When you manage one or more warehouses, you need to know what products you have in storage and where those products are in the warehouse itself. How you choose to organize your warehouse largely depends on what you do with your inventory. If you regularly ship goods from the facility, you’ll want a storage system that makes it easy for pickers to access the products that sell the most. If you are using the warehouse for longer-term storage, you likely don’t need to rearrange products as frequently.
Two main types of warehouse storage systems exist — static storage and dynamic storage. Learn more about the meaning and pros and cons of each one to see which might work best for your warehouse.
- What Is Dynamic Storage
- What Is Static Storage?
- Dynamic Storage vs. Static Storage: Pros and Cons
- How to Choose Between Dynamic Storage and Static Storage
- How Finale Inventory Can Help You
What Is Dynamic Storage?
The definition of dynamic storage is a storage system that doesn’t assign a fixed location to inventory. Using dynamic storage means that, instead of dedicating Row 1, Section 1 to Product A, the product goes in any available location or a location based on the product’s demand. If Product A is selling quickly and there are a lot of orders for it in a given week, it can make sense to store at least some of the units near the packing area. As Product A’s popularity declines, it can move to a less easily accessible area of the warehouse.
What Is Static Storage?
While product locations can change under a dynamic storage system, with a static system, they remain the same. The definition of static storage is a system that assigns a fixed location to each product. Row 1, Sections 1, 2 and 3 might be dedicated to Product A. Using static storage means that, if there isn’t enough Product A on hand to fill in all three sections, some of those sections will sit empty.
Dynamic Storage vs. Static Storage: Pros and Cons
While one type of storage system isn’t inherently better than the other, it could be that one type of storage system is the better option for a particular warehouse than the other. When deciding on a system and layout for a warehouse, compare the pros and cons of each to see which would better suit your company’s needs.
Pros of Static Storage
A static storage system has its benefits in the right situation. It can be ideal for warehouses that are primarily meant for storage, rather than warehouses where employees pick items and prepare them for shipment. Another benefit of a static storage system is that it makes it easy to see when a product is running low. Since a static storage system groups all units of a product together, it’s also easier to arrange them so the “first in” can be the “first out.”
With a static storage system, the products’ location is fixed. Storing items in the same location can simplify the process in some ways. If a person is going to the warehouse to retrieve a batch of Product A or if they are dropping off a new shipment of Product A, they know where to go and don’t have to wander the aisles searching for the product. A static storage system can make it less likely for products to get lost in the warehouse, and a fixed location of products can also reduce the time it takes to train new employees. They only need to memorize a few locations rather than keep up with ever-shifting locations.
Cons of Static Storage
One of the most significant disadvantages of a static storage system is that it can result in wasted space. If you’ve dedicated a certain portion of your warehouse to Product A and Product A’s inventory level is low, whether due to supply chain issues or high demand, you can end up with a lot of empty shelving as you wait for the stock to rebound. Since the system is static and inflexible, you don’t have the option of storing other types of products on those shelves.
Another potential drawback of a static storage system is the density of the storage. Often, products are packed tightly on shelves or double-stacked in the system, which can make it difficult to access them or challenging for warehouse employees to maneuver around.
Pros of Dynamic Storage
The location of a product can shift with a dynamic storage system. The location change can be due to multiple factors, ranging from product demand to warehouse capacity. If a product is in demand, it makes sense to store it nearest to the packing area to reduce the time workers spend retrieving it. If there are gaps on the shelves in a warehouse, a dynamic storage system fills them with any product. The flexibility of the system means that it’s possible to store more products in a single warehouse.
A dynamic storage system offers additional benefits in certain circumstances. For one thing, it can increase the amount of warehouse space that gets put to use. If a particular product is running low, it can move to a smaller bin or shelf, and a product with more units can take its place. A dynamic storage system also lets warehouse employees move products around to make the best use of space or to improve the efficiency of picking.
Cons of Dynamic Storage
One notable drawback of a dynamic storage system is that it requires movement and free flow of inventory to function at its best. If demand for a product drops off, the system doesn’t work as well, as the remaining inventory can languish on the shelves. It can also take longer to train employees to pick products since they continually change locations.
How to Choose Between Dynamic Storage and Static Storage
When choosing between dynamic storage and static storage, the primary question to ask is why you are storing inventory. If your warehouse acts as a fulfillment center and employees regularly pick products, a dynamic system is likely your best choice. If your warehouse is mostly for overflow storage, a static system could work best.
It might also be the case that a combination of systems works best for you. You can reserve part of the warehouse for static storage, keeping an overflow of products. You can reserve another area of the warehouse for picking, using dynamic storage to organize the products kept in the picking area.
How Finale Inventory Can Help You
In addition to choosing a storage system, warehouse management involves keeping track of the inventory you have on hand. Finale Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management software with warehouse management features. Whether you own or operate one warehouse or several, you can use the software to keep track of shipments received, the location of products and when products transfer from one location to another.
Schedule a demo to see how our platform can help you keep track of your inventory. You can also start a free 14-day trial to put the inventory management software to the test.