More on Warehouse Space
Optimization - Part I
Warehouse Optimization and Warehouse Space
- Part II
So, we have gotten rid of returns and excess product - now
we need to get to the meat of this discussion - how to store better and more of the
product you need to keep in your existing facility. To store more product in a given space
you must make better use of the total available cube. The following are places where cube
can usually be found.
- OVERHEAD SPACE.
Above shipping, receiving, office and other lower height
storage areas, using drive-in rack or pallet flow rack can easily pick up 25% more storage
Another use of overhead space is to utilize the storage
rack over the pick slots to store the extra inventory of the product being picked below.
When replenishment is required, all that is necessary is to drop the product from above.
An additional benefit is the elimination of additional conveyor and mezzanine expense.
- REDUCE AISLE SIZES.
Use narrow aisle fork trucks. Sometimes aisles are kept at
a uniformly large distance because it seems to be required by the building's column
spacing and fork truck requirements.
- DEEP PALLET STORAGE
By storing stacked or racked products 2,3,4 or more
pallets deep, you will increase the percentage of space used for storage and eliminate
several access aisles. Normally, you have one half aisle for each facing of pallet rack.
If the product does not stack well, consider using portable/removable stacking frames for
at least the lower levels. It also works well to store stable product on the lower 2
levels with the more fragile products on top. I have visited one operation with large
numbers of pallets of relatively few items, where product was stored 4 pallets high and 11
pallets deep - one slot held a FULL TRUCKLOAD of their high moving items.
- ELIMINATE EMPTY SPACE ABOVE PRODUCT IN INDIVIDUAL
If your average pick slot is 1/3 full (stand at the end of
the aisle and scan the slots on each side), increasing it to 1/2 full could generate 1/3
more cube. Using a range of pallet and pick slot sizes will allow correct sizing for each
individual item based on its carton size and movement.
- STACK PALLETS ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.
Each rack bar requires a clearance above the floor or
lower level product. By having fewer bars, you also reduce the cube lost to the space
needed by the bars themselves. Each extra bar can mean up to 15 cubic feet lost. If you
had 300 bays of pallet rack, eliminating one level of bars could free the equivalent of
9000 cubic feet for pure product storage.
- STORE HIGH CUBE/HIGH MOVEMENT PRODUCT IN ONE
RESERVED AREA OF THE WAREHOUSE.
Just fill these reserved areas with as many pallets as you
can hold. This works best for holding product that does not have to be rotated by lot
number or date. This can also be used for storing out-of-season items.
- A FINAL OPTION - DOUBLE DEEP PALLET RACK.
A more costly solution (but still economical compared to a
move to a larger facility), this option requires the purchase of special pallet rack and
at least one double reach fork truck, as well as wider aisles to accommodate the fork
truck reach assembly. This allows pallets to be placed 2 deep and several levels high.
This has an additional advantage for replenishment - once the front pallet is depleted,
the uncovered rear pallet can be immediately available. For this option to be feasible, of
course, your WMS needs to be set up to support double deep slot numbering.
More on Warehouse Space
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Some Recent Testimonials
(Contact us to speak
directly to a writer.)
you are very welcome for the references. You may not know
this but we RAVE about the suggestions you made to us for
our "Distribution Center", and how right your
suggestions were…" Dan G.,
Pres., Pipersville, PA.
forward to having you involved for our DC implementation plan
and in future endeavors as well. Your input was extremely
valuable to us".
Brent T., President Jacksonville, FL
is incredibly difficult - I would never have been able
to do this without all your great help"! Dave W.,
Owner, Chicago, IL.
I wanted to say that all your suggestions work great! Thanks so much.
Secondly, in the later part of May, we will be moving out of our current
facility into a new one. I was wondering if I gave you the layout could
you draw up a design. You told me if there were ever changes, just ask for
a new layout, so here I am. Thanks a lot!" Bob V., Owner, New Kensington, PA
know it has been a while, but we finally signed on a new
building, and are looking at a mid July move. We have three
dock highs, and two roll ups. Please do your magic and lay out
the floor space. Thanks." Rami R.,
Owner, Chatsworth, CA
renovation is going great. The large shelving is all moved and
the small shelving is about 75% in its new location. A company
is coming in Tuesday to build the new shelving...then we can
start to relocate all the product. Thanks for all the help."
Jeff L., Operations Manager, Victoria, BC, Canada.
received the final report, thanks for the summary of findings
and the recommendations. What was most valuable for us was
the process of getting to the goal and the discussions around
it… Thanks again for your help…Joachim
S., Systems Manager, New York, NY
proud to say that our first day of production in our new
location was March 6. Thank you for your work on our
behalf. Looks like we got off to a fine start in the warehouse
and picking areas. It's always a pleasure hearing from you."
Charlie T., Project Manager, Amityville, NY