For manufacturers, warehouse capacity utilization can equate to profit- or loss. Most warehouses are utilizing only about 68% of available space. If that sounds about right for your industrial office space, then you can do much more with that space to improve business.

But of course, revamping your space means having to invest lots of time and energy. Why should you do so? And how?

In this article, we'll discuss the importance of maximizing your warehouse capacity and how you can do so efficiently.

Why Maximize Your Industrial Office Space?

You may be thinking that your current system works, so why should you rethink and rearrange things to maximize your industrial office space?

The bottom line is it improves functionality, which in turn increases your revenue. 

Think of your available space as part of your profitability; the more volume-producing space you have - and actually use - the more you can maximize your investment. Whenever you stop a production line because of lack of space, this is a costly and wasteful proposition. 

Likewise, if the office areas in your industrial space are sitting vacant and idle, you may have a missed opportunity to utilize that square footage as profit generating space.  

Once you attribute your square footage to profitability you can begin to use the following ways to maximize that space and increase revenue.

Integrating Space Planning and Lean Manufacturing

Space planning is the process of organizing space and function to work effectively together while using the area efficiently. The 5S system is a type of visual management that allows you to control how things flow in your manufacturing space. Not only will each help you increase your profits, but they can also make the workplace cleaner and safer.

This lean manufacturing methodology comes from Japan and the 5 S’s stand for: for seiri (sort), seiton (set in order), seiso (shine), seiketsu (standardize), and shitsuke (sustain). Read on to find out more about each step.

1. Sort

Over time, you've probably accumulated lots of items in addition to the products you manufacture. Naturally, these items will take up much-needed space in your warehouse and possibly even your office areas.

But do you actually need every single piece? These miscellaneous items can take up valuable space that can be used for more profit driving activities.

Initiate the 5S process by sorting through everything in your industrial office space and determining whether or not you really need them. Sort them into groups of "necessary" and "unnecessary" for the determined work process.

At the end, you should remove everything that's in the "unnecessary" group. Determine if you need to eliminate those items or find a better space for them.

2. Set in Order

Now that you’re left with only “necessary” items, it's time to establish where they all fit in and where they need to be in your space.

This step in the 5S system is where you organize these necessary items so they're most easily accessible and make sense in the workflow. For example, placing object B right after object A would make the most sense if that's the next item a worker would need to grab in their workflow.

Group all like items together and make sure accessing them is efficient.  You don’t want them tucked away on a low shelf or off in a corner, especially if they're objects that are often used.

3. Shine

A clean workplace is not only a better looking one, but it's also safer and more efficient.

Now that you've removed all unnecessary items and sorted the ones you need, it's time to clean up the workspace.  Additionally, you should then enforce a cleaning and organization standard to ensure your new system doesn't revert back to the old ways.For example, you can create a checklist of vital tasks, such as sweeping, mopping, and maintenance of equipment. Supervisors should make sure these tasks are regularly performed and that all new organizational functions are done to keep the workplace running efficiently.

4. Standardize

After you're done going through the first 3 Ss, the next step is to standardize how you handle those previous steps. That way, the next time you need to reorder your industrial office space, your employees will know how to handle it, even if the original employees  who set the plans into motion are gone.

In this step, you can also determine how often the first 3 steps need to be performed to ensure your business maintains maximum efficiency.

5. Sustain

Again, it's vital that after you change your workplace's mindset, you need to keep it up. Otherwise, all that work would've been for nothing, and you're back where you started.

In addition to the routine tasks set in the "Standardize" step, you'll also need to perform regular audits of your business. That way, you can ensure that your employees will maintain discipline when it comes to organization and processes.

By keeping up with the 5S system in your business, you'll encourage your employees to work more efficiently and safely, which can result in increased revenue.

Make the Most of Your Industrial Office Space

As you can see, using the 5S lean manufacturing methodology is vital in helping you run your business smoothly and efficiently. 

Going through the 5S system can be a bit daunting, and may lead to the need for bigger design changes as well.  That’s where professional designers can step in. These experts can work with you to create a space where you can maximize your workflow and see your revenue grow.Need an interior design professional to assist you? Then get in touch with us now. We'll help you make the most of your existing space and let your volume soar.

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