Monday, October 08, 2012

Utilizing Your Warehouse Space


A guest post by Schaefer ShelvingThe blog owner receives no revenue or fees for posting this article, it has been included based on his opinion that it contributes to the goal of his blog, which is to make supply chain's interesting.

Amazon.com's warehouse.
There are some basic but important principles involved in utilizing warehouse space effectively. The warehouse design is one part of the greater puzzle, but most new businesses are not in a position to build their warehouse from the ground up. This leaves them with making the best use possible of the warehouse that they have managed to lease or buy.

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.  





8 comments:

logisitik said...

Indeed the Amazon warehouse is very poorly used...See the amount of space available till the top. All raws have 1.5 meters max..this is very poor performance.

logisitik

Ethan Mudgett said...

For me, it all goes down to effective management. I think everyone would agree with me that your resources won’t reach its maximum value, when it’s not managed effectively. And today, effective management is almost synonymous with software. Although inventory control software has been around for quite some time, using it is still a challenge. That’s why it’s important to spend resources in staff training to get the highest production possible.

Ethan Mudgett

Matt C. said...

I would highe agree logistik they are poorly used. Fulfillment Services should be organized a bit better for efficiency.

Matt C. said...

I would highe agree logistik they are poorly used. Fulfillment Services should be organized a bit better for efficiency.

Mel Brandle said...

I used to work in a supply chain environment too and yes, it was actually more interesting than how other people have pictured it to be. Anyway, how my previous company maximized space in our warehouse was to create a mezzanine racking system which was made possible with our super high ceiling. Our warehouse was 2-3 floors high so mid-storey shelves were possible and were a really great method to increase storage space.

Gary Puntman said...

My friend is a potato farmer. He has a large warehouse to process the potatoes. He has been looking for ways to utilize his space. I think that it would help him a lot to be more organized. I think that shelving could help a lot too. That would allow more storage in a small space.
Gary Puntman | http://www.gdliquidators.com/en/shelving.html

Bob Strong said...

I never really thought about just how much organization is required to have a successful warehouse. It makes a lot of sense though. Using the maximum amount of space would be ideal for producing the greatest results. http://www.pack-all.ca/facilities.php

Roel Bobis said...

Thanks for this info anyway did you know any small warehouse for rent?