Go High-or Deep-for More Space
When your warehouse or distribution centre fills up, it could be time to think about moving. Moving. The word alone brings up thoughts of hard work, planning, expense, and more problems. Before you think about moving, ask yourself these questions and consider these approaches to maximize your space.
Do you use a sit-down counterbalanced lift truck with standard pallet racking?
A reach truck lets you store significantly more product since it can operate in a smaller aisle. A similar vehicle, known as a “sliding mast” lift truck, has a slightly different design but provides the same space-saving benefits. Another benefit of reach trucks or sliding mast trucks is their ability to lift loads much higher than a counterbalanced lift truck can.
Are you using all the available clear height in your facility?
Many municipalities allow storage within two feet of the ceiling sprinkler system. So “going high” can be another way to store more product, but may require a different type of lift truck and/or racking.
What is your typical inventory product mix?
If you have multiple pallets of the same product, think about storing products more than one-deep. If you have 10 pallets of the same product, storing them 2-deep will provide a significant gain over single depth. (Almost double in fact.) If you have even more products, consider systems for 3, 4, 5, and even greater depths of storage.
Important note: When changing storage density, make sure you thoroughly review your inventory flow and think about how it could change over time. The wrong application of “deep” storage systems can be very costly in the long run. A prime example is the drive-in racks that were popular in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. They are horribly unproductive and falsely dense, in most conditions.
If these three “low-hanging fruit” ideas aren’t right for your situation, there are many more solutions and products available to increase your storage space and efficiency, whether you’re staying in your current site or moving to new location.