Organization is one of the most important aspects of a well-oiled warehouse, fulfillment center, manufacturing plant or distribution center. It’s the thing that ensures that workers are as efficient as they can possibly be and helps to guarantee that all of your inventory is exactly where it’s supposed to be at any given time. Inventory mistakes—often caused by picking and sorting errors linked to poor organization—can seriously cost your business in the long run, negatively affecting sales, execution time, customer satisfaction and error fixes.
But one of the simplest ways you can eliminate stock errors is to reorganize your storage configuration. Warehouse metal storage bins can help keep your inventory neat, clean and well-organized. These bins are some of the most durable warehouse storage containers out there thanks to their strong, steel-sided construction, and they’re a favorite among eco-conscious businesses because they can be reused again and again and then recycled into something else. Here are some great tips for organizing your inventory with these containers.
- Opt for Collapsible Bins—One of the toughest things about organizing inventory is that it changes a lot. Even the leanest and most well-oiled warehouses often have to accommodate for overstock, new stock and other unforeseen challenges. One way to ensure that you’re always ready for what the warehouse throws your way is to choose collapsible metal storage bins. These units are still durable, stackable and long-lasting, but you can store them without taking up much space so that they’re ready when you need to put them to use.
- Divide and Conquer—Just like most kinds of warehouse containers, metal inventory bins can be customized to a certain degree. But you don’t necessarily have to order brand-new, custom units to get a high level of personalization. Instead, use bin dividers to compartmentalize containers or to contain certain goods. This provides easy access for pickers and helps maximize storage space without the need for a whole new set of storage containers.
- Pick Styles that Stack—A great benefit of steel over wood is that it’s supremely durable and stable, which makes it ideal for stacking. Stackable metal bins usually have a relatively high weight capacity, meaning you can stack fully loaded bins higher, and many feature drop gates that allow you to access inventory even when your bins are stacked. However, you should know that because steel is heavy, you should only stack your bins if your warehouse uses forklifts.
- Use Pallet Racking Systems—Speaking of forklifts, if you haven’t upgraded to a pallet racking system but are hurting for extra storage space, then it might be time for your consideration. Many metal storage containers are equipped with forklift runners so that they can easily be integrated into your vertical pallet racks. Of course, this helps you take advantage of your overhead storage space, which translates to a more organized floor. We can help you create a custom pallet rack to suit your specific bins.
- When in Doubt, Go Mesh—Metal containers are also a good choice for applications where visibility is important, such as if you need to see exactly how much inventory is left in a certain bin. You can purchase rugged steel bins with mesh sides for partial visibility or use collapsible wire containers if you’d like to see exactly what’s inside at all times. One thing to note is that these kinds of containers are typically forklift-friendly, but they shouldn’t be used for small, loose pieces or flowable materials.
- Label Like a Pro—You probably picked metal containers because they’re enduring and reusable, so don’t waste your time on labels that aren’t. Choose labels that are resistant to chemicals, abrasion, UV exposure and weather to ensure that your labels don’t fade, break or peel off. This can cause confusion and lead to disorganization. On the same token, you can use container tags to help track bins along their journey within your facility.
With all of these useful tips, you’ll be able to transform your warehouse or industrial facility into an organized environment that’s less liable for errors. Remember, you can always save big on metal storage bins when you buy them used from Container Exchanger. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re not sure which containers are best for your business.