Is your warehouse suffering from horrible congestion? No, not the runny, stuffy, headache-inducing kind—the kind where your employees are constantly mouthing apologies as they bump into each other’s shoulders. Or perhaps pallets are getting stuck in the weirdest places, and there are aisles and aisles upon goods, to the point that nobody is ever 100 percent sure where that thing they need is.
Congestion is caused by a complete and utter lack of space in the warehouse. If things are becoming too claustrophobic for comfort, you’re probably racking your brain trying to figure out how to optimize space in your warehouse and cure congestion without having to splurge on a costly and time-consuming expansion. Luckily, there are numerous ways to do so. Here are just a few.
Choose the Right Equipment
The right equipment can make all the difference. Look around your warehouse and start ranking your machinery on how massive it is, how much use you get out of it, and how fast and efficient it is. The machines that are huge, never get used, and break down on the regular? Replace them.
A machine that costs you time, money, and space isn’t worth keeping. Instead, opt for machinery that’s compact, multi-functional, and efficient, such as semi-automatic stretch wrappers, which will save time, maximize space, and bring in a constant stream of money.
Containers Are Your Friend
How many containers do you have in your warehouse? There are more than enough, you say? Let’s be a little more specific—how many different sized containers do you have in your warehouse? Probably not enough.
The next way to optimize space in your warehouse is to optimize your containers. Most unpackaged goods are stored in containers until it’s time for them to be packaged and shipped away. This is, at face value, an excellent way to maximize space. Unfortunately, many warehouses choose to take a one-size-fits-all approach to containers, which wastes more space than it saves. I mean, you can definitely fit more than three teeny-tiny items in that massive container!
If you want your containers to work as intended, follow these quick and easy steps:
- Sort unpackaged items by size.
- Go and get more containers in a variety of sizes.
- Place items in a container that’s appropriate for their size.
- Store smaller containers in one area and larger containers in another.
It sounds like a big word, which is fitting considering it’s a rather large thing. A mezzanine is a low-level loft, like the kind you often see in apartments and townhomes. But instead of filling the loft with cute bedroom furniture or boxes upon boxes of Christmas ornaments, you can fill it with the equipment and inventory that doesn’t quite fit downstairs anymore.
Mezzanines can cost a fair amount and do take time to install, but they don’t cost nearly as much—or take nearly as long—as a full expansion, and they provide your warehouse with enough additional space to last for quite some time.