Maximizing Your Warehouse Space
Warehousing represents a major cost to businesses, particularly those located in parts of the country with high commercial real estate prices. As businesses grow, moving to larger areas to accommodate inventory isn’t always a great option, as more space costs more money. Finding ways to get the most out of your available space with commercial shelving can help companies avoid the cost of renting more space while improving productivity.
Demand for warehouse space outperformed expectations at the end of 2013, and have remained strong into 2014. According to CoStar Group, the vacancy rate for warehouses was about 8 percent at the end of 2013. With higher demand, of course, come higher rates. Newmark Grubb Pfefferle predicts ware house rents will increase by 4 percent by the end of 2014, by 3.2 percent in 2015, and by 4.1 percent in 2016.
Moving forward, the winners are going to be the companies that can control warehousing expenses by making the best use of their existing space. Ziglift’s racks and conveyor systems can help clients utilize every square foot of space for the highest level of efficiency.
Many warehouse facilities have high roofs, and one mistake many warehouse and distribution center management frequently make is not using this available vertical space for storage.
Ziglift offers pallet racking systems that can help warehouse managers optimize their space usage. These large racks hold pallets of materials put into place by forklifts. High pallet racks provide plenty of storage space for warehouses, allowing managers to use previously unused vertical space for additional storage.
Ziglift’s pallet racking options include:
- Interlake Teardrop & New style pallet racks
- Sammons style pallet racks
- Structural pallet racks
- T-bolt style pallet racks
- Ridge-U-Rack pallet racks
Once you have higher racks and shelves installed in your office space, transfer infrequently used items to the higher shelves. This gets them out of the way and also reorganizes your warehouse to ensure that frequently used items are on easy-to-reach lower shelves, making it easy for pickers to access them and stockers to replenish them.
Differentiated Storage Containers
A one-size-fits-all approach to storage racks simply doesn’t work. Storing small items in large storage containers wastes space and makes it harder to find items. Storing items in appropriately sized containers helps warehouse managers make more efficient use of their available space and also makes finding these items easier.
Flexible shelving options can also help with right-sizing storage spaces. There’s little sense in storing six-inch high items on 18-inch high shelves. Having shelves that can be adjusted to accommodate differing product heights can help warehouse managers further optimize their space.
Conveyor systems also provide warehouse and distribution center managers with space-saving benefits. Conveyor systems that can be altered to curve around racks and different obstacles in the warehouse are perfect for moving product through a hectic warehouse. Conveyors that can be contracted are also helpful in maximizing available space in the changing environment of the modern warehouse.
A well thought-out conveyor system set-up can help warehouses more efficiently process incoming and outgoing material. Conveyor systems are time-savers, as every time a product must be manually moved represents a loss of time as manual movement is slower than automated movement. Conveyor systems also reduce the amount of human labor needed to move items, reducing personnel costs and minimizing safety risks. Ziglift sells both stationary and expandable conveyor belts that warehouse managers can use to save space and boost productivity.
Whether you’re using new commercial shelving systems, size-appropriate containers, or conveyor systems to improve your use of space in a warehouse, the key to achieving optimal space use is flexibility. Being able to quickly reorganize and move shelving and stacking equipment as circumstances change is important to making use of every square inch of your facility. Warehouse managers should be able to adjust rack and shelf height, as well as move racks as needed. A variety of storage containers to accommodate products of varying sizes will ensure that items are sorted and stored efficiently. Expandable conveyors can be scaled up or scaled down to suit needs. With flexible storage and movement materials and devices, along with great planning, warehouse managers can make the most of their existing space and avoid the cost of having to move to larger and more expensive facilities.
A well-organized warehousing operation that employs commercial racking and related space-saves will keep workers productive and organized. The easier it is for employees to find needed products or materials, the less time they’ll spend looking for them, freeing them up to accomplish more important tasks. Warehouses that are well-organized are also less prone to accidents that can damage products or cause injury to workers. In short, optimizing your warehousing space will help you make the most out of available space, and it can also translate into other substantial savings in terms of productivity and safety.