Space: The Final Frontier

Apr 9, 2018

Time and space are the two most prohibitive things that most business owners would love to have more of.

Office Interior designed and installed by Allen Commercial Interiors

Time and space are the two most prohibitive things that most business owners would love to have more of. Unfortunately, we can’t add a 25th hour to your day, but we can certainly help you generate some more space to work in and optimise what your enterprise has already got!

When it comes to warehousing and storage, almost every successful business reaches a point where there’s just not enough free space left to store everything. This is good news, as it means you’ve grown so much that you’ve got to re-think your storage solution. Ideally, you’d up sticks to a shiny new warehouse ten times the size of your existing one for a similar monthly cost, but that’s not life Jim, at least not as we know it… However, there are a few things you can do to avoid needing to leave your current place just yet.

Warehouse space can quickly be used up by poor stock management.

Maximise your Cubic Space
This simply means taking advantage of all the cubic feet you’re already paying for. Are the aisles between racks all equal in width, and no wider than they need to be? Are the racks themselves making use of the available ceiling space in a safe and effective way? A common place for space to be wasted, or at least unoptimised, is the Goods In/Goods Out area. Too often these spaces become a “temporary” home for deliveries that haven’t had space allocated yet, old stock, or even refuse waiting to be collected.

Install a Mezzanine Floor
As mentioned above, ceiling space can be difficult to use to it’s fullest if you have a very high roof. The most cost-efficient way to use this space is to have a mezzanine floor installed, which can effectively almost double your floorspace. You can’t just beam up to the mezzanine though, so an adequate stairway will of course have to be factored in too.

Revisit your Individual Storage Locations
In many warehouses up and down the UK, you will find a phenomenon called “honeycombing”. No, bees haven’t made a nest and started producing the golden stuff; it just means space isn’t being exhausted in an orderly fashion and therefore ends up wasted. Usually it occurs when a particularly popular product gets picked way more often than those around it. Some warehouses combat this (and reduce the risk of bulk theft of an item) by completely randomising the location for every product, however that may not be practical for all businesses.

Digitise your Picking & Storage Procedure
You’d be amazed at how many UK businesses still rely on completely manual processes for picking & packing and the processing of goods in. Invest in some decent hand-held scanners, a device bank for charging & housing them, and the software to manage your inventory, and you’ll save time, money *and* space in the long run, not to mention the phone calls to customers to inform them you’re out of stock of something that had been miscounted…!

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