The Need for Lean Storage

July 19, 2022 2 min read

The world is changing rapidly and it seems everyone is talking with us about two things:  1) this new “post pandemic” world; and 2) the unprecedented increase and adoption of e-commerce practices.  

Regardless of industry, we have all learned (in some cases, the hard way) the critical need to effectively and quickly respond to emergency situations or fast changing circumstances.  Hospitals especially have felt this, but there’s not an industry out there that hasn’t been touched by the need to pivot operations or work environments suddenly.  We’ve seen changes in marketplaces where distribution centers are operating as both wholesalers and retailers.  The spike in e-commerce has resulted in warehouse designs and material flow to be tested, in some cases to the point of breaking.   Storage requirements, temperature tolerances, space capacity… all criteria we’ve had to quickly consider during peak times.

Lean is a tool that can help businesses adapt, grow, and improve upon the way material moves through a space.  By looking for and identifying “waste,” businesses can better utilize and maximize their space and create storage solutions that are smart, flexible and agile.  At Diamond, we incorporate these principals in everything we do – from the way we build our product portfolios and design product to the way we help our customers. 

Making small changes can have big impact.  Give some thought to:

  • Installing Visual management in key areas
    • Institute color coding in storage areas for quick identification of categories of supplies
    • Clearly label the contents within a supply area 
    • Hang training guides on safety, procedure or process 
    • Share clear work instructions and identify critical steps 
    • Use pictures instead of words when appropriate 
    • Reducing wasted space (either vertically or horizontally) 

    • Inventory, KanBan, PAR levels -- too much inventory can be just as disruptive and wasteful as too little.

    • Gathering a team to brainstorm improvements by
      • Observing, Measuring & Analyzing current work processes and waste
      • Determining root cause of issues (ask “why” 5 times to peel away the layers of problems and get to the underlying issue)
      • Mapping out desired future state and outcomes 
      • Determining the actions needed to obtain improvement 
      • Building a tracking system and measurement around improvement 
      • Mobilizing storage areas vs using stationary or fixed solutions

      • Incorporating central communication stations or boards in key areas

      Give us a call at 1-800-931-7594 or email us at if you’d like to discuss ideas or build a strategy.   We love to network and collaborate!