Warehouse storage dos and don’ts

It can be difficult to assess how to use your warehouse space, let alone maximize it, or determine if you need to upgrade to a larger space or not. In some instances, companies never stop using the same picking strategy and product retrieval method just because it is what they know. Needless to say, there may be a chance that, over the years, some of those strategies have worked, but you may have to change course now. While movers and packers in Riyadh would never want to discredit tried and true methods, on the other hand, knowing when to make some changes can be difficult. To ensure you have the most efficient and functional space, read on to learn our warehouse storage dos and don’ts when maximizing your warehouse design and layout. Remember, even the smallest warehouse adjustment can make a difference in shipping times and customer service.

1. Don’t get a bigger warehouse until you have thoroughly updated your current space

While we often strive for the bigger with better, this is not always the case. It is easy to think “it is time to shop around for an upgrade” because you can’t put any more product in your space. And if you are moving to Jeddah, you may be right. However, it is worth seeing if your space is up to its most functional capability. In the worst-case scenario, you will know for certain you need to move to a larger space. On the upside, you could save hundreds, if not thousands in rent and time by realizing you can make your current space more functional.

Men going through а warehouse
Make sure you (or a professional) assesses your current warehouse design and layout before you start looking for larger spaces.

2. Warehouse storage dos and don’ts: Assess your picking strategy

This goes along with our “don’t” number 1. You should aim to incorporate a shipping technique that will best benefit your warehouse design and layout. For example, if your operation is large, with several SKUs and at least 50 orders per day, then zone picking, wave picking, or a combination may be your best bet.

3. There’s such thing as too much space

While the ideal warehouse storage dos and don’ts imply your space still has some wiggle room to make way for future business growth, several empty aisles may be a sign to re-evaluate your warehouse and possibly consider downsizing. That may be the case… or it could mean your product is not spread out properly. For example, one aisle could be cluttered while another is sparse. To best determine what exactly is your situation, consider hiring a professional who knows what to look for to see if this is a viable option for you.

Man on a forklift assessing warehouse dos and don'ts
Instead of making the move and paying more in rent, you might just need to make a few adjustments to what you have now

4. Warehouse storage dos and don’ts: Leave Your Warehouse Design and Layout Up to Chance

Even if you are not much of a warehouse storage numbers and rules kind of person, you always need to keep an eye on your warehouse studies and figures. But, you can always hire someone to do it for you. Warehouse storage don’ts you should avoid at all costs is having extremely narrow aisles that make it harder for retrieval vehicles to access product. Maybe now is the perfect time to consider installing a mezzanine office or modular implant office. Remember, if your ground floor is cluttered, posing a fire hazard.

#5. Leave some buffer space when you store product

Warehouse storage dos and don’ts: Leaving buffer space not only decreases the chances of product getting damaged but makes it easier for vehicles to retrieve it. We advise leaving four inches of buffer space, at the very minimum.

6. How do you store the product?

  • Do you store your items alphabetically? Or by category? Most picked to least picked? Maybe this is the moment you realize you don’t have a specific way of storing products. It’s often the case if you are a new startup, in transition, or have a small operation.
  • Whatever your case may be, it is best to incorporate one now. If you find yourself in this situation, consider separating products into “families” to maximize your picking. Also, push the fastest-moving items closest towards the loading dock, and leave the slowest-moving-items farthest away.
  • With this strategy, you minimize the travel time it takes employees to retrieve items and load them. Cutting down on load time consequently speeds up shipping times, meaning consumers receive their products faster. Which should mean a more satisfactory customer experience overall.

7. Warehouse storage dos and don’ts: Keep “Liftoff” space in mind

“Liftoff” space is the space retrieval vehicles need to easily and efficiently retrieve product from each slot. Generally speaking, we recommend that you leave at least 6 inches of “liftoff” space. When measuring product to determine its “liftoff space,” measure in its “retrieval form.” That means you measure the product in its packaging or container, which will increase the weight and height.

8. Warehouse storage dos and don’ts: avoid only thinking about your current business growth

Maybe your warehouse is picking 50 orders per day at this moment. How many orders will they pick in a year, five, or even ten? Most likely, your business will change over time, with more products will be coming in and out. Either way, you need a space that is fluid enough to work with all types of commercial changes. In other words, having some empty space could prove to be very beneficial to your business in the future.

Factor in future business growth to determine if you need to reconfigure your space now

Summary of our warehouse storage dos and don’ts:

  • Assess your picking strategy to make sure you have the best warehouse storage dos and don’ts for your business organization;
  • For example, larger organizations with more employees and at least 50 orders (if not more) per day do well with zone picking, wave picking, or a combination of both;
  • While you want to ensure you have some empty space for future business growth, you want to make sure you don’t have too much;
  • Downsizing could be a viable option or it may be a sign the product is not distributed across your space;
  • Remember it is always worth looking at stats and studies to see what warehouse solutions have worked for others; if you’d rather not, consider hiring professionals who would happily do that for you;
  • Have buffer and “liftoff” space to make it easier for retrieval vehicles to access the product;
  • Read up on OSHA regulations and local business codes to make sure that you comply with them. You want to promote a safe workplace for warehouse employees;
  • Consider hiring professionals to make this process more time-friendly and efficient.  

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