Warehouse productivity measures how well you or your staff can accomplish daily tasks inside the warehouse. These tasks may include restocking shelves, processing orders, packing, counting inventory, and accepting incoming orders. They may not be the hardest tasks in the world, but they can be time-consuming. And while it may seem like an exaggeration, failure to accomplish these tasks promptly often leads to a loss in revenue.
Many eCommerce companies strive to optimize their warehouse productivity as best as possible through various methods. Although there are several ways to go about it, using a pallet racking system is arguably one of the most effective approaches, and here’s why:
How Pallet Racking Can Optimize Your eCommerce Warehouse Productivity
1. Reduces Time Waste In The Warehouse
Pallet racking is a storage system commonly seen in warehouses. Its main appeal is how you can stack racks on top of each other to create a structure similar to that of a multi-story building.
You can place items on each stack, meaning you can use not only the horizontal space of the warehouse but also its vertical space. It converts your warehouse storage of hundreds or thousands of square feet to hundreds or thousands of cubic feet. But what does this have to do with your general eCommerce warehouse optimization or warehouse productivity?
But, by utilizing the vertical space in the warehouse, you can cram more items into a single location. This, in turn, reduces the need for your staff to walk from one place to another.
Suppose a worker needs to get two items from the warehouse, one from cabinet #1 and one from cabinet #21. To get those two items, the worker would have to walk a distance of 20 cabinets. With a pallet racking system, however, the distance is much shorter since each column consists of several cabinets or, in this case, racks. So, if each column consists of five racks, it would reduce the distance of 20 cabinets to four racks. The time you can save this way may not seem much in the short term, but it can pile up to hours in a month.
Pallet racks can also reduce time waste by simply being open by default instead of cabinets, which you have to open manually. In addition, with pallet racks, you can always see their content, so you know if you’re in the right place without spending extra effort and time.
2. Reduces The Likelihood Of Warehouse Accidents
Accidents are one of the worst nightmares of eCommerce warehouse managers. Not only can these result in debilitating injuries, but such incidents may also cause other workers to grow anxious, thinking accidents are commonplace in the warehouse. Both of these scenarios will lead to a decrease in employee productivity. That’s why safety must always be a concern in a warehouse, even when focusing on productivity. Surprisingly enough, pallet racks can also help in this regard.
Pallet racks generally comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and guidelines for employee safety. Moreover, get your pallet racks from a reputable manufacturer. They should be durable enough to withstand pressure from getting hit by forklifts, let alone a worker, which usually causes warehouse injuries.
3. Increases Warehouse’s Capacity
Managers often consider numerous metrics when measuring warehouse productivity. Although productivity is, by definition, a measure of the rate of production, some certain metrics and benchmarks don’t follow that definition. One such metric is the average warehouse capacity used. As the name suggests, it’s how much of the warehouse you use for storage.
eCommerce warehouse managers are particularly strict with this metric since a low warehouse capacity utilization means you’re spending rent money and upkeep on unproductive space.
For your reference, eCommerce warehouse managers consider a low 10% capacity utilization rate. For one to truly say they’re using their warehouse effectively and productively, the rate should at least be around 30%. In other words, if your warehouse has a total of 25,000 square feet of space, you should use at least 7,500 square feet of that for storage.
Of course, it’s not easy to utilize every nook and cranny of the warehouse. You have to maintain a safe distance between items, but a pallet racking system makes it easier to do so.
Apart from how it can optimize your eCommerce warehouse productivity, there are many more benefits that come with pallet racking. It’s customizable, meaning you can design your pallet racking system according to your specific needs. You can also integrate smart technology into pallet racks, although that’s a feature most storage options offer. But, while you might be focusing on productivity at the moment, you mustn’t disregard the other benefits pallet racking can provide for your eCommerce business.