We’ll follow a series of steps to lessen the obvious congestion and maximize floor space. Here are some best practices that will allow for an improved distribution environment.
Reducing Aisle Width in the Racking Area
Let’s get started with some basic organizational tactics. We can reduce any unnecessary clutter by addressing the aisle space, for example, most aisles are 12’ or wider; these are known as wide aisles (WA), whereas a narrow aisle (NA) is between 8-10 feet wide. You can save about 20% of floor space by transitioning to this narrow aisle configuration. Keep in mind the space needed to operate any forklifts, pallet jackets, and rolling ladders. The 20% increase in space should allow for enough room to maneuver any of your necessary equipment. This was one relatively easy way to free up floor space and optimize your overall layout.
Thinking Vertical – Use of Vertical Space
Implement the use of pallet racks. Pallet racks can increase floor space by organizing your inventory vertically. These racks will stack upon one another for maximum space and improve overall efficiency. Carton Flow Racks are another option that’s ideal for FIFO inventory processes. Their slanted panels push down the older inventory, this way your older inventory is more accessible and now you have room for your newer inventory.
Mezzanine and VCR Installation
One of the best ways to nearly double warehouse space is to add a mezzanine.
A mezzanine is any raised platform surface or intermediate floor in a building. A VCR (vertical reciprocating conveyor) is a friend lift used to move materials from one level to another. This budget-friendly approach increases vertical space through the addition of mezzanines and VCRs. By investing in both a VCR and Mezzanine you’ll see an improvement in the overall workflow and safety of any distribution center. Click here to learn more about VRC and mezzanine space utilization.
As stated earlier, 85% of occupancy is considered out of space. Lack of floor space causes congestion, additional labor, and frustration. But there is hope. With a little ingenuity and planning, congestion can be a thing of the past.