It is critically important to know what type of product the customer is storing, how they are storing it, and the quantity of products being stored. These may seem to be the most basic of questions, but they are crucial questions when trying to maximize your warehouse space. Deep diving into the documentation, the details are key. For example, pallet A is 1/3 taller than pallet B. With a new slotting configuration where Pallet B can be stored 4 high vs Pallet A’s 3 high. This will allow to you look at the various height configurations required for slotting the products in the correct locations to best utilize the space.
There are other key areas to consider such as quantities of specific SKUs. Can certain products be stored in higher density racking due to large quantities of the same SKU? Is it on standard pallets 40 x 48? Is the product a liquid, flammable? Does it require special handling? All these questions need to be answered before looking at options for a Design Layout.
What Racking Are You Using?
The correct rack style type can be important in trying to maximize your warehouse space. As mentioned previously, larger lot size quantities of the same SKU might require a high-density rack system. Once your FIFO requirements, budget, etc are determined, a system can be chosen since several systems have similar density. Pushback, drive-in, and pallet flow all have similar high-density storage. They all have significantly different utilization rates. In other words. drive-in may only effectively store 60% of the total number of pallet positions due to honeycombing.
How Is The Building Laid Out?
Whenever we receive an inquiry for additional racking we ask for a drawing of their existing facility. We need to know the building’s clear height, column locations, dock door locations, any door access into the warehouse, and location of any obstacles i.e. heaters, sprinkling piping, etc. Once we have all this information and the quantity and sizes of the products we start working on options for design layouts to best utilize your existing space.
Building shape, column spacing, other building characteristics are important but generally not as important as the other factors discussed previously. Yes, certain column spacing can result in lost positions, but overall is not a deal-breaker in most cases. Look at row and aisle directions in different directions, but generally in running rows; the long way usually results in more pallet positions. Other factors like dock locations, aisle width requirements in conjunction with the building columns, can affect your rack layout. We can work around all this and provide a plan for maximum storage in the space they have been provided.