In the first part of this blog, we examined the reasons behind the increasing demand for warehouse space and explored the question: If building a new warehouse is not an option, what alternatives do we have? Part 2 will explore the practical considerations of creating new warehouse areas.

The Ins and Outs of Warehouse Development.

When starting a warehouse redevelopment project, it’s crucial to understand the space thoroughly. Careful planning is essential to maximise efficiency, whether renovating an existing site or aligning a new space with your business operations.

Knowing its size and layout is crucial for those working on an existing space. Detailed information about dimensions, design, and entry/exit points is important for new space projects. With this knowledge, you can strategically use the available space to its fullest potential.

Considerations include ensuring smooth ingress and egress of goods through loading bays in the redesigned warehouse layout. Efficient traffic flow within the facility is crucial to seamless operations.

Assessing Goods Flow.

Many businesses have found that conducting time, space, and motion studies within an existing warehouse can provide valuable insights for development strategies. CAD technology offers access to a physical or virtual ‘blank canvas’, which is advantageous for determining the optimal layout for a new warehouse or reconfiguring existing structures. When strategising the movement of goods in and out of your facility and enhancing warehouse capacity and capabilities, it’s essential to consider the opportunity to adjust the levels of racking floor space.

Expanding Warehouse Capacity with Mezzanine Floors.

Integrating a mezzanine floor offers a vertical expansion solution for warehouses, effectively utilising underutilised upper building space while maintaining safety standards. Mezzanine levels serve various purposes, including providing additional storage space, accommodating specialised item storage or automated systems, and facilitating the creation of new office areas. Mezzanine flooring is a favoured, efficient, and cost-effective method of enhancing usable warehouse space, instrumental in optimising functionality for new or existing operations.

Streamlining Warehouse Space with Agile Zoning and Partitioning.

When expanding or reorganising your warehouse, it’s important to establish differentiation and goods location layouts and integrate internal structures effectively to zone your warehouse. Modern resin flooring solutions provide durable surfaces ideal for warehouse demarcation, meeting health and safety regulations and facilitating precise positioning of storage systems, machinery, forklift routes, and pedestrian walkways. Consider a blend of permanent and semi-permanent walls and movable partitions for flexible areas that can adapt swiftly to changing requirements. Mesh partitioning offers safe and secure zones while maintaining visibility throughout the warehouse. Additionally, steel partitioning is cost-effective and efficient for creating offices, staff areas, or welfare facilities within a warehouse development project.

Optimising Warehouse Storage Systems Configuration.

After finalising your warehouse layout, the next step is to obtain the necessary equipment for a logical and efficient warehouse setup. While compliance and health and safety considerations are paramount and will be addressed later, several factors influence the purchase of warehouse equipment:

  1. Quantity and Size Range of Goods: Consider the quantity and size range of loose items, pallets, and boxes stored in the warehouse. Assess if wide aisles and heavy-duty racks are needed for large items. Determine if there are suitable locations for narrow aisle racking systems to store smaller items without using excessive space.
  2. Floor Space Management: Develop a plan for installing racking and storage systems or reconfiguring existing equipment to ensure adequate floor space for off-road vehicles, autonomous technology, and personnel movement.
  3. Optimising Warehouse Space Utilisation: Locate spaces for multi-layered drive-in and drive-through racking systems that can be easily accessed using forklift trucks, optimising warehouse space utilisation.
    By considering these factors, you can tailor your warehouse storage systems to meet the specific needs of your operations, maximising efficiency and productivity.

Modern Flexible and Modular Warehouse Racking Solutions.

The agile nature of modern warehouse operations demands flexible physical storage systems. Fortunately, various modular racking solutions can be swiftly moved and repositioned to meet changing needs.

These options include push-back racking, which uses wheeled carriers to move along guide channels, enabling efficient storage and retrieval. Another option is Shuttle Racking, where self-powered shuttles facilitate the movement of pallets within the racking system. Additionally, Flow Racking incorporates inclined gravity rollers to facilitate the seamless movement of goods within the warehouse.

In conclusion, exploring innovative solutions for optimising existing spaces is essential with the increasing demand for warehouse space. By carefully planning and considering factors such as layout, traffic flow, and goods movement, businesses can effectively maximise the efficiency of their warehouses. Integrating mezzanine floors, agile zoning, partitioning techniques, and modern, flexible storage systems offer viable alternatives to traditional warehouse expansion. Embracing these strategies enables businesses to adapt to evolving needs, enhance productivity, and ensure the seamless operation of their warehouse facilities in a constantly changing logistics and supply chain management landscape. Moving forward, it is crucial to remain agile and responsive to the dynamic demands of the industry, leveraging technology and innovative solutions to stay ahead in the competitive market.

We hope this has given you some food for thought. If you’d like to speak with us, get in touch.

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