Planning Tips for Warehouse Layout

Planning Tips for Warehouse  Layout

Designing a warehouse is a significant undertaking, and the focus will vary depending on the nature of your operation. If manufacturing is your business, the warehouse will be designed around your machinery and production workspace. While important, storage spaces are secondary in your plan and will be dependent on where you place your manufacturing equipment and production line.

For e-commerce warehouses, activities that impact the floor plan include order picking, shipping, receiving stock, and storage. Adequate space is needed around your work centers so that employees can perform their tasks and material handling equipment can navigate the aisles easily.

No matter the type of operation, a floor plan is a crucial starting point. Whether you are redesigning one of your business's current warehouses or building a new warehouse from scratch, you will need to consider a few things before committing to your first plan. The way your warehouse is designed will significantly impact your organization's efficiency and, ultimately, your bottom line. A great warehouse design entails careful planning.

There are a variety of everyday processes that you need to think about while designing for maximum efficiency. Some of these activities include shipping, receiving, cross-docking, forward pick, reserve storage, quality and inspection, and assembly/special handling lines. If you already have an operating warehouse, the key to efficiency is analyzing your current activities in all areas before creating a new design. Evaluate these operating processes carefully. If you do not have a working warehouse, making your best projections for these areas will help create the best potential design.

Planning Tips for Warehouse Layout 

  • Product storage requires you to take stock of all your inventory by SKU.
  • Clearly define your units of measurement, whether they are cases, pallets, boxes, etc.
  • List every product by activity level, considering both shipments, picks, and other actions.
  • Store high movers together in every pick area/zone.
  • Know the cubic volume and dimensions for every product in every unit.
  • When creating space for both shipping/receiving areas and picking areas, always take activity and unit into account.

Typically, a warehouse will have four main functions: product storage, inbound operations, outbound operations, and value-added processes. Taking time to analyze your past activities in these categories and your future actions will create an efficient warehouse environment.

One of the most common problems with warehouse design is that there is not enough space allocated for the loading dock, nor a big enough reception area. Cutting back on this space may seem like an easy choice, but remember you are also cutting back on your ability to make quality audits on the last time your product will be leaving the facility. A crowded loading dock area is also a safety concern that should not be underestimated. 

Is a new warehouse in your plans? Is adding on to your current warehouse a necessity? Let Action Lift help you optimize your warehouse design to maximize space and your operation's efficiency. Our warehouse solutions experts will work with you to create a system tailored to your specific requirements. Contact us at 570-655-2100.


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