How to Maximise Warehouse Storage Space Without Expansion
Warehouses are dynamic hubs of activity where space utilisation is really important. There are two main reasons why warehouses run out of space: success and inventory management mistakes. When products are selling like hotcakes, you need more room to store them. On the other hand, overbuying or holding onto obsolete inventory can create congestion in your warehouse. In both scenarios there is a need to optimise the warehouse space.Effective warehouse management is needed to optimise space and time for efficient inventory handling. Listed below are five strategies to maximise use of your space without drastically expanding your warehouse.
1. Extend Your Racks up Vertically
When it comes to creating more storage space in your warehouse, one of the most accessible options to consider is extending your racks vertically.
Expanding upwards not only makes the most of your current warehouse footprint but also keeps costs in check. However, it's essential to figure out how to make this space work for you efficiently. While going vertical can be a game-changer, it may pose challenges for your existing equipment. To tackle this, Toyota's reach trucks come to the rescue. With the ability to reach lift heights of up to 13 meters, they offer the solution you need for efficient storage. Plus, features like a transparent roof, optional camera, and lift height indicator enhance operator visibility and accuracy, making working at those heights safer and more ergonomic.
2. Narrow Down Aisle Space in the Racking Area
In your racking area, reconsider the width of your aisles to save space.
However, before you dive into this option, it's crucial to assess your lift equipment's capabilities. Can your equipment navigate and operate efficiently in these narrower aisles?
With Toyota’s Narrow Isle Forklifts this will not be an issue. They are tailor-made for efficiently handling pallets in narrow aisles. With a variety of fork systems to choose from, you can count on exceptional performance. Select among different chassis widths and lengths to create the perfect setup for your specific needs.
3. Organise Your Warehouse Inventory based on Movement and Relevance
It's more efficient to store popular and seasonal items in readily accessible areas, such as near loading bays for easy retrieval and restocking. On the other hand, less frequently used items can be tucked away in less accessible sections.
Sometimes, you might have the same item in various sizes. In such cases, you'll need slots of different sizes to accommodate them. Larger, fast-moving items should occupy easily accessible spaces, while smaller, quicker-to-move items can be placed nearby. This balances movement and size, optimising your picking process.
Furthermore, consider grouping items that are often purchased together as closely as possible to reduce the time spent locating and picking them.
Toyota reach trucks with a load capacity range of 1200 to 2500 kg can stack your slow-moving goods at greater heights while keeping faster-moving SKUs at lower levels. These trucks come with a user-friendly large colour touch screen that displays the approximate load weight, promoting efficient and safe load handling.
This strategic approach to both organisation and equipment choice can significantly boost your warehouse's efficiency.
4.Uncover Hidden Storage Opportunities
Sometimes, the space you need has been right under your nose all along. Take a closer look at your warehouse, and you'll likely find unused areas that can be repurposed for storage.
For instance, consider the space above your receiving or shipping doors. It's often overlooked but can be ideal for pallet racks holding supplies, slower-moving materials, or staging for inbound or outbound products that are waiting for processing.
If your facility includes a pick module with a conveyor running down the middle, think vertically and add shelves above the conveyor. This simple adjustment can significantly boost your storage capacity, especially for smaller or slower-moving items that don't require frequent replenishment. These products can be restocked manually or via the conveyor system, making better use of your available space.
5. Prioritising Warehouse Safety and Efficiency
Safety is paramount within any warehouse environment. Over time, businesses may evolve or grow, leading to new safety considerations and operational inefficiencies. Often, items are placed in the most convenient available space, which may not be the safest or most practical location.
When it comes to warehousing, effective management of items with varying characteristics and potential hazards is therefore critical. This is the case in warehouses that house a wide range of items, some of which can be flammable, corrosive, or perishable, requiring careful organisation. It's imperative to store flammable materials separately from combustible items like paper and stationery supplies.
Beyond storage practices, Toyota Material Handling offers an array of services to support warehouse safety and maintenance, including forklift maintenance, electronic equipment repair, hydraulic field service, and forklift paint and spray booth services.
Our additional support services encompass forklift load testing, nationwide coverage, dedicated service, readily available genuine parts, expertly trained technicians, and tailored agreements to meet your specific needs. We also provide forklift rental services for short and long-term requirements, ensuring flexibility to address downtime and seasonal demands.
Before you rush to find larger premises, explore the different options to make the most of your existing warehouse.
To optimise storage, tailor your warehouse design to order patterns, product movement frequency, and the required number and size of racks. Even rough estimates in these areas can significantly enhance space utilisation.
Combined with suitable storage solutions, Toyota Material Handling can help optimise warehouse space across different industries by integrating top quality forklifts into your operations. By maximising space and equipment use, you can boost warehouse efficiency and productivity!