Growth and expansion are, obviously, the target of any company which is run by passionate and dedicated owners and managers who are focused on the core values of the business.
When looking to expand the warehouse element, the following guide will certainly help.
In this simple guide, the simplest of expansion tips is to build upwards and utilize the space above the units instead of assuming you need to extend the width. Lightweight items and perhaps those boxes full of not products to distribute, but materials you are required to keep alongside your products, on the top shelves will leave much more room below for heavier items.
From carton flow racks and pallet racks to constructed mezzanines, vertical expansion is the way forwards (and upward).
Rent Extra Equipment
Even though you will have planned your warehouse expansion to the last letter, it is still impossible to guarantee that the growth of your business will pay off immediately.
It is, therefore, much more sensible, once you have physically extended your warehouse space, to contact a reputable and renowned material handling rental company, such as those at https://jjconnellco.com/kansas-city/, to organize the rental of everything from forklifts to pallet jacks.
Minimize the Width Between Aisles
There has to be a certain amount of space in-between each of the aisles to ensure health and safety regulations are entirely adhered to and quick picking is easily facilitated.
The trick is to make sure you have exactly the right amount of space between aisles, as too much or too little will reduce your overall efficiency and productivity levels and striking this balance may also provide you with room enough for an additional row. When adapting the width of the aisles, it would be pertinent to point out that you must ensure you are still adhering to all health and safety rules and regulations when the new changes are complete.
Update the Planogram Blueprint
The current planogram, which is the working floor plan for your warehouse, indicates where certain racks, pallets, and SKUs are positioned and will have been devised, developed, and completed before the warehouse became operational.
It is more than likely that your own warehouse’s planogram has never been updated thus far and so turning your attention to this could be the most effective way to expand the space. There may even be certain areas on the planogram which are highlighted to include a specific good which you no longer store and distribute.
Outsource your Fulfillment
Instead of expanding your existing warehouse, sometimes the best move is to outsource your warehousing to a third party logistics (3PL) company. These companies will handle all warehouse operations for your inventory, including receiving, storage, and shipping. A top 3PL company will provide you a login portal to their warehouse management system so you have full visibility to what’s happening with your goods and orders at their warehouse. Testing a 3PL is often a good idea before moving your entire business to them, but it may allow you to reduce your warehouse footprint and employee headcount, or eliminate the need for running your own warehouse operations all together.
Think Outside the Box
Finally, the last suggestion on the list for tips on expanding your warehouse is to look into the concept of Chaotic Storage.
Larger companies, such as Amazon, for example, choose to operate a chaotic storage system over a conventional warehouse set-up, which enables them to sustain their impressive fulfillment rate of orders without having to expand their warehouse even further.
Chaotic storage centers around keeping groups of similar goods in nearby available locations to the central warehouse, which greatly improves the picking system, especially with the most popular products.