No matter how much square footage you have at your disposal, somehow warehouse storage inevitably seems to get used up.
Running out of space could be seen as a good problem to have, if you’re a 3PL with lots of clients or a retailer experiencing high demand for its products. In these cases, with a positive financial outlook, you might think about moving to bigger premises or renting additional space under an on-demand warehousing contract with another operator.
But a lack of warehouse storage space can also be a false perception created by inadequate storage or operational inefficiencies. If this is the case, it wouldn’t be financially viable or advisable to seek to increase square footage – the best course of action would be to do more with what you already have.
But how can you increase your warehouse storage without taking up more space?
Misconceptions about warehouse storage
In warehousing, we’re always being told lately that space is at a premium – i.e. scarce and in demand. New warehouses are being built all the time and snapped up by eager occupiers almost as soon as they are built. Demand for warehouse storage has been high and is so far weathering the storm of recession.
News stories about growing demand and businesses taking on new warehouse space may make it seem as though obtaining more space is a universal goal to strive for – but not every warehouse needs to .
Before increasing your square footage, you need to maximise the space you already have.
Warehouse storage optimisation
Because warehouse storage is not just about square footage; it’s also about capacity. You can have a huge storage unit, or many hundreds of smaller units, but size and quantity alone won’t allow you to store more items – which is the bottom line of what everyone really means when they talk about increasing their warehouse storage.
- You need more storage to house increased product volumes during peak.
- You need more storage for additional SKUs created as your (or your clients’) product offering expands.
- If you’re a 3PL, you need more storag to allow you to take on new clients.
Increasing warehouse storage capacity
So, if increasing your warehouse storage is about increasing the capacity of your warehouse storage, how do you go about doing that?
In warehouse pick and pack operations, we refer to pick density, which is the number of different SKUs that may be housed (in reasonable quantities to allow for efficient picking) per square metre of allocated floor space. Broadly-speaking, the best warehouse storage solutions offer high pick density.
However, it must be said that it depends on the size and shape of the products you need to stock, as well as the speed at which those different products pass through your warehouse. Learn more about how to choose the best storage system for your warehouse.
Find out more: Read our blog on how to plan your warehouse pick and pack space.
Discover how to create flexible warehouse space in this guide.
For most small-to-medium-sized, fast-moving goods, the ideal warehouse storage solution is a pick face. Designed to consolidate multiple pick locations into a single warehouse shelving unit, a pick face enables a higher density of SKUs to be housed per square metre of floor space, freeing up under-used floor space to house more products.
What’s more, pick faces are necessarily limited in height to enable fast, accurate picking. This means that the space above them in a warehouse can be used to hold overstock and slower moving SKUs, using the full height of the warehouse to advantage.
By organising your warehouse in this way, you make the best use of space for maximum efficiency, which will help your teams pick faster.
What is a pick face?
A pick face is a warehouse storage solution designed to house multiple different products in a relatively small amount of space. It may take the form of a shelving unit with different compartments for different products, plastic ‘pick bins’ hung on a racking system, or some other way of clearly differentiating and identifying SKUs to enable ease of picking and reduce the likelihood of errors being made.
Warehouse storage: Why PALLITE® PIX®
At PALLITE® Group, we have developed a range of innovative pick faces that offer optimised warehouse storage tailored to perfectly house the stock in storage. Whether businesses choose our standard PIX® units, lightweight PIX® SLOTS storage bins or heavier duty range, they receive all the benefits of an optimised pick face, with the added bonus of helping to save the planet too.
Made from our signature honeycomb paper cardboard, PIX® warehouse storage solutions slot together in minutes without the need for any tools or fixings, meaning they can be ready to use in no time at all, and quickly packed flat again when no longer required.
Despite this convenience, they remain super strong, with each PIX® unit capable of holding up to 500kg in total across up to 400 pick locations.
Compartment dividers can be moved as needed to accommodate different sized and shaped SKUs for better product security and to make picking easier. Meanwhile, the shelves also come with flat edges to allow for labels and barcodes to be affixed for quick, easy product identification and to reduce the risk of pick errors.
Made from recycled paper, PALLITE® PIX® storage bins are a suitable sustainable solution for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact, and are 100% recyclable at kerbside at the end of their useful working life.
Using a sustainable raw material that is available in abundance also means we can manufacture PIX® units to much shorter lead times from order to delivery than businesses could expect for wooden or metal racking equivalents – and consistently so.
Interested? Find out more about why PALLITE® PIX® is the perfect warehouse storage solution.