The capacity of a warehouse can significantly impact the efficiency and profitability of your business. An un-optimised space may result in higher storage costs, missed sales, and decreased employee productivity.
With this in mind, here at PALLITE® we’ve put together the following guide that will show how to optimise your warehouse into a space that better contributes to the long-term success of your company.
How to calculate the storage capacity of a warehouse
The first step in optimising your warehouse is to determine its current capacity. To calculate the value, you should measure the volume of the building by recording its length, width, and maximum stack height. Only the designated storing section of your building needs to be measured for the calculation. Keep in mind that the recorded stacking height will be affected by variables like lights and sprinklers, which will reduce the value.
The second part of the calculation is the cubic storage capacity of your storing space. Each row and pick bin used for storage in your warehouse will need to be measured and added together to get the value. It is important to note that the number is only theoretical, as it does not consider the space required to move or store items in the warehouse.
Your current storage capacity will be the cubic storage capacity of your storage space divided by the building’s volume. For example, if your distribution centre has a square footage of 20,000 and a maximum height of 20 feet, then the volume will be 400,000 cubic feet. Having a theoretical cubic storage capacity of 100,000 cubic feet would mean your warehouse’s storage capacity only occupies 25% of the building.
How to increase warehouse storage
You can use several methods to increase your warehouse’s storage without needing to construct additional space. The types of storage shelves and pick boxes in your distribution centre may make a considerable difference in your total capacity. Improper shelf heights will underutilise the vertical space in the building, for example, and can hinder employee productivity by reducing item accessibility.
The width of each aisle may also be changed to increase your storage capacity. Reducing the space between the rows of shelves and/or pick slots can allow for additional rows to be incorporated into the building. However, you should measure all equipment used in the warehouse before committing to a decreased aisle width to prevent the space from being too small to accommodate your lifts.
Additionally, removing clutter and debris from the warehouse can reveal additional space, which will also enhance the attractiveness of the facility to investors and keep employees safe. Maintaining a clean distribution centre can prevent floor space from being consumed by unnecessary items and set the standard for how the building should look.
Optimising your warehouse to maximise space
Knowing how to calculate your storage capacity can help maximise the available space in your warehouse. Once you have measured the building’s volume, hypothetical layouts can be inserted into the equation to determine the best dimensions for increasing storage capacity before putting in the time or resources involved with setting up a new system for the building.
Experimenting with different storage systems can reveal which options will make the most of your warehouse’s space. A business may find that their facility can accommodate traditional double-reach or drive-through metal racking after measuring their distribution centre. Alternatively, you may find your warehouse lends itself to more lightweight yet flexible storage systems that allow pickers to work more efficiently, such as PALLITE® PIX® , PIX® SLOTS or PIX® SLOTS (Angled).
There may even be underutilised sections of your warehouse that can be repurposed to increase your total capacity. Racks can be installed above dock doors or over cross aisles. However, it is important to check your building’s codes before adding the shelves to ensure the action is legal.
Warehouse optimisation plays a crucial role in improving company profitability, efficiency, and product capacity, which is why knowing how to optimise space is important for any business. Utilising the provided guide will help you find and create additional space in your facility to ensure it reaches its full potential.
How to Maximise Storage Capacity in Your Warehouse: Checklist
- Conduct a thorough assessment of your warehouse space to determine the current storage capacity and identify any potential areas for improvement.
- Invest in storage solutions such as pallet racking, shelving, and bins that maximise vertical and horizontal space utilisation.
- Reorganise your warehouse layout to minimise the distance travelled by employees and equipment during order fulfilment.
- Implement a system for tracking inventory and order data to identify any inefficiencies and optimise storage location based on demand.
- Remove unnecessary items and clutter from the warehouse to free up space and improve safety.
- Train employees on proper warehouse organisation and maintenance to ensure consistent upkeep and optimisation.
- Regularly evaluate and adjust your warehouse storage strategy based on changes in demand, product mix, and other variables.