The capacity of a warehouse can significantly impact the efficiency and profitability of your business. An unoptimized 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 optimize 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 optimizing 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 center 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 center may make a considerable difference in your total capacity. Improper shelf heights will underutilize 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 center can prevent floor space from being consumed by unnecessary items and set the standard for how the building should look.
Optimizing your warehouse to maximize space
Knowing how to calculate your storage capacity can help maximize 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 center. 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 underutilized 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 optimization plays a crucial role in improving company profitability, efficiency, and product capacity, which is why knowing how to optimize space is important for any business. Utilizing the provided guide will help you find and create additional space in your facility to ensure it reaches its full potential.