In the past, we’ve covered our top tips for setting your warehouse up for success, like discussing how to maximize floor space, optimize your picking process and handling excess inventory. Today, we’re looking at another crucial element for warehouse success – your storage method.
Choosing the right storage method can make or break the efficiency and level of productivity in your warehouse. Without proper plans for product storage, you could be left with low inventory, lost products and some very confused employees.
Let’s discuss the differences between dynamic and static storage, their pros and cons and which one could be the right choice for your warehouse.
WHAT IS DYNAMIC STORAGE?
Looking for a versatile, flexible storage method that can adapt to your warehouse’s trends? Look no further than dynamic storage.
Dynamic storage puts your most popular items at the front of your warehouse, making them easily accessible for your employees during the picking process. And those storage spaces may look very different from week to week. Dynamic storage areas can be easily rearranged to optimize picking and packing efficiency depending on how your product orders ebb and flow.
Storing items dynamically can be a successful method for warehouses with quick-moving inventory. If your facility constantly receives shipments and churn out orders, dynamic storage’s flexibility will allow you to modify those storage areas as often as needed. This can be especially helpful for warehouses that experience large bursts of holiday traffic, where product popularity and order rates can change from day to day.
Grouping these popular products together and putting them at the front of your warehouse also makes it easier for your picking team to complete their orders quickly.
Of course, not every warehouse will benefit from such a fluid system. For example, if your facility’s main purpose is to keep slower-moving products stored for long periods, dynamic storage won’t do you any good. This system works best with a warehouse with little product stagnation; there should be a consistent flow of orders coming in and products going out. Without this, dynamic storage’s flexible features won’t be helpful.
Plus, with continuing adjustments to where products are stored, there will likely be a learning curve for employees – especially new ones. Training new employees on this ever-changing system may take longer than static storage systems, which we’ll jump into next.
WHAT IS STATIC STORAGE?
As you can guess by the name, static storage is just what it sounds like – static. This storage method is much more permanent and often sets aside excess inventory or products that don’t move as quickly as others.
Static storage is used differently depending on the facility. For some, static storage is where pickers go to replenish areas of dynamic storage. While there may be some movement of products, changes in inventory for static storage happen much less often.
Other warehouses may mainly be used for product storage and aren’t major hubs for delivery or order fulfillment. Static storage helps them stay organized and keep their products safe on inflexible shelves.
When storage locations aren’t being constantly rotated, it’s less likely that products will get lost. Dynamic storage areas often change too quickly to assign tracking letters or numbers. Management can confidently assign organizational labels with static systems, knowing their locations won’t be in flux.
Also, it can be hard to get a good read on inventory when products are moving so quickly with dynamic storage. With static storage, warehouse teams can easily track if they currently have too much or too little of a certain product.
(As another bonus, static storage spaces are also the perfect place for any unforeseen excess inventory. Instead of clogging up your high traffic picking spaces, static storage keeps those products out of the way.)
We’ve been using words like inflexible and permanent to describe static storage, and for some warehouses, that’s the goal. But if you’re looking for a method that can easily readjust as your business grows, static storage can’t offer that.
If it’s sincerely unlikely that your warehouse will experience an overflow of products and need a place to keep them, static storage could be a waste of space. Those areas might be better filled with dynamic areas that focus more on moving products than keeping them long-term.
WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
We’ve covered a few instances where one method might work more successfully than the other for both static and dynamic storage. But it’s important to consider all aspects of your warehouse before making an organizational change in your storage systems.
For example, ask just how much floor space your facility has to offer. How much of that needs to be dedicated to shipping or receiving? Are you allowing enough room for your picking and packing areas? What other tools and resources do you need to consider when planning space for your storage system, such as industrial manipulators?
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t need to choose just one system. Many warehouses use a blend of both dynamic and static storage depending on their specific business functions and needs.
Whichever method you choose, optimizing your storage systems will undoubtedly positively affect all areas of your warehouse, from your employees’ productivity to your material handlers’ usefulness.
By having a clear storage process, your employees will be able to use tools like industrial manipulators more efficiently. They’ll know resolutely where products are kept or need to be stored, meaning they can spend less time searching for items and more time moving them safely with their material handlers.
If you’re interested in learning how industrial manipulators can help streamline your new storage system, contact our team today to discuss your options.