What to Look for When Analyzing Your Existing Storage Space
Managing the day-to-day operations of your warehouse is busy work. With so many moving parts, it can be easy to overlook the big-picture factors of your warehouse that keep things running smoothly. Looking at your existing storage space and identifying how it can be optimized is one of those factors that’s easy to overlook.
Oftentimes, warehouse managers won’t analyze their existing storage space unless a problem presents itself. Working retroactively to ensure your warehouse is operating efficiently is an uphill battle, which is why it’s worthwhile to proactively look for ways to improve your workforce’s ability to find, pick, and fulfill orders.
Don’t wait until you’re completely out of warehouse space to start identifying areas for improvement. Let’s look at a few simple ways your warehouse can analyze its existing storage space in order to streamline operations and protect your bottom line.
Identify Space Constraints
Is your warehouse storing air? Are you attempting to store more inventory in the same or smaller footprint? Maybe you have inventory spilling into your aisles? Asking yourself these basic questions is a great place to start when it comes to analyzing how you’re using your existing storage space.
If you’re like most companies, you’re either very low on storage space or have no room to spare. Some organizations will opt for building new facilities or expanding their warehouses, but making that kind of investment isn’t a realistic option for companies that are already struggling to secure their bottom line. Improving the utilization of your current warehouse space is a cost-friendly, effective way to work within your existing footprint and improve operational efficiency.
For starters, take a look around your warehouse and understand the flow and utilization of the current layout. If your storage equipment is packed to the gills, you know it’s time to make a change. While you’re at it, look up and make sure you’re using as much vertical space as possible.
Identifying space-saving opportunities is a crucial first step in determining whether you’re using your warehouse space to its full potential.
Consider Any Labor Challenges
Your workforce may not be top of mind when you’re thinking about maximizing warehouse space, but your staff’s ability to fulfill orders efficiently and keep up with seasonal demand is greatly impacted by how your facility is organized and vice versa.
Order fulfillment has become increasingly difficult for companies in the wake of the pandemic. Labor shortages coupled with a boom in online shopping have put pressure on warehouses to get orders out quickly and cost-efficiently. Today, 63% of consumers expect a standard delivery to arrive within three days of ordering. But seeing as only 55% of companies are able to offer a two-day delivery service for their goods, it’s clear that order fulfillment has become a major pain point for many organizations.
Trying to fulfill more orders than ever before with fewer people isn’t realistic. To make the most of your available resources, consider how your storage equipment and operational workflows can be optimized in order to boost productivity for your workforce. Meeting delivery expectations and keeping up with fluctuating consumer demand is made a whole lot easier when your workers can spend more time fulfilling orders and less time traveling and searching for SKUs.
Take a Look at Your Storage Equipment
What do you do when space is tight in your already-optimized warehouse? One solution is to consider whether your storage equipment is making the most of your existing warehouse space.
Carton flow, flow racks, and high-density storage systems can all help you eliminate dead zones within your warehouse storage racks and improve your workforce’s ability to pick orders quickly and efficiently. Additionally, see if you can optimize space at the ends of your aisles to help your organization store more SKUs in the same footprint while boosting pick rates.
Seeing as the average warehouse has experienced an 18.5% increase in the number of SKUs handled, the time is now to implement future-forward storage equipment that enables your warehouse to keep up with orders and work as efficiently as possible.
Don’t Shy Away from Engineering Support
There’s a lot you can do on your own to identify how to optimize your existing warehouse space. But sometimes, calling on outside assistance can help you analyze areas of improvement that you weren’t previously considering. Calculating your current space utilization and analyzing your potential storage area may not be something you can handle, which is why there may be times when it makes sense to outsource the more sophisticated work to experienced professionals.
Hiring a warehouse consultant to review your existing space is one option, but what if you could partner with a company that provides smart space-saving solutions that come with free engineering support?
Enter UNEX, a leader in space optimization and order picking solutions that help customers make the most out of their existing warehouse space and keep processes and profits flowing. Not only do we provide proven storage solutions, from SpeedCell to SpanTrack, but we also provide free engineering support for all our projects to ensure you’re getting the most out of your existing space.
Check out our custom configurators to create the exact UNEX solution needed to optimize your space and maximize your warehouse storage. If you have any questions about our specific space-saving solutions or the engineering support we provide, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!