Ecommerce grew by an astounding 44% during the pandemic. In the US alone, consumers spent a mind-boggling $861 billion online.
What does this mean for you and your warehouse storage space? It’s time to clear some space and rethink your warehouse designs because you’re sure to move plenty of products in the near future.
What are the best warehouse designs to increase efficiency and profitability? Keep reading for our best warehouse owner tips.
1. Identify Your Current Problems
If all you do is dust off a few shelves with no clear objective, you won’t get very far. Before you focus on forwarding movement, pause to reflect on what isn’t working.
- How far do your workers have to walk between the most commonly used areas and equipment?
- Are your most popular products the easiest ones to reach, or are they tucked away in the back?
- Are there certain areas where people or equipment always get bottlenecked?
If you don’t have an immediate answer to these questions, schedule a meeting and ask for input. What’s working on the warehouse floor, and what isn’t? Where and how do they feel they could save time and perform their job better?
You can also use your warehouse management system (WMS) to track the flow of products through your facility.
2. Consider All Major Components
If you don’t already have one, create a detailed map or schematic of your warehouse. Label all major components including the:
- Loading and unloading zones
- Storage areas
- Reception area
- Picking area
- Dispatch area
- Installed equipment
- Break rooms
- Dining areas
Don’t overlook important features such as dock doors, columns or supports, and any height restrictions. You’ll also want to include details such as where your cardboard pallets are stacked and which direction the office doors open.
Use different colors to illustrate the workflow throughout the facility. Where do you need more space for forklifts? Where can you get by with less space for handpicked items?
3. Plan for Future Growth
Whether you’re starting with totally empty storage space or an overcrowded and inefficient warehouse, it’s vital to put your ideas on paper. No matter what type of inventory you move, your end goal is the same.
You want to find the most efficient way to store, package, and ship your goods.
It might seem daunting at first, but you can achieve this perfect flow with the right equipment, the right storage mediums, and the right space. Make it a goal to regularly review your warehouse storage layout. Frequent small adjustments to your racks, shelves, and other equipment can greatly improve efficiency.
The better your initial warehouse designs, the better poised you are for future growth. Set aside time to forecast future growth and draw a few plans for how to expand your storage facility in the future.
Warehouse Designs for 2021 (And Beyond)
The pandemic has forever changed the world of eCommerce, shipping, and storage. The best warehouse designs are not only functional today, but they’re also ready to grow and evolve with your company.
Now that you know these expert warehouse storage tips, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more great advice!