When your warehouse runs out of space, you may believe that the only option is to simply expand the size of your warehouse. You may also consider renting an extra warehouse to store your merchandise. This is a great business expense and you may be able to store your merchandise much more cheaply depending on how you use your pallet racks.
Consider Whether You Need To Change Your Pallets Or The Product
Utilizing warehouse space is challenging when the needs of your warehouse are regularly changing. You may have a change in your product mix or you may have a sudden increase in the demand for a particular product. You will likely need more than one type of storage equipment in order to maximize your storage space. Begin by examining what is sitting on your pallets. You may have merchandise that has gone unsold for years and this would indicate that you badly need to make a change in your product mix.
You may need to change the types of pallets that you use to respond to changing consumer demand. When products are purchased in large quantities and very quickly, it is best to store merchandise on wide aisle selective pallet racks. However, when there are shrinking customer order quantities, it may be a better idea to have pallet rack configurations that are less dense and that are designed to handle pick face requirements.
Change The Aisle Width
If your warehouse has wide aisles, you can always make the aisles more narrow to store more merchandise. Wide aisles allow for a single vehicle to perform all of the loading and unloading. However, if you switch to more narrow aisles, you may need to change the type of vehicle that you use. Narrow aisles may still allow for two forklifts to pass each other, but may limit the use of larger vehicles and will not allow larger vehicles to turn around. The most narrow aisles, however, require specialized turret trucks.
Maximize Rack Elevations
Maximizing rack elevation is critical. Walk through the aisles and make a record of all existing elevations. There may be some racks that can be elevated higher than they currently are. It might be possible to adjust the horizontal beams as a way to increase the storage capacity. There is usually a 4 to 6 inch gap between the top of the pallet and underside of the beam designed to allow forklifts to store and retrieve pallet, but any more than this is a waste of space.