Warehouses are part of the backbone of the global supply chain. They serve either as pooling stations for large quantities of merchandize or as local distribution hubs for retail stores, courier and delivery services. And for managers, warehouse space optimization is one of the biggest conundrums. Today, we will try to provide a few helpful solutions, involving the use of space saving packaging like plastic pallets and smart floor planning.
An Organized Warehouse Is an Efficient Warehouse
We live in the era of next day delivery and product returns with no question asked. For retail and distribution companies, this creates an immense pressure to improve customer service without sacrificing their bottom line. In this context, a well organized warehouse is key to accurate order picking and fast deliveries.
Using smart devices and having a clear floor plan and proper labeling, warehouse workers can prepare more orders per hour, without misplacing or forgetting any item. Getting their orders on time and without any errors keeps your clients happy.
Learn the Most Effective Tips for Warehouse Space Optimization
As logistics experts, the team at Logistic Packaging has a few actionable tips for warehouse managers to help them make the most of their available facilities.
1. Adapt the Floor Plan for Workers and Automated Machines
Automation saves time and hard labor. Self-driving machines, conveyors, pallet loading and wrapping devices are now a staple in most warehouses. To make them truly helpful, they must have clear paths and locations, away from foot traffic and other motorized vehicles.
Color coded aisles and visible floor plans displayed in strategic areas will help even newly hired employees learn the layout and avoid getting in the way of other workers or vehicles. This warehouse space optimization tip requires extensive redesign and refitting, so we always recommend to consider the floor plan during the initial planning for a new warehouse or during major remodeling works.
2. Choose Space Saving Packaging
Plastic pallets are among the most versatile packaging materials. In warehouses, they help store merchandize in an orderly manner by integrating with racking system. Using plastic pallets has several benefits:
- Maximizing the use of vertical space on racking systems
- Implementing FIFO, LIFO, or other merchandize planning systems
- Getting large orders ready for shipment within minutes, by securing the unit with a pallet lid
- Saving storage space for empty packages by choosing nestable pallets.
Plastic pallets also help distributors reduce shipping costs, as they have a standard footprint, can be stacked inside the trailer and, thus allow companies to increase the number of products per trailer.
3. Apply Inventory Optimization Solutions
Many businesses in various fields have adopted systems initially developed within the automotive industry. Concepts like Kanban and “just in time” are now successfully used in industrial manufacturing, warehousing and other production and distribution sectors.
These principles rely on:
- Real-time information of stock levels for all items
- Accurate demand planning
- Working with reliable suppliers who always deliver the right quantity on time.
Applying such principles to warehouse management and organization allows companies to have sufficient stocks to fulfill all orders, without keeping excess inventories and running the risk of writing off items that were unsold by the expiration date.
4. Clear and Accurate Labeling Saves Times and Helps Avoid Errors
A big part of a warehouse worker’s day is spent looking for various products to complete orders. This leads to confusion, delays and – ultimately – unhappy customers. It may seem like a small accessory, but a quality and durable label holder plays an important role in warehouse space optimization.
Label holders are available in various sizes, materials and affixing methods. They are adapted for various uses:
- On metallic racks
- On plastic packaging
- On walls.
The special design and high quality materials protect labels from damage from spillage, sunlight, cleaning chemicals and other issues. They can be detached and reaffixed, so that warehouse planners can repurpose them any time.
5. Maintain Order and Cleanliness at All Times
In the end, people are the key players in warehouse space optimization. Warehouse workers must have clear policies and designated areas for:
- Depositing waste
- Storing empty packages
- Order picking and material handling.
The best systems and packaging solutions need to be handled and maintained properly – and so does order and cleanliness. Thus, creating accountability and a set of best practices for employees will ensure compliance.
The team of experts at Logistic Packaging is ready to help you find smart solutions and packaging materials for warehouse space optimization. Send us an email to start discussing with a logistics specialist!