Having an efficient warehouse layout (alongside a fully integrated warehouse management system) could be the difference between processing your customers’ orders quickly or not.
That’s why in this week’s blog post we are going to give you four warehouse layout design tips to ensure that you can get the most out of your warehouse space and give your customers the best service possible. Your employees will also thank you for making their jobs easier!
- Choose the right racking to suit the size of your warehouse
The size of your building and its structure will directly impact what type of racking system you should be utilising in your warehouse.
According to leading supplier of warehouse commodities, Workplace Products, you will need to identify:
- The correct pallet size(s) for your operation
- Decide what storage racking and handling system to use
- Choose which vehicle is best for each operation
- Work out the space needed for receipts and despatch areas, supporting areas & facilities
Getting these questions right is key to you achieving optimum picking efficiency, cross docking and container handling.
- Design your warehouse to be safe and make life easier for your staff
Ensuring that your warehouse is safe not only means less accidents and increased costs to you as a business; it also helps your operation to run more smoothly and efficiently.
In our previous blog post about warehouse safety we discussed how by designing your warehouse to minimise the amount your staff have to bend, reach and twist can help them work better, without the risk of injury. Ensuring that your inventory does not need to be moved more than once can also help.
- Ensure that the space in your warehouse is used effectively
With so much to fit into a warehouse, it is not only essential that you use all of the space you have but also use it in the most effective way possible.
The Whole Building Design Guide divides the different areas of a warehouse into these categories:
- Storage Space: To store goods and materials
- Office Space: Can include meeting rooms, reception and mail rooms
- Loading Docks: For shipping and receiving goods
- Light Industrial Space: Use for the processing of materials
- Computer Centres
Only include areas that are absolutely essential to the running of your business. Underused areas could be used for other, more productive parts of your warehouse.
- Invest in warehouse management software
It can’t be overstated how important warehouse management software is in getting the most out of your new warehouse layout.
If you have five or more warehouse operatives or manage a large amount of stock, a WMS can have a hugely positive influence on your business. You should choose one that:
- Optimises the flow through your warehouse
- Deploys hand-held technology
- Automates processes such as goods receipt, putaway, replenishment, stock movement, pick and stock counts
- Manages the capacity of your warehouse and ensures accurate visibility of all inventory
All these features in conjunction with an effective warehouse layout will ensure that you get the maximum productivity from your staff.
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