A warehouse is a planned place used for the handling and storage of goods. The finished goods from the manufacturer or raw materials from suppliers come into the warehouse and then handle and moved according to how they are expected to move through the system. The warehouse is an important place to maintain an efficient flow of materials and goods from the source to the final point where it will be used.
Finding the right warehouse storage system is somewhat of a science, as it will require you to consider a range of variables like product size, packaging, and your turnover ratio. On top of that, choosing a storage system is often influenced by the sheer volume of SKUs you’re working with, as some methods are better suited for lower inventory levels.
What Is a Warehouse Storage System?
A warehouse storage system is exactly how it sounds. One of these complex systems will consist of a variety of different components that, when combined, create a strong and organized series of storage compartments.
Ultimately, the main goal of a warehouse storage system is to make the most of the available space, while keeping stored inventory safe and organized.
These systems are extremely functional and user-friendly, helping workers within the warehouse to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
So not only will business owners, warehouse managers, and supervisors save money and make the most of the available space, but they can rest at ease knowing that they have provided workers with a safe work environment.
5 Types of Warehouse Storage Systems
The most common warehouse systems include pallet racks, multi-tier racks, static shelving, mobile shelving, and mezzanine flooring. Below you will find a definition for each system, as well as specific use cases that work best for these techniques.
Pallet racking is usually used to store goods that come in boxes. They can handle heavy objects and are compatible with forklifts. They can also be automated. The storage system is constructed with pallets that can be metallic, plastic, or wood. They come with different maximum weight capacity, and it is very critical to stick to the weight limit. The pallets can be designed to run the entire height of the warehouse, stacking one on another. With this arrangement, they can hold a large amount of inventory in a small space. This makes this option a great way to manage space. Hence, it is the most popular among warehouse storage systems.
There are many types of pallet racking. The common ones include High Bay Racking, which has its racks connected to the walls and the roof, hence has excellent space to store inventory. To retrieve the stored good, automation is usually employed. Vertical Ranking System has metal arms to strengthen it as it is designed for stocks that are long and placed vertically in the warehouse. Gravity Flow Racking makes use of rollers that are inclined such that they can move under the influence of gravity with much effort. Cantilever Ranking is used for long objects like wood, pipes, and boards. As the name suggests, the beam is fixed at one end and free at the other.
If you want to maximize your warehouse storage without any expansion work, then multi-tier racking is the one for you. The best feature about multi-tier racking is that even when you have huge goods, with the use of racking structures that have large dimensions, it is not a problem. This means that large parcels can be stored and organized in multi-level decks inside your storage units.
However, just like the static shelving system, moving a parcel around can increase difficulty. But thankfully, they still offer excellent accessibility using aisles, ramps, and staircases. With strategic storage, your employees will improve their efficiency and speed.
Similar to static shelving, mobile shelving is a completely adjustable solution that is meant to hold your manually-picked items, but the difference here is that many of these systems are designed to hold more items in less space. With mobile shelving, shelves or cabinets are mounted on carriage and rail systems, eliminating fixed aisles and increasing productivity by making inventory more accessible, even when space is tight.
Mobile shelving designs typically include level tracks that can either be manual or mechanized. Some even come equipped with locking systems to control access to inventory.
Static shelving is designed for lightweight goods. They are immovable, and goods stored in them are usually manually sorted. They do not support forklifts. Once these shelves are placed in a particular position in the warehouse, they cannot be adjusted. Hence, it is essential to consider what you want before you install static shelving critically. In most cases, these kinds of warehouse storage shelves are usually used for goods stored for a short term and replaced. But they are space-friendly as many of these shelves can be located close to one another in a warehouse.
Because they cannot be loaded by a forklift, they can only hold inventory that can be carried by hands. Such inventories include clothes and clothing materials, agricultural products, books, and light component parts.
If you have the budget and your strategic warehouse layout allows for it, mezzanine flooring is an effective and space-saving storage option. Essentially, mezzanine flooring is a second (or third, or fourth) floor that is constructed above the main warehouse floor.
Because of the intrusive nature of the build, this is likely one of the more expensive options that a warehouse can choose, but it also has the most potential for customized features, such as lighting, lift-systems, and conveyors.
Benefits of a Warehouse Storage System
A good warehouse storage system has a direct impact on the functionality of your business. Incorporating these systems into your fulfillment operations can do wonders to improve safety, enhance organization, and maximize whatever space you’re in.
Above all, safety is most important. The health and safety of your employees, machinery, and inventory is crucial to the success of your facility. At the Material Handler, we use only top-quality and durable products. There is much equipment available, like guardrails, partitions, safety netting, and rack guards, to ensure the safety of your employees and equipment.
With the right storage system and layout, your employees can find inventory faster, and access it easier. What’s more, a well-designed storage system makes it easier and safer to maneuver heavy machinery, and transport merchandise. Your warehouse will look neat and tidy, and be easy for employees to navigate.
With equipment like two-tier mezzanines, shelving, and pallet racking, you can double or even triple the capacity of your facility. Not only does this equipment create more space by increasing storage density in your building; it creates an infrastructure for efficient work flow and organization.
Some storage systems, like mezzanines, can easily be dismantled, moved, and reconstructed. This is advantageous to the facility, because it means the system can easily be reconfigured to suit the needs of the individual business. If the system is ineffective in one area, it can be tested elsewhere before finding an ideal location.
With increased storage space, and flexibility, you can minimize costs and maximize efficiency. Your business will run smoother, and customers will be more satisfied with the product. This is especially advantageous if your business relies on the busy holiday seasons.
The FLEX Logistics Team is Here to Help!
Our team understands the importance of getting your products to the market. That is why we aim to understand your business and build lasting relationships with you and your team. Whether you are looking to add a new warehouse to your existing operations, growing and need to increase your distribution efforts, or starting a new company, FLEX has the solutions to meet your supply chain needs.
Contact us today to discuss your current and future warehousing and logistics needs. We will work together with you to understand your requirements and develop a solution that will set you up for future success.