High-Density Storage Solutions for Brownfield Facilities | FORTNA


High-Density Storage Solutions for Brownfield Facilities

Making the most of your brownfield facility doesn’t have to be a challenge. See how leveraging a high-density storage solution can help you maximise the current space within your warehouse or distribution centre while fast-tracking your automation implementation plan.

In the landscape of omnichannel fulfillment, where delivery windows, customer expectations and labour availability exert constant pressure, organisations are seeking innovative solutions to alleviate market demands while maintaining adaptability to unforeseen disruptions. To meet these demands, it’s often unrealistic to build a new facility. And since time is of the essence, a long-term, phased approach toward automation may also be out of the question.

Instead, a growing trend among operations is the adoption of high-density storage and fulfillment systems within the smaller footprints of brownfield facilities. This approach addresses space constraints and offers opportunities for automation, reduces labour dependency and meets the evolving demands of e-Commerce and customers within your brownfield facility.

view-of-racks-warehouse--inventory pareto-principle

A new, simplified approach

Traditionally, the journey towards automation was embarked upon by expanding facility space, undergoing expansive automation projects, and implementing a staged approach to reach automation. However, facilities of all sizes recognise the potential of leveraging high-density storage solutions to enhance their competitiveness. Organisations can leapfrog incremental growth stages by implementing these solutions and transforming their operations into best-in-class facilities.

High-density storage solutions maximise the current space within your warehouse or distribution centre. This is highly effective as operations grow and the number of SKUs increases, allowing the accommodation of larger inventory numbers within the same physical space.

By embracing these solutions, organisations can achieve:

Labour cost savings: Manual processes are streamlined as ordered items are efficiently delivered to workers at goods-to-person (GTP) stations, reducing labour requirements. Additionally, energy savings, reduced shipping material costs and minimised SKU loss contribute to overall cost efficiency.

Inventory control: High-density solutions facilitate meticulous inventory tracking throughout the fulfillment process, leading to historically high order accuracy rates of up to 97%.

Enhanced flexibility: The flexibility to respond swiftly to promotional, seasonal and market trends enables operations to scale up or down as needed, ensuring optimal order fulfillment.

Proximity to customers: Smaller operations can focus on core and geographic customers, offering quick delivery times and minimal stockouts to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Sustainability: Significant energy consumption reductions are achieved through minimised indoor transportation and a decreased need for expansive storage area lighting and climate control.


Modularity for brownfield integration

Some systems, like AutoStore, for example, boast a modular design that makes it an attractive solution for small and midsized operations. With its 5-module system, the AutoStore solution can meet and manage e-Commerce activities and effectively feed other distribution channels from one source.

Additional benefits include:

Modularity and integration speed: Adaptable design enables seamless integration within existing floor space, allowing quicker implementation and cost savings.

Capacity savings: By storing inventory densely, operations can reclaim space for future expansion or other warehouse functions.

Scalability: High-density storage solutions offer effortless scalability in terms of storage, performance and throughput, allowing operations to grow in tandem with demand, all maintained within the existing space.

Reliability: With exceptional uptime and simplified maintenance, high-density storage solutions ensure consistent throughput and fulfillment reliability.

Productivity and safety: By delivering SKUs directly to GTP stations, labour requirements are reduced, productivity is increased and workplace safety is enhanced.

The advantages of high-density storage solutions and automation are not exclusive to large-scale operations. By embracing warehouse-ready, small-footprint solutions, brownfield operations can expedite their automation journey and gain a competitive edge in the market.


average uptime reported from AutoStore users


Leverage FORTNA’s industry expertise and integrated software solutions to accelerate your automation journey. As an AutoStore global integrator, FORTNA is committed to helping organisations of all sizes achieve operational excellence, meet budget requirements and thrive in today’s dynamic market landscape.

Published/Updated 4/12/24