The e-commerce boom shows little sign of losing its momentum. And when additional push factors such as pandemic lockdowns and the knock-on economic constraints of the Ukraine-Russia conflict are taken into account, it’s little wonder we are continuing to witness exponential growth across the entire e-commerce sector.
One consequence of this continued surge is the impact on storage space throughout the e-commerce supply chain. Online retail purchases are clearly trending upwards, with an increase of 10% in 2021, and 2022 sales are expected to rise by at least 14% as thrifty buyers hunt down optimal value. While businesses could expand or relocate to create extra space, this is a costly option, especially while unpredictable external pressures are introducing certain volatility to the market. This unanticipated scenario is prompting many businesses to look more closely at their present infrastructure with a view to installing a mezzanine floor to create extra storage space.
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Why go mezzanine?
Flexibility, minimal disruption, rapid installation, cost-effective, practical … the list goes on. Firstly, mezzanine floors are robust structures designed and purpose-built by specialist engineers and supported by a solid steel framework. Such floors are an ideal storage option for an e-commerce enterprise because they can be adapted to create a new stockroom, house manufacturing equipment, provide additional office space and so much more. Furthermore, self-contained mezzanine structures are also ultra-versatile and can be reworked at any time to offer new solutions as your storage needs continue to change and evolve.
As a mature building technology, a well-designed internal mezzanine floor can easily be configured to offer an adaptable multi-purpose solution. For instance, specialist technicians can design a shelf or rack storage structure with room above to house pallets or custom packaging. Alternatively, a bespoke mezzanine framework might house a new office suite served by a lift, stairway, or even with split-level mezzanine decking.
A practical solution
The majority of stakeholders in the e-commerce sector will be housed in commercial premises with typical high ceilings. Stacking products ceiling-high is rarely an option, so many storage facilities will have a substantial volume of unused real estate rising up to the roof. What better way of expanding your storage facilities than reclaiming some of this unused space to create a new storage facility?
Not only does this solution make practical use of an existing asset, but it is also a far less costly option than building extensions or planning a relocation to larger premises. In addition, a mezzanine structure can be installed quickly with minimal downtime and near-zero disruption of your offline processes, online trading, and distribution activities.
Advantages of elevated mezzanine storage:
- – a cost-effective reconfiguration of facilities. With a mezzanine, you reclaim lost storage space and avoid major long-term commitments involving new construction or relocation, both of which require substantial investment.
- – an easily adaptable resource. Your mezzanine functions can be rapidly reconfigured, which means you are then equipped with a good-to-go, flexible facility ready to be deployed as part of your agile market response strategy.
- – an immediate, scalable solution. Unlike buying new premises or planning an extension, installing a mezzanine is not a long-tail process. Disruption and downtime will be minimal if any. So you can create a storage solution proportionate to your present and medium-term needs without a potentially disproportionate, and certainly costly, commitment in the present fluctuating business climate.
The expert’s assessment
With more than three decades’ experience, UK-based Western Industrial is justly proud of its reputation for delivering quality mezzanine floors and other interior business solutions. Happy to share their expertise, they outline the process: “At Western Industrial, we begin with a (free) consultation and assessment of the client’s business needs. Working closely with our clients, we are then able to identify and recommend the best strategies for their particular space. As the discussion evolves, we can help them choose the right materials, design the all-important column grid framework, and develop a site plan to produce an optimum installation. Our objective is to deliver the very best solution for the client – a solution which naturally complies with the relevant building regulations as well as all applicable fire and safety legislation.”
Remember a mezzanine floor can quickly revamp your internal storage area while still leaving you with a further range of expansion options if your needs change in the future. Possible mezzanine applications include:
- ·a new office suite
- ·an additional production facility
- ·a new storage resource
- ·extra warehousing
- ·specialist zones
- ·a new showroom space
- ·an archive facility
- ·a dedicated personal area