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Warehousing and Storage

Using Your Warehouse Space Wisely

Key components with materials handling are warehousing and storage – the size of a warehouse, how much storage is available, and keeping track of inventory – all add to the bottom line. Problems can arise – being under- or over-stocked, not meeting consumer demands, and having too many items on the books during stock take time are just a few.

Causes can also be for various reasons – suppliers sending too much product, deleted items clogging up valuable shelf space, over ordering by overzealous product managers, or something as simple as an outdated materials handling system.

Getting the most out of your warehouse space is not hard. All it takes is a little foresight and organisation. Some ideas to take into consideration include:

• Make sure stock is organised efficiently. What are the high-turnover products? What items are important, but don’t sell as often? Is the item awkward to move, therefore should it be on a top shelf, middle or bottom?
• What sort of picking process do you use? Is it the most efficient? Barcodes are a good way to make sure all items are in the right place. Disorganised shelves are inefficient, costly and can lead to disgruntled warehouse staff.
• Maybe sequence order picking is the best way. This is where each item is streamlined so warehouse staff can pick products due to their proximity to each other instead of travelling all over the storage facility.
• Are the aisles wide enough for forklifts and trolleys to manoeuvre safely without banging into shelving?
• Is it possible to increase your warehouse capacity without compromising on ease-of-use for pickers?
Using your warehouse space efficiently will save you time, money, as well as keep staff happy.
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