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When it comes to cold storage, the term “efficiency” can have several different meanings.

Sure, there’s always concerns about energy efficiency – maintaining the right temperature to keep your products (and customers) safe can be an adventure of its own. But there’s a lot of work that goes into organizing, picking, and shelving items in a cold storage facility, and due to the sensitive nature of the products being stored, the processes involved can become lengthy.

By optimizing your storage methods for your cold storage warehouses – as well as optimizing the use of energy therein – you can make your employees work a little smarter, and let your storage work a little harder.

 

Storage & Layout Optimization for Cold Storage Warehouses

 

Plan your layout for efficiency

Few things can run up your energy bill in a cold storage warehouse than a poor layout, and this can actually go a long way towards solving a lot of issues with both storage and energy usage.

Make sure whatever warehouse shelving you use doesn’t block vents, and/or isn’t too close to the thermostat or windows to affect any residual heat, and cause your heater to have to work harder. Optimizing your shelving layouts can also do a lot to help with aisleway size and foot traffic, allowing your workers to get from point A to point B more efficiently when fulfilling orders.

 

Enforce picking methods

All the optimized shelving in the world isn’t going to be any help if your team isn’t on the same page when it comes to picking items. No matter how well they’re being stored, make sure your team all understands the FIFO system you need to pick items – the fastest way to reduce clutter on your wire shelving is to pick the items in the order they need to be shipped out. This will also go a long way towards reducing product loss due to spoilage or other unhealthy conditions.

 

Improve staging space

As any experienced warehouse manager knows, the job isn’t done as soon as you pick the item from the shelf. Look into creating better staging space for your team – give them an area to assemble orders, double-check shipping labels, and repackage goods as needed that doesn’t get in the way of the direct stocking and picking duties on the shop floor. Make sure to use the same NSF racking and NSF cooler shelving in these areas as well, to adhere to guidelines regarding germ resistance and safe food handling.

 

Clean, clean, clean

Everyone involved in food storage and cold storage knows the need to stay hygienic – but this can apply double to the facility itself. Cleaning can not only keep your goods safe, it can actually help your temperature control and vents work better. Keeping your vents and heaters free of dust will reduce the spread of bacteria and help your warehouse stay the temperature it needs to be, without running up a heating bill or overworking your heaters.

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