One of the biggest challenges warehouse managers face is getting the most out of their space and when it seems that you’re out of room, the only option is often to move to bigger premises.
However, have you ever considered utilising mezzanine flooring as a way to get even more out of your existing space?
Mezzanine flooring is a fantastic and versatile solution and we’re going to highlight what sort of situations mezzanines are used in and some of the key advantages here:
When is it used?
Mezzanines are primarily installed to provide a storage solution. It makes excellent use of the vertical space available in your warehouse and as we’ve mentioned it’s much more cost-effective than expanding to a bigger warehouse.
However, you may also choose to use your mezzanine as an office space, as they can accommodate cubicles complete with heating and lighting and doors and windows just like any other office space.
Alternatively, a mezzanine could be used to create a staff break area or canteen. These are important facilities that you might otherwise be reluctant to add if you don’t have much space.
Finally, mezzanines can be great as a pick and pack area although you will have to install some form of conveyor or lift to keep items moving from the ground floor to the mezzanine.
We spoke to warehouse solution specialists AWS Ltd who said: “Mezzanine flooring is one of our most requested projects, and while each warehouse is different, we find that we can increase storage space by around 50% using this solution.”
So why is a mezzanine such a superior option to the alternatives?
Firstly, it’s a lot easier to install than you’d think. Almost any warehouse will probably have a lot of space above ground level which isn’t being used, which can increase your storage space by up to 50% while being a whole lot easier than moving everything to a completely new warehouse.
It’s also usually easy enough to have them installed with minimum disruptions to your day to day operations.
Mezzanines are also relatively cheap when compared to alternative methods of expansion.
However, you must bear in mind that there is a range of other costs such as instaling conveyors or lifts, and to make sure that the mezzanine is fully compliant with the HSE’s guidelines on health and safety for working on roofs.
Finally, mezzanine flooring installation usually has a relatively fast project time. Of course, this all depends on how well the project is planned out and is subject to surveys being carried out, but most projects will run fairly smoothly and with minimum disruption to your business.
Things to bear in mind
While mezzanine flooring is a great option in most cases, there are a couple of things you should bear in mind before going ahead.
Firstly, there obviously needs to be enough vertical space for the mezzanine to be installed, but there also needs to be adequate space below it so that supports can be installed.
Also, consider whether your plans will be line with Buildings Regulations and that you meet all the relevant health and safety and fire safety regulations.
You’d be surprised how heavy a load a mezzanine can take, but make sure you have the load capacity checked out with your designer first.
So when it’s looking like you might need to move onto pastures new for your warehouse, make sure to think about what a mezzanine could do for you first.