Stacking standards and best practices depend on:
The types of goods you have to store,
The space you have to work with, and
The movements you plan on having in the warehouse.
In general, the following elements should guide you:
- Check with the manufacturer what the best stacking and storage conditions are for the specific item. Some items need ventilation. Others have maximum height/rows due to weight pressure, others require pallets, others need ventilation and/or sunlight, etc. Note that the Requester of goods and the Purchasing department should be collecting this information when they are purchasing the goods.
- Stack items in a way that will make them stable. See this section of the FACMM, four pages, for diagrams of different methods of stacking.
- Stacks should be made in a manner that allows for easy counting: All rows and columns of every stack should have the same number and be geometric to make physical counting fast and simple.
- When making stacks, do not rush: If you make a stacking mistake, remove the items and redo the stack – otherwise you will increase the risk of loss (collapse) and/or counting errors.
- Make sure you can access every stack. Leave walkways between stacks and make sure you can easily reach every type of good in your store.
- Goods that will be moved frequently should be stacked closer to the entrance, to minimize handling effort.
- Fragile or high value items should be stacked in a safe area of the warehouse, where they will not be exposed to either frequent movement of staff or other warehouse visitors.
- For small items or items that cannot be stacked one on top of the other, use shelving.