In 2021, over 87% of internet users in the UK made online purchases. This catalysed ecommerce business growth, raising its value from 42.5 billion in 2015, to 129 billion in 2021. The rise in online shopping, as a result of the shuttering of high streets during coronavirus lockdowns, has caused massive supply chain disruption within the UK. It is predicted that the UK could run out of warehouse space within a year, as the available warehouse space in the country has now fallen below 50 million square feet – its lowest level since 2009. In the near term, the high demand for warehouse space is likely to result in rising costs for those needing extra storage. So, how do you meet the surging demand for ecommerce supply and increase your storage capabilities as cost-effectively as possible?
We have created this blog in response to this question – outlining the best ways to provide new areas in a warehouse, to maximise the limited available space at the moment, as inexpensively as possible.
How can I create new areas in a warehouse cost-effectively?
Start by making a plan – ‘’what do you want your warehouse to achieve’’?
The first thing you should do before approaching and implementing any changes in your warehouse is create a thorough plan of action. In doing so, you can better prioritise those things that will have the biggest impact on your storage capacity for the lowest amount of money.
Sometimes it’s best to plan without limitations, as limits may restrict your creativity. It’s best to tackle the question, ‘what do you want your warehouse to achieve’ objectively, trying to think about it from an outsider perspective and ignoring current warehouse issues. In doing so, you can open the way for fresh thinking, even if your initial ideas cannot be achieved. The outcome may indicate areas for improvement that you may not have otherwise considered and gives you objectives to work towards.
Reduce overstocking ruthlessly, as a first priority. Keeping up-to-date metrics and records allow you to identify the oldest and slowest moving product lines that are worth thinning out and side-lining to non-premium areas of the building. It may even be less expensive to simply dispose of deadstock, allowing you more resources to account for new and improved stock.
Reassess racking and shelving
If you are looking to secure a quick win, then making the best use of what you already have in place is a logical first step. Eliminate wastage within your warehouse by matching your shelving to your product unit sizes as closely as possible. Additional shelving options may include reassessing your rack elevations, implementing bulk stacking, or using free space to guide your stock reorder levels or replenishment frequency.
Redesign the floor plan
It would be impossible to redesign your warehouse without a clear picture of your desired outcome. Changing aisle widths, racking, and shelving layouts encourages better material flow, which in turn, further optimises your space.
Invest in a good ‘Warehouse Management System’ (WMS)
The best use of your financial resources is to invest in technology that provides you with insight into how best to control your warehouse use. There are many software systems at your disposal, which could completely transform the operational capacity of your warehouse, so it is advised to consult a professional to select the best fit for your business.
If you have underutilised height space in your warehouse, then installing a higher racking system or warehouse mezzanine flooring can deliver instant additional storage space from nothing. Warehouse mezzanines are one of the best solutions within this list, as they are quick and easy to install, flexible for when you need to modify or expand them and can be made to fit any size without having to conduct any serious construction work on the building itself.
Creating new cost-effective warehouse areas with Just MCP:
Business owners are now having to think more creatively in order to meet the surge in demand for E-commerce and subsequent lack of warehouse storage. Just MCP are a family run company, with over 40 years’ experience and a strong reputation within the industry. We pride ourselves on providing quality craftmanship, an exceptional client relationship, and effective space solutions at a competitive price.
For further inspiration, why not check out our blog on ‘How to Maximise Warehouse Space’? If you’d like to hear how we could provide a solution for your business, if you are interested in warehouse mezzanine design, or have any further questions regarding the information presented throughout this blog, then please do not hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help.