“The universe is a pretty big place. If its just us, it seems like an awful waste of space.”

Those words were apparently said by astronomer Carl Sagan. Now whatever your opinion on that sentiment, space and use of it is something of importance – whether it be the dark seemingly limitless kind above or the finite amount below. When it comes to the finite amount below, especially the sort in your warehouse, we can help!

Storage space in a business which relies heavily on it, is probably the most valuable commodity. Storage space equals money. Using it poorly equals less money and efficiency than using it well. What is the correct way to use your available space then?

Well, put simply, that depends on three things:

  1. You
  2. Your business
  3. What you are seeking to achieve

As business and their requirements and pains differ, this mean that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to this. Each company will require individual advice and guidance. On such points we could write and debate forever, but there are a few simple things which any warehouse can do to make a difference. Let’s look at one very simple item.

Optimise Your Racking

How many beam levels does your racking have?

What is the height of your pallets?

I vividly remember walking into a warehouse a few years ago at the invitation of the Warehouse Manager who was desperate for more storage space and felt that adding racking to an additional area was the only way to go. The space was there to do it which would provide him with the desired capacity and I’m sure that I could have persuaded him to part with the cash, especially as the need was clearly there.

I noticed however the existing racking: 7m high, ground +3 beam levels in it, all about 1.8m clear space at all levels – nothing unusual. Except for the fact that every pallet he had in the system was no bigger than 1.2m. I asked “is 1.2m your biggest pallet?” The reply was “yes, a lot are only 1m.” “Have you thought about just re-configuring the racking to have more beam levels and getting your extra pallets in that way?” “I didn’t think that you could do that with the racking. I thought once it was in, that was it.”

Now, just to be clear – any racking re-configuration must be properly calculated via its manufacturer or an authorised source. If racking has been installed to a very limited budget and right on the limit of what it can do, or if it has been specified to not take big loads, then it may not always be possible to change its configuration. So it goes without saying that this should never be undertaken without professional guidance.

Also, clearances etc. must be respected so there will always need to be a minimum amount of space above pallets. It does go to show what can be achieved with the correct advice resulting in proper use of space and equipment. In this case it saved a small business thousands of pounds and meant that they were ready for a peak time of the year ahead of when they thought they would be.

All that, just from using a few mm of unused space above each pallet.

There are many even bigger ways to gain by utilising the space you have available.

Someone once said that time, information and maximising the potential you have are the three most vital commodities you can have in a business. At Warehouse Storage Solutions we are more than willing to give you the time and information required so that you can maximise your potential when it comes to your available space. Remember, the space above may seem unlimited, but the space in your warehouse definitely isn’t – don’t waste it!

For a free no obligation consultation please call Warehouse Storage Solutions on 01432 819057 or email sales@warehousestoragesolutions.com

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