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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Maximising the storage capacity of your warehouse – the top 5 things to consider

Insights from Aaron Young

When it comes to maximising the storage capacity of your warehouse, there isn’t a one size fits all. Different factors need to be considered and weighed up in order to determine the best solution for your business and your product.
 
That’s because there’s a difference between maximising physical space and maximising capacity. A solution that provides maximum storage capacity will take full advantage of both the physical space, and your ability to operate at capacity within it.
 
Take this scenario for example. Here are five different options for storing 2,000 pallets assuming a building of 8m clear available height and pallets at 5 high*.

 

  1. Single selective pallet racking - allow approximately 1800 sqm
  2. Double deep racking - allow approximately 1200 sqm
  3. Drive in racking - allow approximately 1000 sqm
  4. Shuttle satellite racking – allow under 1000 sqm
  5. VNA racking – allow approximately 1400 sqm
Knowing which the best option is for your business comes down to experience and expert advice. And asking the right questions! Here’s some insight into the factors that will determine the right solution for you.
 
* This is designed to be a rough guide, and are approximates based on general information, rather than any specifics.
 

 1. How you operate

When I talk to clients about a racking solution for their business, at least the first hour is spent understanding their business and the way they operate.
 
By understanding your business – what you do, what you sell, your warehouse process, your buying and stock processes and your goals - we are able to design and build your storage systems correctly, increasing capacity and flow efficiency.
 
Recently, we completed a project for a leading fastening supplier where multiple factors had to be considered, including the heavy weights of their product and the wide range of SKUs they stock. The end solution is successful because we took the time upfront to understand their business.
 
 
2. Machinery and technology
 
 Racking needs machinery to operate, so the type of system you choose, whether it’s manual or high tech, will have a huge bearing on the way your storage solution is designed. 
 
Progressively, I’ve seen a shift in the market towards clients investing in high tech machinery for smarter, more space efficient, future proof warehouse operations – an approach that can save up to 50% storage capacity.
 
At Storepro, we work in with other technology and machinery suppliers to deliver a fully integrated, turnkey system. Two recent examples can be viewed here: WineWorks and Longview.
 
3.Safety
 
Safety is non-negotiable, and with increasingly tough standards in place in NZ, it’s one of the key factors influencing the storage solutions used in warehousing (and causing potential headaches for our clients).
 
Risks can be related to the client’s own business, such as the fire risks associated with their product, or be from external factors, like earthquakes or even the products stored in neighbouring buildings.
 
Our design and installation at Chemfreight is a great example of a solution where we were able to maximise storage capacity, even with demanding safety restraints. View the case study here.
 
4.Site considerations
 
Aside from location itself - drains, lights, sprinklers, floor loadings, slab construction, roller doors, exit doors, portal frames – all of these will need to be considered in the design and how the space is best utilised to maximise your storage capacity.
 
5.Budget
 
Budget had to make this list for obvious reasons. But even those on a limited budget can achieve maximum storage capacity. You just need a bit of ingenuity.
 
For example, one of our clients adopted a staged approach to the installation of their racking, where their racking was in-filled over a two year period. This approach allowed us to maximise the capacity of their warehouse as their business and storage requirements grew, and budget allowed.
 
 
We can help
 
Understanding your business, and having the experience and insight to know which solution will work for you, is what we do best. Since opening our doors in 2004, (and with over 250 years combined experience) we’ve helped thousands of clients improve the storage capacity of their warehouse and we can help you too. Just give us a call 0800 Rack Up or fill in our enquiry form