How to Run a Warehouse Efficiently
Are you thinking about launching an ecommerce business? If the answer is yes, you might require a traditional warehouse for the proper storage of the goods that you plan to sell. You might have already bought a warehouse and are thinking about the most effective ways to design the layout of the warehouse for maximum optimization.
Certain things come to play when it comes to running a warehouse, including the following:
- Warehouse layout.
- Warehouse organization & management.
- Safety measurements inside the warehouse.
The Ideal Warehouse Layout
Ideally, a good warehouse layout has five dedicated areas:
- The Receiving Area
- The Storage Area
- The Picking Area
- The Packing & Shipping Area
- Free Area
If this is your first warehouse, there is an excellent chance that you might have started small, which means that the shipping and receiving areas in your warehouse are the same. However, when the inventory keeps clashing with the outgoing inventory, there is an excellent chance that things can get messy.
Also, if the delivery isn’t processed quickly, you might have loads of products piling up in the packing and shipping area, which can cause a delay in order completion as well.
So, as a warehouse owner or manager, your primary goal is to avoid congestion in the warehouse, which is why you need to keep all areas in your warehouse separated and keep things arranged to boost your warehouse operations.
Most hindrance occurs in the picking area, so you must arrange high-selling products so that your warehouse pickers don’t have to travel a long distance to get to those products. Ideally, you should position the high-velocity products close to the packaging area to diminish the travel time and maintain the steady flow of goods through the different areas of the warehouse.
You will want to keep the slow-selling items in the more extensive bulk storage compared to the high-selling items. The slower-selling items might be shipped the next day, whereas the high-velocity items are those that are shipped the same day.
Maximizing Your Warehouse Space
Let us talk about maximizing your warehouse space without causing a congested space/ one of the most significant challenges warehouse owners face is inventory optimization due to limited space. Now, if your goal is to increase inventory capacity without expanding your warehouse, there are certain things you can do.
The ideal space limit of a warehouse is 85% – anything that goes beyond that can cause a crowded space, which causes extra work and effort for moving the products from one place to another.
You start stuffing the aisles with more products, which leaves no space for all incoming products. To maximize your warehouse storage, you will have to be strategic about the placement of the rack.
Here are some popular types of warehouse storage racks:
One of the best ways to maximize warehouse storage space is using pallet racks. There is also a react chance that you might have pallet racks in your warehouse already as these are generically used in warehouses.
As a new warehouse owner, you should know that you will need forklifts to transfer these essential warehouse racks from one place to another. If you have a variety of warehouse inventory, the pallet racks are ideal for keeping up with the fast-paced world of retail that requires fast order shipment and delivery.
If you have more orders coming in or are thinking about expanding your warehouse, you will have to plan for additional inventory. By adding extra racks, you won’t increase productivity, but your management might suffer due to the extra space occupation.
You might want to consider getting one of the spiral conveyors from Ryson as these don’t occupy the floor space and make distribution so much easier.
Carton Flow Racks
Also known as the carton live storage, the carton flow racks enable high-density storage of cartons, ultimately enabling you to save more space and improve stock turnover, which is vital for curbing the risk of poor stock management.
These racks have a slanted panel which allows the older inventory to be pushed down easily, making it instantly accessible. This racking system is ideal for covering the greater distances in the warehouse, which further reduces warehouse operating time.
A carton live storage system is ideal for a warehouse with a more extensive inventory volume and limited employees for manual picking operations. Typically, you can adjust the wheel carriers of the carton flow rack to accommodate different loads in different directions, making it a versatile system for inventory management.
Add a Mezzanine Floor
It is recommended to use your warehouse space in a cubic sense rather than a footprint for improved warehouse efficiency. So think about heights as well when it comes to setting the floor plan of your warehouse.
That said, you can create additional levels in your warehouse by adding a suspended floor, also known as the mezzanine floor. The mezzanine floor will allow you to double your warehouse space very quickly, and you can get an additional office, storage, retail, or production space.
The mezzanine floor is usually manufactured using primary and secondary steel, and they are decked with timber, which acts as a platform. The mezzanine floor is usually accessed via a steel staircase, which can be traditional.
The mezzanine floor will enable you to use the previously unused vertical volume without extending the footprint of our warehouse building. In other words, you can add square footage without expanding your warehouse – how amazing is that?
Mezzanine floors can maximize warehouse space by utilizing the gap between the top of the stored inventory and the warehouse ceiling. All this space is ideal for additional storage.
By utilizing this space, you can improve your warehouse operations and save loads of money on moving your warehouse premises so you can optimize the existing warehouse capacity with the help of a mezzanine floor.
The smooth flow of your warehouse operations depends on your warehouse layout and the efficient warehouse inventory organization and management. Apart from ensuring that there is sufficient space in the warehouse, you might also benefit from a warehouse management system to boost operational efficiency and effective monitoring of different warehouse processes.