Keeping a clean and organized warehouse can improve efficiency and reduce production costs by limiting errors and misplacement of inventory. Small items in the automotive industry are easily lost or misplaced without the proper designated bins and labels to organize them. This increases pickers’ time to complete their task and reduces productivity. If you are searching for storage solutions for all the small items in your warehouse, keep on reading.
Source: Ground Picture/shutterstock.com
1. Warehouse Management System
A warehouse management system is a vital piece for any warehouse to perform at its peak. The warehouse management system can be programmed to scan inventory using labels or SKUs and process them into the warehouse database from the moment they arrive. The system will then track them as they move through the supply chain and log when they arrive in the designated storage location, are picked for order, move to prepare for shipping and are loaded onto shipping vessels.
The digitized operation of warehouse procedures means you always know where the smallest item is at any given time. The software can work in tandem with warehouse technology tools like scanners and light-to-pick devices to boost the productivity of pickers and packers as they complete picking orders.
2. Small Bins and Storage Shelves
Storage shelves with small bins are an excellent option for small items, with two key benefits. First, each bin can be labeled to indicate each piece by using labels or SKUs that correspond with the warehouse management system. This reduces the time it takes for workers to locate each item on their list. Secondly, these shelving systems can be stacked higher with stackable totes to maximize vertical space in your warehouse, which is excellent if your ceiling is very high.
If you opt for this storage solution, it is important to consider how items on the top shelves will be accessed. You can keep a ladder or trolley nearby for workers to reach top items. Workers can also use a crane machine to lift up to higher storage locations.
For improved safety, consider digitizing the storage of your small items and utilize mobile racking units. This will reduce aisle space, and a computer will direct devices to open and close shelving and access items hands-free. While digital systems have a higher initial investment cost, it is quickly recovered in increased productivity and reduced costs related to safety and injuries of employees.
Source: Roman Vyshnikov/shutterstock.com
3. Hanging Rack
For a quickly accessible storage solution, consider the use of hanging racks on the main warehouse floor. These are the best storage solution for items utilized in high frequency. Utilize any free wall and mount a square-holed hanging board to anchor it.
A variety of storage bins and tray sizes can be hung from the hanging rack to fit a large volume of small items like nuts and bolts. Additionally, you can use a series of hanging hooks to store frequently used tools like screwdriver wrenches and hammers.
4. Storage Mezzanine
Use your vertical storage space by taking advantage of a storage mezzanine. These storage structures will split your warehouse floor space into multiple levels to support the organization of the space. The bottom level can be used for larger items, so your top floor is reserved for small items. This will help reduce accidents and injuries from maneuvering heavy items from a higher space.
Container Exchanger’s pallet containers are designed to support these high-density and bulk materials that may cause heavy sidewall pressure. Another way to create an efficient system is to use stackable trays and visible storage containers, such as industrial wire baskets. They will maximize the space while keeping inventory readily accessible for pickers to quickly locate them through the see-through covers.
5. Automated Solutions
Automated systems are the newest trend in revamping your workspace. The use of digital devices can increase efficiency and reduce the strain on your employees when performing repetitive tasks.
One possibility is to fit your warehouse with a conveyor belt system to deliver picked items to a pre-selected shipping location programmed into the WMS. Workers can use pick-to-light systems and automated order picking systems to work alongside collaborative robots to choose items from the storage side and deliver them to the conveyor belt. This system will boost warehouse operations by reducing the time spent walking from one side of the warehouse to complete the picking and packing procedures.
Storage Solutions for Small Items
Container Exchanger offers a variety of warehouse storage solutions for small items. Considering the design and layout of your warehouse is the first step in selecting the best solution for your warehouse. Opt for automated systems that support warehouse workers and boost inventory control of small items in your workspace.