The demand for warehousing is exploding while property prices are near all-time highs. If acquiring new warehouse space is not feasible, you must find a way to optimize the space you have.
Advancements in technology make warehouse organization and optimization more accessible than it has ever been. In many cases, you could develop a more efficient warehouse using your existing systems. Contact a 3PL provider for a custom-tailored solution for growth when you do not have the space.
The warehouse management system (WMS) you already have could help you with multiple issues that lead to suboptimal space utilization. For example, if you have excess safety stock or too much of a product that did not sell as well as expected, your WMS can identify the problem, integrate the knowledge, and improve ordering efficiency.
WMS also can help direct where merchandise should be stored to optimize space by considering its size, shape, weight, and length of time the item typically spends in the warehouse.
This is a common-sense solution, but modern systems make it safer and easier to store inventory up high. Using robots, drones, or AS/RS systems to place, count, and pick inventory on high shelves eliminates the safety issues associated with having human workers complete tasks above the warehouse floor.
In some warehouses, it might be worthwhile to consider constructing a mezzanine. A mezzanine could be the site of offices or breakrooms, or it could provide additional storage.
Similar to using more vertical space is making better use of underutilized warehouse spaces such as docks. Racking over the dock doors could provide storage space for pallets and packaging material, opening up floor space for inventory.
Reducing aisle width might greatly expand your capacity depending on your facility’s inventory and equipment. Your lift equipment will dictate how narrow your aisles could be, but in some cases, you could increase storage by as much as 20 percent.
Some modern warehouse storage systems use robots that can move in three dimensions, allowing aisles to be much narrower than if a human worker had to use them. Companies anticipating an extended period of growth might consider installing such a system in their facility.
You could manage any of the above activities yourself, but you might better utilize your time by handing the task to an expert. A 3PL provider has the technology and expertise to find working space in your warehouse that you did not know you had.
Teaming up with a 3PL provider offers innumerable benefits besides helping you get the most out of your space. Their access to the latest technology allows you to streamline and modernize your warehouse operations cost-effectively and efficiently, allowing your team to focus on providing excellent customer service.
Additionally, a 3PL provider offers customized solutions that could benefit any warehouse operation. Before you invest a lot of energy into reworking your space, investigate what a 3PL provider could provide you. Contact Brown West Logistics today to learn more.