With all the issues you face as a business owner, storage may be low on your list of priorities. However, inefficient storage could be costing you money - not just in terms of paying for space you don't necessarily need, but also in poor productivity when items aren't easy to locate.
Anything a business can do to boost productivity pays off, and effective storage plays a part. For example, investing in tech such as warehouse inventory management systems is a sound move, but needs to be backed up by efficient storage of stock in the first place.
Good storage practices reduce clutter, too, and ensure your valuable workspace isn't acting as a graveyard for materials that could have been disposed of. Here are some easy steps you can take.
Assess regularly what should be kept
It's easy for items such as old paperwork and other materials to accumulate and take up more space than they should.
It's well worth regularly reviewing what you are holding on to, and what could be disposed of. For example, paperwork used for tax assessment need only be kept for a certain time, so as soon as the deadline has expired, consider disposing of it.
Can you cut down the amount of paper you use? Perhaps some of your paperwork could be digitized to reduce your physical storage needs.
Cheap - or even free - cloud storage for businesses is easy to find. What's more, digitally filed documents will be a lot easier to access when required, compared to digging out a physical file from a storage boxe.
Categorize and label items for storage properly
Frustrating times spent searching for stored items can be cut out completely if everything is labelled clearly and filed logically.
Areas of storage should be labelled appropriately - by year, month, quarter or other criteria, as appropriate for your business. Boxes should be clearly labelled, as should the files themselves.
A catalogue file kept in the area is a good idea to help people quickly locate what they need.
Use appropriate storage containers
These can help protect precious items, and make it easier to see what's kept where:
- Plastic boxes - these are useful for providing robust storage, and it's easy to see at a glance what's in them; stock levels can be ascertained at a glance.
- Archive boxes - these help prevent papers yellowing, fading and turning brittle.
- Cardboard boxes - these make easy to neatly store, say, a series of files, and to label the sequence (time span covered, contents and so on), rather than leaving them loose.
- Cardboard tubes - these can be labelled easily and used to store larger documents and charts without them yellowing or perishing.
Shelving and stacking
Even a few shelves in a home office can transform the space you do have; you can move stored items up off the floor or out of a crammed filing cabinet, and into what would otherwise possibly be dead space.
It's also easier to locate items stored higher up, than grovelling around at floor level searching for a folder. Ask yourself “Can we go vertical?” when in need of storage space.
In stock rooms, locate your fastest-selling items nearest the door; it reduces time spent walking back and forth to the farthest reaches of the area.
For larger stockrooms and warehouses, there are many storage solutions designed to improve space utilization.
Assess your space
Before considering hiring more space or moving to larger premises because your stored items are taking up room, be ruthless and have a clear-out first. Then you can assess how much space you've freed up.
For items you simply have to keep but don't need to access often, it may be more cost-effective to pay for offsite storage than to move your whole business to larger premises.
Copyright © 2019 Article was provided by Rachael Matthews.