To maximize rack space, position shelving along the longer dimension of the building, orient shelving in the same direction, and put shelving on both sides of an aisle. Draw possible layouts to compare before choosing a final placement.
In addition to efficient use of space, safety dictates other rules. Place heavy items near the base of shelves, secure the shelves, do not exceed the shelves' recommended weight limits, taper storage units, and keep up with shelf maintenance. For shelves less than 250 pounds, use clips and steel struts to secure the shelf to the floor. For shelves 250 pounds or greater, consult a structural engineer. In the event of a shelving collapse, injuries to customers or employees and damage to merchandise are possibilities. When storing heavy objects or pallets overhead, consider safety netting and addition security. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration maintains a list of general requirements for material storage.
Finally, consider the different methods of item organization for shelving. Large warehouse operations such as Amazon and Walmart master the art of industrial organization and are worth studying. Both rely on bar-codes, computer algorithms and complicated software to measure productivity. For retail settings, many common suggestions exist for increasing sales. Some of these include frequently changing displays, prominently displaying the most desirable, newest and most profitable items, and arranging products in clearly defined spaces.