Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Make the Most of Limited Warehouse Space

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Oct 16, 2018 10:23:11 AM

Your warehouse may have limited space, especially during the fourth quarter, but there are a few things you can do to optimize every square inch available for inventory storage. It takes careful planning and the help of telematic technology, but your warehouse or distribution center is more spacious than it looks.

It’s easy to stick with antiquated methods of inventory management by arguing, “This is how we have stored inventory for years, so why should I change it?” But what if a little reorganization and a technology upgrade could facilitate expanded storage capabilities and better service to more customers?  Would you reconsider how inventory is managed then?

Look at the big picture

Start by documenting the layout of the facility, including the forklifts and equipment. Document how inventory is tracked and managed and review the everyday operational processes. You can’t make improvements until you see the big picture. This exercise can show you where space is wasted, which helps you optimize the placement of inventory.

Different types of pallet racking systems may store your product more efficiently and save valuable space. For example, a pushback system can increase inventory density up to 75% when compared with a selective system, and it allows high-density storage of multiple SKUs codes.

Even if you keep the same racking system, there may be a better method to how inventory is placed. For example, stock inventory using logical sequencing. In other words, products should be stored to provide the easiest access to high-demand inventory. This prevents goods from being damaged or misplaced by workers searching for product behind inventory that doesn’t move with the same frequency.

Look at your telematic technology

Is your telematic technology streamlining how you store inventory? From using two-dimensional barcodes with greater data storage to implementing better tracking with real-time telematic forklift monitoring for better routing, technology can help make the most out of the space you have.

Telematic technology can change how inventory must be stored to provide access to barcodes to improve the use of space. For example, two-dimensional barcodes offer the space-saving benefit of being easily read, even if the pallet is not easily accessible.

The 2-D barcodes are recorded by a telematic imaging scanner, which can read the barcode even if it’s upside-down. Telematic imaging scanners don’t use reflected light like a traditional laser scanner, so they provide much easier, more accurate scans — even in tight storage. A telematic Optical Label Reader can be mounted on a forklift to read 2-D barcodes on pallets quickly and accurately, capturing the pallet’s position in real-time.

If limited warehouse space impacts your business, look at how inventory is stored and managed. Reorganizing storage, as well as managing inventory with the help of telematic technology, will optimize every square inch in your facility.

Topics: predictive analytics, omni-channel fulfillment, TotalTrax Fleet Management Solutions, locationing, warehouse operations, telematic fleet management, warehouse management system

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