difficult to keep track of all the nooks and crannies. Having a good management system that pinpoints where everything is and where new products should go can save a lot of time and hassle.
Make sure to use all of the space that is available to you. Humans are constrained by our size and relative inability to climb, and our lives mostly take place within six feet of the ground. This means that we tend to overlook higher spaces when making plans. Simply expanding your warehouse shelving up near the ceiling can add considerable amounts of space to the facility.
When expanding up in a warehouse, it is important to consider access to the items that are stored at higher levels. If small items are stored on the higher shelves, a person with a ladder can retrieve them. However, if larger items are stored on high shelves, some kind of mechanical assistance such as a forklift will be needed to retrieve them. It is thus important to make sure that the forklift can maneuver between the rows of shelving.
Some facilities benefit from an automated storage retrieval system. These machines can fetch an item off a shelf with a robot after the user inputs the location of the desired item on a computer. This removes the need for enough space to allow a forklift to maneuver in the aisle. The product is then delivered to the worker with minimal effort on their part, saving time and money.