Planning your Warehouse Layoutby John Hinds SEO Specialist
The way you choose to plan, design and implement your warehouse layout will have a direct bearing on the efficiency of any business operation, so should not be treated lightly. Warehouse layout can impact on manufacturing, assembly, order picking and fulfilment as well as the ability to carry out administrative tasks peacefully. A good warehouse floor plan is essential whether starting out or revamping your warehouse.
Mapping it out
The very first step to warehouse planning involves getting ideas down on paper. It’s no good brainstorming and racking your brains as to your ideal layout if when it comes to it there’s nothing to show whoever you choose to implement your plans. The alternate is to use online layout tools like SmartDraw, for which you will need to pay (around £250 for a single user plan).
If going down the paper route, attach your paper to a solid poster board backing to keep it sturdy and safe. Before marking that paper, you’ll need to ensure you have very accurate internal measurements of the warehouse space. Your online or on paper warehouse schematic must account for all obstructions (like columns), doors, stairways and any other features. Only once everything is laid out accurately can you begin to plan your space.
When dealing with the perfect warehouse layout there are some universal truths, of course, but much will come down to the unique nature of your business, so think of some fundamental areas that need to be fulfilled in your design and jot them down. You know your business better than anyone, if you are experienced you know the frustrations your previous warehouse may have had so share that experience. If you are new to warehousing here are some great tips to bear in mind.
One-way flow is an excellent principle to consider during the design process. Through this idea you will be able to plan a designated picking path through the warehouse, as well as a replenishment path. Keeping the unloading bay well separated from the loading area is good practice. This is a great way to ensure warehouse efficiency is optimal.
Most warehouses operate on a layout that adheres to this simple idea. The idea being that in terms of inventory the space is separated into 3 distinct zones:
1. Fast-moving product
2. Medium-moving product
3. Slow-moving product
Pick and plan for your equipment
Choosing the right equipment for your warehouse is actually an essential part of planning your warehouse layout. If you will need a forklift (chances are you will) you will need aisles capable of receiving one comfortably, safely and efficiently. 12 feet is a good guide.
Make sure your storage area is well organised
There are many ways to store inventory from vertical stacking through to use of warehouse racking shelves, often dictated by the kinds of products you deal with. Make use of the aforementioned triadic design and keep things in a logical order to minimise the chances of inventory errors and to speed up picking times.
Created on Sep 29th 2021 12:47. Viewed 90 times.