From shelving to pallet rack to carton flow systems, there are a variety of ways to organize warehouse spaces. Truly effective warehouse storage solutions not only optimize space usage but also improve supply chain efficiency and ultimately, the organization’s overall performance standards.
Unsure where to start? Here are some storage options to consider when optimizing your warehouse storage to improve procedural efficiency:
Carton Flow Rack Storage
Carton flow storage is a type of dynamic shelving solution that uses wheels, rollers, and gravity to keep inventory organized and easy to find. Warehouses and distribution centers gravitate toward carton flow solutions because items being picked flow forward to the point of pick and they're always in the same location. This repeatability in the flow helps operations increase efficiency by enhancing key factors such as predictability, ergonomics, and visibility. In support of the FIFO best practice, carton flow storage solutions are generally designed to be a rear-fed storage solution.
With carton flow rack systems, warehouses and fulfillment centers can reduce labor costs, as stocking speed is often doubled or tripled. Because fewer aisles are needed, carton flow rack systems also take up less floor space while housing the same amount of products. Not only does this consolidate a larger number of SKUs in a smaller area for storage benefits, picking speed is increased as the picker can find items in a smaller area, improving operational efficiency.
Storage solutions such as UNEX’s SpanTrack carton flow rollers optimize product flow with full-width roller lanes and universal wheel beds that are engineered to eliminate hang-ups on the track and allow for smoother order picking workflows.
With its patented design, SpanTrack drops into existing pallet rack structures for easy installation and condenses inventory storage with high visibility and accessibility of materials. By providing up to 8x more pick facings than four pallet locations, carton flow storage solutions like SpanTrack are an excellent choice to improve efficiency in warehouse operations.
Modular Racking Systems
Designed to fit a warehouse’s unique footprint and operations, modular racking systems are a storage system that can adapt to accommodate the fluctuating demands of the industry. Modular racking systems allow for multiple levels of storage within a facility, instantly turning two-dimension storage into three-dimensional storage. This type of storage solution is absolutely the easiest, most cost-effective way to increase warehouse storage density, especially if ceiling height is lower and fork trucks are permissible.
Alongside accommodating warehouse space, modular racking systems like FlowCell can be reconfigured to accommodate line or process changes in rapidly-evolving industries, all while improving worker ergonomics. Even something as seemingly simple as an angled shelf design helps boost productivity by up to 30% by angling the parts toward the worker for easier picking.
The sleek design of a modular storage solution like FlowCell enables it to take up less space, allowing for more square footage to be utilized for the storage of materials or SKUs. FlowCell is often used in warehouses where ceiling height is lower and pallet rack can’t be utilized. Because FlowCell beams have a lower profile compared to pallet rack beams, the reduced height can cause a dramatic 20-30% increase in storage density.
High-Density Storage Cells
Traditionally, high-density storage alludes to automated solutions like AS/RS or vertical carousel. While these types of systems create a huge number of storage locations in the smallest footprint, they are expensive, require energy, and may not scale with the business easily. A dynamic, cell-based storage solution provides the increased storage density of automated solutions, without increasing energy use and installation costs. By optimizing storage space within existing racks and transforming vacant space into highly-efficient storage space, high-density storage solutions help warehouse operations save time, space, and money.
High-density storage cell solutions such as UNEX’s SpeedCell consolidate storage capacity to dramatically increase pick facings. For example, SpeedCell can compress 200' of rack or shelving into 40' of highly organized space. More pick facings and greater SKU density equates to less travel time and less seek time while pulling orders and restocking locations.
For easy access to all stored material, SpeedCell columns are designed to slide from side-to-side and feature a unique label holder to make it even easier to locate the correct product. This solution is ideal for the storage of slower-moving products - a variety of different SKUs can fit into a very condensed space. High-density storage cells, such as SpeedCell, are a great solution to make the most of tight spaces and establish efficient workflows.
Solve supply chain inefficiencies with a robust, made-to-order solution
How space is utilized in your warehouse or distribution center can make or break the success of your operations. Improve order accuracy, increase order fulfillment speeds, and reduce operating costs by making the most of your existing pallet rack system with the above warehouse storage solutions.