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10 tips to maximize your retail back of house storage space

10 tips to Improve/Maximize your Retail Backroom Storage Space

1. Use the Right Storage Units

This seems obvious, but with so many storage options, and storage units available, it is worth looking into whether there is a more appropriate, dedicated option for your inventory.  Spacefile offers a full retail product lineup of High-density shelving and High-density Mobile systems, which can be customized for your exact storage space. Back of house storage space often seems full beyond capacity; A mobile shelving system can dramatically increase capacity, improving efficiency and restoring order.

2. Make the Most of Vertical Space

As stated earlier, the back of house storage area is commonly overflowing, making operations inefficient.  It makes sense to maximize storage space vertically.   Making sure your shelving units are the right height can make the difference between a neat, orderly space and a dangerous one.  Spacefile International Specializes in High Density Retail Shelving and Shelving Systems and has the ability to increase your storage space four-fold.

3. Discount or Discard Old Items

A simple but often overlooked option is to simply remove ‘old’ or ‘obsolete’ stock.  While tempting to hold on to old inventory, it could be doing more harm than good.  Stock that doesn’t sell and sits idle on a shelf, is an investment that could be put to better use.  The easiest way to get rid of ‘old’ stock is to discount it but if that isn’t possible, alternatives can include donating to charity or having a giveaway.

4. Use Detailed Labels

Organization in the back of house storage area is critical to efficient day to day operations. Labelling sections is a great start, but have you considered labelling each shelving level, or used indicators (like arrows) to clearly mark the location?  New staff will benefit from clear signage.   There is a wide range of signage and labelling available, such as printed labels or magnetic strips. 

5. Add a Note Taking Area

Back of house storage area tasks are commonly carried out in a hurry, and there is often no time to communicate observations or issues.  One useful addition to any back of house storage area is a place where staff can quickly and easily make notes.  A simple solution is to place a whiteboard on your storage or shelving system where staff can quickly and easily make notes.   Spacefile offers a range of Accessories that are easily installed on any of their storage solutions.

6. Install Employee Lockers

In a retail environment, there is little to no privacy amongst staff.  Adding lockers not only provides a practical way to store personal belongings at work and reduce the likelihood of lost or stolen items, it also offers the staff their own ‘private’ space away from the hustle & bustle. 

7. Control the Temperature

Back of house storage areas can be very unpleasant to work in if there are no temperature controls in place, especially when located in windowless areas.  Research suggests that small changes in temperature can have significant negative effects on human performance-especially a higher temperature.   Cost effective ways to improve temperature in the back of house storage area include purchasing a fan or opening a window (if possible).

8. Cycle Count Your Inventory

Retailers check the accuracy of inventory with a full physical inventory annually.  This typically requires a complete shutdown of operations and (in some instances), temporary or after-hours staff to complete the count, which can be costly and time-consuming.  Cycle counting allows businesses to count a number of items in a number of areas without having to count the entire inventory.  This reduces costs, and can also improve the accuracy of records, depending on frequency.    Further to this, cycle counting requires a well-organized back of house storage areas (which is a benefit of High-density Storage). 

9. Find the Best KPI’s for Your Business

Getting the most out of the back of house storage area depends on the right metrics. Businesses must be in touch with how well the back of house storage area is performing.  KPI’s that are important to retailers include days of supply, inventory turnover, stock to sales ration, sell through percentage and gross margin return on investment.  A true understanding of your inventory metrics combined with accurate cycle counts will greatly improve your back of house storage area by allowing for effective inventory management.  The area won’t be overflowing, and staff will spend less time looking for merchandise.

10. Aesthetics in the back of house

Back of house storage areas often feel unwelcoming.  There are multitudes of research studies that prove happiness boosts productivity.  Adding color (outside of grey, beige, and white) can affect mood more positively.   In addition, a study conducted in 2014 concluded that adding plant-life to a work space resulted in increased workplace satisfaction and productivity.

Interested in maximizing your space? Contact Spacefile for a FREE Storage Efficiency Analysis.



