When it comes to warehousing and distribution centres, much of the attention is placed on equipment, safety and standard processes. However, warehouse layout and design are critical elements that are often overlooked. In fact, they are the foundation upon which material handling equipment is installed and operated.
What is poor warehouse layout?
An effective warehouse design provides a foundation for a successful operations system, and can help to maximize storage capacity and operational performance. Streamline Your Warehouse with Logistics Bureau can also provide a platform for future growth and adaptation.
The first step in creating an efficient warehouse layout is to accurately visualize the space. This can be done either manually using grid paper or digitally through design software. The goal is to create a 2D model of the warehouse and calculate the total storage area. This must account for all areas of the facility, including stairways and doors, as well as space used for restrooms, boiler rooms and offices that cannot be efficiently used for storage.
This step should also consider the location of loading docks and shipping bays to ensure that trucks can be unloaded and loaded as needed, while maintaining a safe clearance. It is important to incorporate defined exit routes in case of emergency, as well as clearly labeled locations for portable fire extinguishers.
Lastly, the warehouse design process should include a review of available material handling equipment and an evaluation of their functionality and performance. This can help to determine the right mix of equipment for the application and provide an estimated cost. Once the final layout and equipment plan is determined, the next step is to implement the new warehouse design. This can be accomplished by placing shelves and racking in their correct places, providing clear signage and labeling all items and equipment appropriately. This can significantly improve warehouse efficiency and accuracy, reduce product loss, minimize downtime and lower operating costs.