How To Optimize Warehouse
Space When You Can’t Expand
BY DENNY HAMMACK, PRESIDENT, PATTERSON POPE
It’s a good and a bad problem to have: your warehouse space is shrinking. It typically indicates booming sales and backlogs — and it certainly beats the alternative of
having an empty warehouse and idle employees — though
it’s not without its challenges. A booming warehouse is
easy to clutter and mismanage, and oftentimes, you aren’t
quite ready to expand outward and find new space.
Here are a few tips for making the most of the warehouse
space you have:
1. Find out what you need.
The first step to better organizing your available storage
space is to take inventory. What do you have? What do
you need? What do you anticipate will be coming soon? It
takes careful planning and a close attention to customer
trends to determine exactly what you will need in the
near future. Once you do, you can adjust orders, produc-
tion and distribution in a way that improves flow through
your warehouse space. You can begin to restructure your
storage space accordingly, improving accessibility to the
right products and increasing overall efficiency.
2. Ditch what you don’t need.
Planning for incoming merchandise is one thing, but
decreasing what you don’t need is another challenge. In
some cases, the problem will fix itself with the right planning; in other words, people need what you’ve got, and
you can begin to move excess merchandise in the right
direction without taking a hit. All you have to do is adjust
your incoming orders and wait. In other cases, it’s not so
simple. When it becomes apparent that a specific product
has no market value and likely will not move for years —
or ever — then you have to make the tough call and ditch