We all know that time is money, if you are wasting time you are not creating value. The same can be said for space. Manufacturers, logistics providers, and warehouse facilities know this all too well. It can be a fine line between optimizing your capacity versus over or under utilizing your space. Companies need ample space to store inventory, both purchased raw materials and processed finished goods, room for staff to safely maneuver, and the capacity to support continued growth.
So how do you optimize your warehouse capacity? There are some basic exercises and things that companies can do to make sure they are utilizing their production and storage space to the fullest potential. Doing a thorough evaluation of your warehouse utilization, evaluating the entire floor space layout, evaluating your packaging materials, and doing some housekeeping are some basic things you can try internally. Many companies are finding that they can save money by outsourcing to a contract packaging company.
Here are some of the most effective things to do to improve warehouse utilization and increase capacity.
Evaluate Your Warehouse Space Utilization
Believe it or not, you do not want your warehouse utilization to be very high. You want to break down your total warehouse space and your available storage space into cubic feet. To calculate your available storage space, measure the size of all of your pallet and storage racks to vertical storage capacity in cubic feet. Let’s say your total available space is 2,000,000 ft.³, and your available storage space is 500,000 ft.³, that gives you a storage utilization of 25%. This is actually a pretty good number as you know that there is plenty of room for adequate aisle space and room for your employees to maneuver.
Evaluate Warehouse Layout
With more efficient operations and organized storage, you open up floor space for other, profitable, operations. Consider the layout of your entire facility and make sure that all processes from receiving, to production, packing, storage and shipping follow a lean flow of materials. Ideally, products do not cross paths. Receiving docks are on one end of the building, where vendor materials are received, recorded and properly stored. When needed, they are moved efficiently to a production or packing area, depending on the process. From there, following the same flow, products are packaged or re-packaged, labeled, and shipped, without backtracking through the flow to get there.
Clear the Clutter
Clearing the clutter is a big part of lean operations going back to the Toyota Way and six Sigma practices. It’s proven that cleared pathways and organized storage significantly improve efficient operations, and as we said before…time is money. Literally everything has its place, and everyone should know exactly where to find it. This includes everything from work instructions to materials and even cleaning supplies.
Doing regular housekeeping does a lot more than improve the appearance of your facility, the efficiencies gained translate into dollars and an improved bottom line.
Evaluate Your Packaging
Evaluate all your packaging to be sure your boxes fit your products, without using larger boxes than necessary. This extra space really adds up to affect total capacity and costs added weight and dimension, and more money with packing filler material to protect your goods.
Consider a Contract Packaging Company
Many companies are saving money today by utilizing a contract packaging company. Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, provides packaging solutions to a wide range of business sizes and industries. We have been providing secondary production solutions including professional secondary packaging services for more than 80 years. PPS offers an experienced and trained staff dedicated to a job well done and providing high-quality products with quick turnaround.
PPS is a leading Midwest provider of many production solutions including kitting, assembly, wrapping and packaging. We work with our customers to provide customized, cost-efficient solutions that improve their product and process. Contact us to learn more about how to improve your warehouse capacity with the services of an experienced contract packaging company.