LEAN Practices for Your Warehouse Space!

With the increases in goods and changes in the warehouse logistics systems, a warehouse can no longer let goods sit on a shelf for months at a time or let constant backorders occur due to lack of products. A common method that managers of warehouses are implementing now is called LEAN Practices.

What Are LEAN Practices?

LEAN Practices continuously improve a  process through eliminating waste. This means to use the practices so you can eliminate robust processes and to reduce time to create efficiency. It is important to reduce time where it is being wasted, like taking longer to find goods than needed and other scenarios.

The idea of waste comes in three main factors:

  • Mura: a variation of different kinds of waste.
  • Muri: waste due to stressing or overwhelming your employees or equipment which will cause breakdown over time.
  • Muda: The seven forms of waste that refer to the Muda portion are:  transportation, waiting, overproduction, defects, inventory, movement, and extra processing.

Where Can Your Warehouse Implement LEAN Practices?

1. Transportation and movement. When people or items are moving longer distances, it can create delays and add cost. A way this can be minimized is better storage or a better overall system. When an employee is walking from one side of the warehouse and back constantly, it’s leading to unnecessary processes and means a lack of ergonomic workstations and floor layouts. For more information on Ergonomics and how to make processes in your warehouse better read our blog post, “How to Make The Most Out of Your Warehouse Space.”

2. Inventory. This is a major problem that occurs frequently in warehouses and causes issues with their logistics. Often times, items are overproduced to accommodate the possibility for a higher demand. On the other hand, excessive inventory is taking precious storage and floor space.

3. Reduce Time!  We all know there is 24 hours in a day and 7 days during the week, but what we do during these days and hours are what impact the bottom line. It could be argued that wasted procedures could all be solved with effective time management.

4. Overprocessing.  This happens when smaller items are being stored in larger boxes and larger items are being stored in smaller boxes. This also includes when several boxes need to be shipped to the same place, but are shipping one by one.

5. Defects. A simple defect like a chip part or missing paint can cause a whole order of parts to be reworked or be thrown away. This means the warehouse and the company will start to lose money.

6. Space. A common problem is space inside a warehouse. This is because all of the static storage units in place and nowhere for them to go. Furthermore, if a warehouse is smaller and needs more space, the area will feel cramped. This is how to get started with LEAN practices, come up with a plan!

How To Implement It Inside Your Warehouse

All of these issues listed above can be solved or helped with the correct storage units. The correct storage unit saves time, money, and can help with efficiency. We provide storage units that can be specifically used in warehouses. The storage units are:

  • Modula ASRS: Modula is made to safely store your items and retrieve them once you need them.
  • ActivRAC (Palletized Storage): ActivRAC is perfect for warehouse settings. This is because it can hold up to 30,000lbs of materials! It has a carriage system with rails that allows the storage unit to move side to side.

All of our storage units will save time, increase the current space in your warehouse up to 50%,  and follow best logistics and LEAN practices.

At the end of the day, once everything is going accordingly to plan, a manager needs to make sure their employees are following the practices as well. If LEAN practices are implemented, but aren’t being used, all of the work will go to waste. It is important for managers to create a LEAN culture in their warehouse.


At Midwest Storage Solutions, Inc., we have been helping our customers since 1997 find the correct storage for their needs! We know that #StorageMatters! For more information about the storage units in this article and others, contact us today!  

#storagematters activrac storage lean practices ergonomics
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