Warehouse efficiency: Tips for reducing warehouse overhead
The costs associated with running a business are almost too numerous to mention. When a business operation requires a warehouse as well, the costs can often more than double. Warehouse operations are expensive and can eat up a lot of a budget. From heating, cooling, electricity, equipment costs, shipping and receiving, and materials, running a warehouse operation is fraught with obvious and not so obvious expenses. One way to monitor costs and save on overhead is to make the warehouse more energy efficient. This may seem difficult in a large, open space with numerous entry and exit points and a constant flow of people and materials, but there are some small things you can do to save on overhead in terms of energy.
Use Natural Lighting
Electricity costs through lighting alone can be high. These utility costs can eat up a good part of your warehouse budget, and this is just to keep the operation up and running. Depending on the size of the warehouse, this may only be a minor expense, but regardless, reducing the need for excessive lighting can save a lot on overhead costs annually. Warehouses can be cold, dark places devoid of natural light, so the first thing to do is put in some windows. Getting windows on the south, west and east sides of the warehouse will ensure that the inside is bathed in light most of the day. This will both light and heat the interior space. Natural light will even make the warehouse a more enjoyable and productive place to work. More windows can also let more cool air in during the winter months, so make sure that the windows are energy efficient double paned glass. Overall, adding more natural light can help save on some lighting costs and make the warehouse less of a gulag.
Install Energy Efficient Bulbs and Motion Sensors
As per the lighting in the warehouse, you will obviously require a good amount of electric lighting and will run the lights constantly. Despite this need, you can make the lighting more efficient by installing more energy efficient bulbs in the lights and using motion sensors on the lights that are not constantly in use–such as lights in back rooms or offices.
People forget to turn off lights, so installing motion sensors on lights can help to reduce energy costs each month. Using compact fluorescent bulb is more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and they can last ten times longer, using one third of the energy. These bulbs also help to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and will generally give off a better light than incandescent bulbs or older fluorescent bulbs. Since lighting is so important to the warehouse operations, consider making it more efficient to save energy and money each month.
Budget all Expenses
The best way to evaluate all of your overhead warehouse expenses is to draft regular budgets that tally every cost and expenditure involved in warehouse operations. This will give you an exact figure of costs and allow you to make a more informed decision on how to reduce overhead costs and where to look to reduce them. Reducing energy use and making the warehouse more efficient is always an ideal way to lower some expenses, but you don’t want to sacrifice operational efficiency either. Looking at the budget as a whole and evaluating where you can save is the truest way to start reducing overhead.
By: +Ben Vaughn
Ben Vaughn writes for Hoj Engineering about the best ways to use industrial shelving in your warehouse. Ben has researched the best tips for buying warehouse equipment and how to use the equipment to improve your warehouse efficiency.