10 Ways to Save Money by Redesigning Your Existing Warehouse

, ,

Despite recent improvements in the economic climate, business expansion can still be a risky business. Many businesses have struggled in recent years by moving to larger warehouse facilities too soon, before the evidence of strong demand is there.

Experience shows that while consumer confidence is on the rise, there’s still a long way to go before the economy fully recovers – and as a result sales can drop without warning.

From a warehouse perspective, before moving to new premises with all the associated costs that involves, it may be wise to consider an overhaul of your existing warehouse infrastructure.

Many warehouses we see could gain 50% – 75% more space with a much smaller investment and by better using the resources already at their disposal.

To assist you in the process of deciding to move or stay put in your existing warehouse, we have compiled our list of 10 ways to save money by redesigning your existing warehouse.

1.Assess Your Existing Space & Systems

Before making any plans for improvement or expansion, having a clear idea of what you already have in place to work with is vital. Take measurements and compose a detailed floor plan of your warehouse space including all the entrances, exits, stairways and aisles. Understanding your footprint will help you to see its merits and pitfalls, and may highlight any areas that could benefit from a utilisation rethink.

expand upwards

2.Expand Upwards

If you’ve already maxed out your floor space, there may still be room to expand above existing racking. Look at your picking and dispatch areas, loading bays and potentially office space. Moving a few things around and utilising this area with additional storage and decking can gain you a massive amount of new space, dependant on current usage. Of course, safety is always a concern. Make sure any additional height added is adequately supported and easily accessible.

3.Store Goods Economically

Generic storage bays and racking, whilst being convenient and simple to install and relocate, could be costing you space and therefore money. Depending on the size, shape and weight of your products, specialising your storage to cater for specific products can allow for more economical storage solutions. If your stock is fairly consistent, consider purpose built storage to cut down on wasted space. If your stock lines constantly vary and adapt, then your storage solutions need to do the same.  Taking into account picking requirements and flow patterns, assessing how and where you store your products can significantly boost your efficiency.

4.Install a Mezzanine Floor

mezzanineWhilst requiring an investment of budget to initiate, mezzanine floors can substantially increase, and in some cases double, your available space. Mezzanine structures are installed as an intermediate level within one floor of the existing building, providing there is enough height to accommodate it. They provide a stable, easily adaptable solution that can add years to the life of a warehouse considered too small for current circumstances. Stairs, lifts and conveyer belts can easily be installed to link the new structure to the existing floor space. Should your requirements change, they can be adapted to suit your evolving business needs.

5.Sales Forecasting

By communicating effectively with your ‘front of house’ staff and sales team about sales patterns, rising trends and declining product lines, you can adjust your stock levels to allow more space for those products expected to perform well in the near future. Holding onto large stock levels of slower selling products limits the space available for better selling lines, and could potentially be costing you a fortune in lost sales and wasted storage. Having an in-depth understanding of sales levels and future product demand profiles is vital in ensuring that your warehouse functions at full capacity.


In order to ensure long term sustainability, make sure your new layout is configured to allow for adaptation. As product lines evolve and your customer base grows, your requirements will differ accordingly. Failure to plan ahead for these changes will create extra hassle and expenditure down the line if you have to go through another large scale reshuffle. Consider not only storage for stock, but also staff areas and facilities that may need to expand as your workforce increases

7.Comfort Factors

A happy workforce is a productive workforce. If staff feel they are appreciated, they will be more inclined to go the extra mile. Whilst making sure you are adhering to your budget, try to ensure you provide adequate temperature control, lighting and noise reduction as a basic need. Staff facilities such as canteens and toilets should be factored in to ensure pleasant and comfortable working conditions for your staff.

8.Energy and Environmental Considerations

Environmental issues are very much at the forefront of the business world, and cannot be overlooked when planning and designing your warehouse space. Carefully consider what materials you are using for any new construction, and make sure your walls and ceilings provide adequate insulation. When it comes to lighting, try new low energy lighting solutions. Large windows or skylights can help you cut down on your energy use significantly, and will also add to the comfort factors detailed in the previous point. There is also increased pressure on companies in recent years to make use of sustainable sources and environmentally friendly materials.

9.Health & Safety

This should go without saying, but when designing and implementing any changes to your warehouse layout and procedures you must ensure you comply with health and safety legislation. Failure to do so could create legal issues. If you are unsure about current laws and required procedures it would be wise to consult a professional such as Acorn Warehouse Solutions to make sure you are covered.

10.Seek Professional Advice

Conducting a large scale overhaul of your warehouse can be a complicated process, full of potential pitfalls and legal issues, so calling in experts will save you money compared to attempting to take on all the work yourself. Strongly consider using a reputable, specialist warehouse designer or consulting firm such as Acorn Warehouse Solutions to assist you in the planning and implementing of your new warehouse. They will have an in-depth understanding of all areas you need to consider and can guide you round the legalities.

As an additional note, when implementing any of the above changes be sure you are not compromising the functionality of your warehouse. Be careful not to overcrowd your space and allow adequate room for staff and vehicles such as forklifts to manoeuvre safely and without hindrance. Also bear in mind that any physical space saving is going to be limited by the efficiency level of the warehouse/inventory management systems.

Before you start any work make sure that you secure all necessary planning permission for any building works and extensions, as any delays or legal disputes could cost you a small fortune in additional fees.