Making Your Space Work For You

Over the past few years we have seen many industries grow like never before. This is great, but as business flourishes one common problem comes up again and again – space. Any thriving operation is going to run into this issue at one point or another. But before you start to think about relocating or even beginning construction on another building, there are things you can do to maximize the space you currently have and perhaps avoid a costly upgrade for at least a few years.

Examine your space

The first step is to examine your space and consider how it is currently being used. Ignore for the time being old preconceived notions of how things should be and simply look at your space as a three-dimensional object. Do your current material handling assets – things such as shelves, racking and other storage areas maximize this space? Could a new pallet racking solution or rearrangement of the way shelving is arranged give you more space? Are you utilizing vertical space appropriately? Are employee production areas in the right place and of the right size? Is there clear access to everything? Make a drawing of your desired layout and take notes of what would be needed to make it a reality.

Chart Product Flow

Next take a look at the needs of your productions and how materials flow through the space available. Usually many inefficiencies can be found in this area. The reason is simple. As the business changes, so does what items experience the most action in your warehouse. Make a chart of how this flow takes place and make a plan to rearrange things accordingly. Items with the most amount of movement are most efficiently placed near your shipping areas or perhaps nearest to the production floor depending on how they are utilized.

Make a List of Priorities

As with any large project it is important to execute the plan in a series of steps rather than all at once tackling the easiest and fastest first. It is crucial that you document both the logistical impact of what you are planning as well as the financial one. List the simple parts of your project as the most important to get done quickly and execute them one by one until you reach your goal. With that being said, you must be careful when making any changes as you do not want to experience any slow down or shut down in production. Once you are finished it is also key to make sure you have a follow up plan to keep these areas efficient and that your employees understand how your new storage plan works.

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