Warehouse space is in demand, which can make it remarkably expensive. This has only been exacerbated by Brexit and the strain caused by the boom in ecommerce. The result? Businesses competing for precious room to maximise capacity.
As a rule of thumb, it costs an average of £3.50 per week to store a pallet. It can vary depending on your overheads or whether you outsource your storage too. Sometimes it can even be as high as £5 per space and you may still need to account for handling costs on top.
So, if you’re looking to trim your overheads and improve your profitability (as well as capacity), storage is a key area to review. But where to start?
The value of your packaging vs. the storage it uses
Packaging is generally considered a low-cost commodity in the scheme of a business’ overheads. So, consider how much space it can take up. Packaging can be very space intensive in relation to its value. Especially when you’re using packing materials that are bulky, oversized or overhang their pallets.
The bigger your packaging inventory, the more space it costs you in your warehouse, impacting your bottom line.
Optimise your packing materials to cut storage costs and free up space
Due to the demand your packaging will put on your storage space, reviewing the materials themselves is a good starting point…
- Investigate if you could condense your packaging SKUs – do you need them all?
- Streamline use of protective materials – are you using too much void fill or padding anywhere in your pack line?
- Review how your packaging is palletised – does the configuration make the most of the space you have available?
- Consider alternative materials – could high performance packaging materials reduce the overall size of your packaging?
Effective management of your packaging stock can contribute to space-saving
In addition to the packaging materials themselves, effective management of your packaging inventory can help you maximise storage and lower associated costs:
- Aim for accurate forecasting – knowing how much packaging you’ll need to use can enable you to purchase supplies accurately. This means you’ll avoid overstocking your warehouse. Keeping an eye on usage and slow-moving SKUs can also help you rationalise to cut costs. Using an online packaging purchasing system like Simplicit.e can help with this as it automatically generates a suite of packaging reports.
- Use a stock holding service – if you want to release space on your site, you could use a stock holding service. Your packaging materials are stored for you and only delivered as and when you need them – so your supply isn’t compromised.
- Opt for Just-in-Time Delivery – combined with stock holding, using just-in-time production and delivery is another way to limit the space packaging takes up in your warehouse. It can help you release funds tied up in inventory and help maintain material quality as you’re packaging won’t perish as it isn’t stored for long periods of time.