In your warehouse, the only thing more valuable than your goods is the amount of available space you have at hand to store it all in. The more goods your warehouse can contain the greater its overall value and the greater bulwark you have against potential losses. Once locked away somewhere safe, your supplies are not going to suddenly evaporate, and even if they may eventually they can do so at a rate you’ll be able to observe and slow down, allowing you more time to either move them on or be replaced. Therefore finding strategies to ensure your warehouse has as much space as possible for incoming goods can be essential.
How can this be achieved then? Well, there are a number of things you can do to help ensure you’re never lacking for warehouse capacity. Listed below are five tips to get you started. In time, you may find strategies of your own that you find help you better.
- Plan Ahead
This is basic, but very easy to overlook when someone is getting extra excited over a sudden influx of goods. Always make sure you are planning ahead of every shipment your warehouse receives. Everything should already have a place in your warehouse when it arrives, and this should have been decided upon even before you decided to order it. Try to leave yourself as much elbow room as you can within your warehouse as you can, so that if you have an unexpected arrival of stock you can still place it somewhere short term until you can work out what to do with it.
- Remember Throughput
It’s easy to think of a warehouse only in terms of what is going in, to such as extent that you forget what is going out. As soon as your warehouse can no longer send out goods, you stop making money, so it’s important to remember throughput as much as possible. If ever you find yourself starting to run out of space, try to look into new ways to offload goods to new customers, or expanding the amount of stock sent to existing customers. Your stock will never make you much money at all so long as it remains within the warehouse.
- Order Little and Often
While it may increase your shipping costs, ordering stock in small, frequent amounts will reduce your batch stock and free up a little more space within the warehouse for other goods. This is especially worth considering if the stock in question is not in particularly high demand, in which case the space can be better used in any case. With stock that has proven to be a little more popular, this can also be viable, although you increase the risks of running out of stock. This is simply a part of warehouse life, and can be addressed by keeping in contact with your clients and customers.
- Increase Hours
As well as space, time can also be a useful thing to look into when trying to expand your warehouse space. Generally a single loading bay operating for 16 hours can work just as effectively as two operating at 8 hours each. There are roughly 168 hours a week in which you can work, and increasing the hours in which loading bays operate can double or even triple your warehouse’s productivity, and as a result its storage capacity.
- Learn to Use Your Space More Effectively
It’s tempting when looking at increases in storage space to simply reduce the width of your aisles. This isn’t always effective however, especially if you have a warehouse that isn’t particularly large to begin with, or possessed of a particularly high roof. As such try to look into your actual stock and planning better strategies for storing it. In essence, tailoring your strategies to your warehouse stock, as well as planning for its picking profile. Alas that means using math -- you need to be able to calculate product cube and velocity.
- Bonus Tip: Get in a warehouse design consultant
If you need advice on designing a warehouse or inventory management for your company, Hillman Consulting are a supply chain consultancy who can offer advice on how to meet your standards in a warehouse design to maximise your company’s performance.You can visit the Gideon Hillman consulting webiste here.