By: Systems Design Specialist Brian Koski
Warehouse Storage Planning
Analyzing your storage options can be intimidating if you’re a first-timer. When planning your warehouse space, there are so many variables that need to be analyzed beyond just the building location and cost-per-square-foot. How do you determine the amount of space you need? What type of pallet rack system would be best, and which type of forklift? How do you know if you’re maximizing your dollar for the space you’re about to lease? If you’re like most people, you want to make the best possible investment for your business. This is where data-driven warehouse planning comes in.
For many, simply looking at warehouse plans and pallet rack layouts doesn’t provide the kind of confidence needed to make a final decision. They may understand pallet positions, forklifts, and rack systems, but not the cost benefits of a given pallet racking system.
A lot of factors can be involved in making a decision. So many, in fact, that it can get overwhelming. We’ve found that we can help our clients make decisions about variables like forklifts, pallet rack systems, and real estate by quantifying the results in terms of dollars and cents.
Data-Driven Warehouse Space Planning
By working together with our clients to gather information such as warehouse lease rates, current pallet counts, future growth projections, moving costs, lot size, and SKU’s, we can create a customized spreadsheet. This spreadsheet clearly displays current costs, future costs, and ROI for warehousing equipment like forklifts and pallet rack systems. This kind of information can also be used to figure out which type of pallet rack system will produce the best result for the client.
For example, a layout with push-back pallet rack might show a high initial investment but reveal a lower overall cost three years down the road. Every company has different circumstances on which to base their decisions. Therefore, we feel there’s no good “cookie cutter” approach to helping make these decisions. Gathering information and applying it in the proper way will make the decision making process clearer and more reliable.
The following table is a basic example of how we help clients estimate the right amount of warehouse storage space they’ll need. This table is just an example, and different numbers can be plugged in based on information about your own company’s operations. Using this information, we assess and analyze the different warehouse storage options available. For example, if you need to store 7,800 pallets, we can chart out the available options and determine some warehouse sizes based on the type of pallet rack, pallet height, forklift style, and aisle widths. The example shown here is for selective (single deep) pallet rack. Push-back, drive-in, and pallet flow rack all have their own data.
Please note that not all of these options are practical. They are shown for comparison purposes. If you’re looking for help with warehouse space planning, give us a call or send in a form and we’ll handle the rest.