Understanding the Basics of Warehouse Layout Design
A warehouse plays an integral role in the supply chain process by receiving and dispensing products to their destinations. Therefore, it is essential to take into consideration the design of the warehouse to address the current and future needs. This is because the efficiency of the processes involved is directly linked with the layout of the warehouse. Hence, you should have a correct warehouse design to accommodate smooth operations. The main aim of considering the design is to optimize processes, maximum utilization of space and enhance productivity. Below are some essential factors to consider when designing a warehouse.
Perhaps the first step of designing a warehouse is considering the intended purpose. Although the primary purpose of a warehouse is storage, it is essential to understand the characteristics of the goods to be stored. For instance, you should consider the number of units, weight, dimensions, etc. Also, make sure to designate distinctive sections for easy retrieval of items.
- The available space and physical characteristics
The available space and the infrastructure involved significantly influences the layout structure inside the warehouse. For instance, space will determine the design of the shelves, the installation required and the circulation of items in the warehouse. Other essential features to consider include access, floors, power lines, etc. Additionally, depending on jurisdiction, there are building regulations that might affect the design and structure of the warehouse.
- Equipment involved
Regardless of the size or the intended purpose, a warehouse should contain elements such as forklifts, racks, and transport apparatus. The equipment involved influences the design of the warehouse. For example, you have to ensure the design will facilitate free movement of equipment inside the warehouse. Also, the layout should accommodate the integration of new equipment in the future in case of expansion.
- Circulation of goods
When designing the warehouse, you have to consider the logistical operations involved such as ordering, receipt, and dispatch. Rotation of goods and services depends on the demand. For instance, high-rotation products are highly demanded. On the other hand, it is prudent to consider the cost involved in the movement of goods. The circulation of products and other logistics significantly contribute to the design of the warehouse.
- Personnel involved
Employees are one of the most important assets of any company. When designing the warehouse, you should consider the number of employees involved, the level of training required and other related factors. The employees should be familiarized with the automated elements, management systems, and other tools included in the warehouse. You should also ensure adherence to health and safety standards.
In conclusion, operations and efficiency inside the warehouse largely depend on the layout and design. Therefore, the design of the warehouse contributes significantly to the supply chain process. Warehouses that have been carefully designed enable an organization to achieve maximum operations and improved productivity.