Warehouse managers wear a lot of hats (sometimes literally), and make more decisions in one hour than other managers make in a week. When you're everyone's go-to person, it's hard to knock things off your to-do list. For example, you know there are ways your operation could be saving time and money, but haven't found time to look into it.
While you're busy doing the things only you can do, let us uncover ways for your operation to save time and money. Here are some of the most popular solutions we offer (there's one we like to call the stealth bomber):
The 5 Most Popular Warehouse Optimization StrategiesHere’s a common scenario: a distribution center manager says they're running out of room in their facility. The building has 25-foot ceilings, but their product is only stacked 12 feet high. That means 50% of the money they pay in rent is for empty air!
A taller pallet racking system is all the customer needs, and the solution pays for itself in a matter of months. This may seem like an obvious fix, but it’s a perfect, real-life example of how companies overlook simple cost-saving opportunities.
Real talk: experienced distribution center and warehouse managers typically know the biggest efficiency issues at their facility. They just need executive buy-in. We can help with that too. Schedule a free consultation and we’ll provide stats, ROI estimates and whatever else you need to help decision-makers see the value of your solution.
In California, there are five common ways to improve the profitability of your existing space:
#1 Convert to Narrow Aisles
Squeeze more storage space out of your existing facility by converting to narrow aisles or very narrow aisles.
- Standard aisles are generally 11-12 feet wide.
- Narrow aisles are typically 8.5-10.5 feet wide.
- Very narrow aisles are only 5-7 feet wide.
Many clients are surprised how much room they can reclaim in their existing warehouse. In some cases, operations can keep using their existing forklift fleet. Here’s how to calculate the minimum aisles widths your forklift(s) require.
#2 Switch Your Pallet Rack
Most distribution centers and warehouses use selective pallet rack. It’s economical, but not the most efficient. Switching to double-deep or drive-in/drive-thru pallet rack can improve space utilization by 40-75 percent.
Using a combination of different pallet racking systems is the best way to maximize cube space. Don’t worry, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. We have engineers and efficiency experts who can analyze your application and recommend solutions.
#3 Change Your Sorting or Picking Strategy
Maybe you have enough space and the problem you need to solve is how to improve throughput without increasing labor costs. A simple way to accomplish this goal is to relocate slow-moving SKUs to remote areas and/or changing from a discrete picking strategy to batch, wave, etc. By reducing the distance your staff travel to complete their tasks, you can improve productivity and lower labor costs.
If you’ve already optimized your SKU slotting and picking paths, the next option may be to level-up to voice, RF, or robotic picking. Our team includes the experts at SRSI - they’ve designed and implemented high-tech picking solutions for dozens of companies - including industry-leading Fortune 500 companies.
#4 Stop Paying for Empty Air
Earlier in the article, we described how many facilities fail to maximize their vertical space. This is California; we get it. Seismic concerns and permits hinder expansion, but we’re here to help. Our local team can help you choose the right storage system and assist you through the permit process.
There are two ways to level-up your warehouse rack. If you carry a lot of seasonal items and overstock, taller racks and forklifts with 2 or 3-stage masts may be the best choice. For high-throughput operations, a high-density automated storage system is the smart money option.
#5 AS/RS Storage Systems
An automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) gives you a massive competitive advantage. Our vendor, SRSI, makes an AS/RS system that’s the equivalent of a stealth bomber. SRSI's RAFT (right angle fast transfer) technology uses cutting-edge pallet shuttles and software that will make your operation faster, more efficient, and more maneuverable than the competition.
A RAFT automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) allows you to:
- Increase throughput 30-50%
- Reduce labor costs by 40%
- Improve order accuracy up to 99%
SRSI’s RAFT AS/RS system is scalable, so you can transition gradually and enjoy greater flexibility in uncertain economic conditions. Learn more about the benefits of an AS/RS storage system.
Free Warehouse Optimization Consultations in the Bay Area and Central ValleyWhether you’re interested in any of the solutions described above, or looking for something totally different, please let us know. We want to help you exceed your profitability and safety goals.
We’ll provide at least three solutions to whatever problem you’re trying to solve, a cost breakdown, ROI estimate and any other information you need to gain executive buy-in. We can also offer special financing so your company can get the upgrades it needs to stay competitive.
The first step is a no-pressure on-site consultation. Learn more about your options. Contact us online or by phone.
Bay Area (510) 379-5210
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091