Although large and professionally-run warehouses are usually the preserve of Australia's major logistics firms, there are a number of ideas that smaller businesses can adopt from them in order to improve their own stock room operations. Many modestly-sized enterprises in the country rely on physical stock coming in and out of their business premises, whether they are box-shifting on a distribution-style business model or having components come in which are then fabricated into something new. Even independent retailers can learn a lot from the professional warehousing industry and here are some of the best tips to guide you.
Install Pallet Racking
With more and more deliveries being made in Australia via pallet racks, installing even a relatively small amount of pallet racking makes sense. This means that it becomes a rapid job to take a pallet delivery from your goods-in area and move it immediately into storage. Stock can hit the shelves almost immediately without the need to split deliveries down into manageable chunks at an earlier stage. Essentially, installing pallet racking means you don't clog up goods-in areas with stock processing, allowing for fewer mix-ups, delays and damaged items.
Use Stackable Wooden Crates
Storage is often at a premium in stock rooms due to there being little floor space. Stacking upwards is the key to keeping the available space to a maximum. Perishable goods and smaller items are ideally stored in labelled wooden crates. Ensure that the stackable crate you use is sufficiently strong for the job by confirming it is ISPM15 compliant. This international standard ensures the wood used is sustainably-sourced, sufficiently thick to hold items and has been processed to remove bark fully.
Install Bar Coding Equipment
Bar coding all of your stock as it enters your warehouse helps to professionalise your storage system. When stock is given a bar code, it can be stock checked easily with a simple handheld scanner. With such devices, your computerised stock system should always be up to date, thus helping to ensure customer enquiries and orders are fulfilled accurately. It also helps warehouse picking operatives to make sure they are selecting the right components, products or spare parts every time.
Consider the Benefits of a Mezzanine Floor
Many light industrial units on business parks are big enough to accommodate a mezzanine floor. The addition of one can double your available storage space overnight, but they also afford the distinct advantage that they don't require specialist equipment to store items. Unlike floor-to-ceiling shelving which might require a hoist or a forklift truck to access stock, with a mezzanine floor everything is easily reached without any special training or skills being needed.