W Ross MacDonald-space efficient solution

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W. Ross MacDonald
Industry: Institution

The Problem
The W. Ross MacDonald library was looking for a more space efficient solution to store its Braille and large print books, tapes and digital media.

The Solution
W. Ross MacDonald management was able to combine storage from 3 rooms into 2 to gain valuable office space by utilizing Spacefile’s high-density storage systems. Spacefile designed a system to house multi-media and large format books required by the client.

 

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UHN Toronto General-organized, efficient storage

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UHN Toronto General Hospital
Industry: Health Care

The Problem
University Health Network Toronto General Hospital required storage that fit into existing alcoves while increasing storage capacity. Additional storage was also required to conquer messy, inefficient filing.

The Solution
Spacefile designed multiple systems to fit into the current alcoves. The storage units utilized HIPPA compliant locking mechanisms to ensure complete security of patient files. A new look was developed for the reception area to allow for more organized, efficient storage.

 

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UHN Princess Margaret Hospital-storage for a unique shaped space

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UHN Princess Margaret Hospital
Industry: Health Care

The Problem
University Health Network Princess Margaret Cancer Centre required storage for a unique shaped space.

The Solution
Spacefile designed multiple systems to fit within the round space to provide adequate high-density storage. Utilizing multiple systems allowed the storage spaces to be in close proximity to those who use them for further efficiency.

 

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Ryerson University- maximize storage space while maintaining airflow

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Ryerson University
Industry: Athletics

The Problem
Ryerson required a system that allowed team uniforms to air dry quickly while maximizing space for team storage and general storage.

The Solution
Spacefile developed a layout that maximized storage space while maintaining airflow. The Spacefile customized LT 4-Post system offered the perfect solution for Ryerson. Perforated end panels maintained airflow, while the adjustable nature of the system allowed the client to store unique items without the custom price.

 

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Guelph Museum-store a large quantity of art

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Guelph Museum
Industry: Museum

The Problem
With thousands of pieces on hand, Guelph Museum looked for an efficient way to store many works of art.

The Solution
Spacefile developed a custom solution to effectively store a large quantity of art on site. Readily accessible, each mobile carriage allowed quick access for museum curators.

 

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Niagara Falls History Museum-quick accessibility to artifacts

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Niagara Falls History Museum
Industry: Museum

The Problem
With a multitude of artifacts to store, the Niagara Falls History Museum needed a solution for quick accessibility to all their artifacts.

The Solution
Spacefile worked alongside the architects to develop a space saving solution while maintaining easy access to all of the Niagara Falls History Museum’s Artifacts.

 

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Guelph City Hall-outgrowing space & ADA compliant

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Guelph City Hall
Industry: Government

The Problem
Guelph City Hall had outgrown its exiting space, and was moving to a new City Hall. The City of Guelph required a system that was ADA compliant.

The Solution
Spacefile’s low profile 3-piece track features an ADA compliant slope of 1:12 to ensure complete accessibility to all users. Spacefile designed the system to meet all accessibility requirements including turning radius, low profile track, and operating mechanisms. The system incorporated shelving from Spacefile as well as existing shelving.

 

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HRSDC-system to house a large number of secure documents

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HRSDC
Industry: Government

The Problem
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada required a system to house a large number of secure documents.

The Solution
Spacefile designed an electrical-assist system to house approximately 500,000 filing inches. The individual carriages are 10 feet high and 40 feet long. This state-of-the-art electrical-assist system houses pertinent and confidential files.

 

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Immigration & Refugee Board-reconfigure & reformat previous storage system

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Immigration and Refugee Board
Industry: Government

The Problem
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada stores a high volume of paper records. They needed to reconfigure and reformat their previous storage system.

The Solution
Spacefile installed a high-density storage system that modernized their storage while eliminating valuable aisle space. The system featured a fully integrated grouted track with plywood decking, finished with matching tiles to create a seamless appearance. Spacefile coordinated this install in stages as a renovation was occurring simultaneously.

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