Storing your inventory improperly can lead to some serious mistakes. You could lose track of your items. Your items could get damaged. Your workers could get injured trying to retrieve items for delivery. None of these scenarios are good.
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So, read these tips on how to store your inventory properly.
Set up a Dedicated Storage Space
Don’t keep your inventory stored in your office. It will inevitably lead to clutter and make tracking your inventory a real challenge. Keep it in its own secure, dedicated space.
How can you accomplish that? You have four options:
- A dedicated warehouse
- A shared warehouse
- A rented storage unit
- A shipping container storage unit
A dedicated warehouse is a warehouse that solely stores your company’s products. Unless you have a substantial budget and a massive product list, this option may not be suitable for your needs.
A shared warehouse is a warehouse space where multiple companies store, package and ship their inventory. You could sign up as a client for this shared space and store your items there. Doing this would lead to benefits like access to 3PL services.
However, shared warehouses come with drawbacks. They are off-site, and they are sometimes difficult to come by. Depending on your location, there may be no vacant warehouses to store your inventory in. All of them may be at full capacity.
A rented storage unit is another budget-friendly option. As long as you manage your recurring payments, you can keep your inventory locked away in a highly-secured unit at a commercial storage facility. This has a similar downside to a shared warehouse — it will not be on-site. You will have to drive to the facility to track, refill or remove inventory from the unit.
What if you’d like to store your inventory on-site? Then, you should look into a 40ft container for sale and move it as close to your business as possible. Even if you work from home, you might be able to move a 40ft container into your backyard.
Shipping containers make for excellent storage spaces. They are durable, wind-resistant, water-resistant and easily customizable. You can outfit your container to fit all of your inventory needs, like installing electrical connections, adding security cameras and putting up shelves. And you can do it all on-site! So, your inventory will always be a short walk away from your desk.
Keep Items Off the Ground
Items should never be resting on the ground. They should be stored off the floor and on shelving or, at the very least, propped on top of wooden pallets.
Why is this important? Storing items off the floor will protect them in cases of flooding and pest infestation. Even if you think the storage area is secure from these problems, you’ll want to take this precaution — just in case.
Store Heavy Items on Lower Shelves
Put the heaviest items on the lowest levels of your shelves. Doing this will minimize the risks of workers getting injured from lifting heavy objects. It will also minimize the risk of damaging items from drops and falls.
Label Your Items
All of your items should be labeled to maintain a strong level of organization. These labels should include the product names and their tracking numbers. For better clarification, have photos of the items next to their labels. This is especially important when your items are already packaged and not readily visible.
Invest in these proper storage protocols. Keep your workers and your items safe!