How to Optimize Your Warehouse With the Future in Mind
Just when you start to get comfortable with your current warehousing operations, the industry seems to have other plans. In the wake of a global pandemic, lasting supply chain disruptions, and rising consumer expectations, businesses have had to adapt continuously to the ever-changing warehousing landscape in order to remain competitive and profitable. Clearly, warehouse managers are facing enough challenges as-is when it comes to supply chain management. Inefficiently utilizing a warehouse shouldn’t be one of them.
Yet all signs point to warehouse capacity utilization being one of the biggest barriers preventing businesses from facilitating efficient supply chain processes. On average, manufacturing and warehousing companies are using roughly 80% of their total warehouse capacity. This leaves a lot to be desired, especially as the industry and supply chains continue to ebb and flow.
Whether you work in manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, or retail operations, it’s important to know how to future-proof your warehouse for maximum efficiency. At UNEX, we believe this starts with investing in smart storage solutions and technologies that have you ready for whatever the future may hold. Let’s take a deeper dive into three key areas your business should consider in order to embrace innovation and drive success, both today and in the future.
Dynamic High-Density Storage
Wire shelving in pallet racking and cardboard boxes have long been the go-to storage solutions for warehouses. But modern-day challenges require modern-day solutions, and with the rise in omnichannel fulfillment and a rapidly evolving market, warehouse facilities must optimize their storage solutions for streamlined operations.
The right dynamic high-density storage solutions provide additional storage space, increased SKU visibility, and increased order picking speed, all of which enable you to meet speedy turnaround times and avoid costly delays. Let’s say space optimization is top of mind for your fulfillment center. A high-density storage solution can create vertical columns in previously wasted space that results in enhanced cube utilization and faster picking speeds. SpeedCell, for example, can include up to 120+ pick locations per 96” bay, and turn 200’ of shelving into 40’ of tidy storage space. That’s 160’ feet of storage space you’re getting back.
Worried about slow pick-and-pack speeds within your warehouse? The right high-density storage solution can shorten the pick paths for workers and ensure they’re able to access and pick what they need quickly and efficiently. Less time spent on searching for products means more orders can be fulfilled on a regular basis.
Dynamic high-density storage solutions work with your existing footprint and storage equipment, meaning a complete overhaul of what you have in place isn’t necessary. To stay on top of order fulfillment processes and keep up with consumer demand, implement proven high-density storage solutions that make the most of your existing warehouse space.
Automation is a hot topic in almost every industry today, and the warehousing space is no exception. Even if you have high-density storage solutions in place and hyper-efficient warehouse personnel, it can all be for naught if you don’t have the right technologies to connect all of your disparate processes. Fortunately, warehousing technologies have evolved significantly in recent years, and order fulfillment centers are reaping the benefits of automating tasks that were eating up time and resources.
This isn’t to say that robots should replace every human component of your organization. Instead, think of automation as a means of freeing up your workers to focus on more pressing responsibilities rather than being bogged down by tedious, time-consuming tasks. Tools such as a Warehouse Management System (WMS), inventory management system, and order fulfillment software can enable end-to-end connectivity between your warehouse operations and streamline the order fulfillment cycle time from start to finish.
On top of that, leaning on technology to carry out a multitude of warehouse processes can reduce human errors across the board. This minimizes the likelihood of orders being delayed or missed altogether. As eCommerce continues to boom and delivery times become shorter and shorter, your organization must do everything in its power to keep up with demand. Warehouse automation enables you to do just that.
Carton Flow Systems
Your warehouse needs to accomplish two things. First, products need to be organized and stored in a way that utilizes every square inch of your facilities. Second, those products need to be easily accessible for pickers and packers so that orders can be fulfilled as quickly and accurately as possible. Oftentimes, warehouses will focus on only one of these elements, which ultimately hinders the overall efficiency of your business. Luckily, there’s a smart storage solution that maximizes SKU storage and improves productivity and accuracy on the pick line.
A carton flow system creates lanes of storage within your pallet racking for optimized storage space and greater order picking efficiency. Unlike static shelving, carton flow tracks rely on gravity to flow your products through racks. This means workers can avoid moving up and down the racks to retrieve the right products or store the same product at several pick facings. This can make a huge difference for organizations that rely on case picking or each picking operations.
With the right carton flow system, not only are you implementing a more efficient, organized storage solution that better utilizes the entirety of your warehouse space, but you’re also using equipment that eliminates clunky picking and packing processes.
Remain Innovative and Agile with UNEX
As a leader in space optimization and order-picking solutions, UNEX is committed to helping customers make the most out of their existing warehouse space and keep processes and profits flowing. Not only do we provide proven smart storage solutions, from SpeedCell to SpanTrack, but we also provide free engineering support for all projects to ensure your solutions are tailored to your particular warehouse needs.
Check out our free product design tools to create the exact UNEX solution needed to optimize your workflows and maximize 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!