Organizing your warehouse racking layouts and overall operation of the facility requires careful planning. You must consider many factors before making a final decision. Chances are, as time goes on and your customer base increases and demands for different products ebb and flow, so you want a system versatile enough to tweak as required easily.
The goal is to get a product to your customer quickly and as efficiently and cost-effective as possible.
Know Your Space
The organizational process begins with the floor plan of your facility.
Spend time with your team and map out the projected layout of the space.
If you are an existing facility, think about what works well currently and what causes problems in order fulfillment.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- Do the locations of the offices make sense?
- Could a different rack layout increase warehouse efficiency?
- Are you maximizing the use of vertical space?
- If you don’t have a mezzanine, would installing one provide more usable space?
- Are all aisles and racks clearly labeled?
- Is the space allocated for all sections too much or too little?
- Do you have any safety concerns (if you have an existing layout)?
- What safety measures should be built-in (if you do not have an existing layout)?
Inventory Management Systems
What inventory management programs used affect the organization of your stock and general layout.
Review various inventory problems that could assist you in becoming more efficient. Bar code systems, software that integrates Vertical Lift Module controls with overall inventory control, and other off-the-shelf systems should integrate with your accounting software when possible.
Inventory management systems help your employees immediately identify stock shortages, if a product is in stock, and reorder points.
Determine the Best Location for your Receiving Area
The location of a facility’s receiving area requires consideration of several factors.
You need enough space for sorting and moving stock to and from shelves.
Consider the size of the delivery vehicles and the space each needs for pulling up and backing into the receiving door. You may also need some sort of small space for delivery drivers to wait while their items loaded or unloaded.
Don’t forget about space for a computer terminal and supervisor. You may need a small office or cubicle depending on what his or her responsibilities are.
What stock goes where in your warehouse is essential. Think about your inventory. Some items likely move in and out quickly, probably daily. Other items may sit on the shelves longer.
Plan the layout of your racks accordingly.
Determine the Racking System to Use
There are many types of racking systems on the market. Depending on your products, including the items’ size and weight, will help you decide what sort of racking system to use.
You may need cantilever racks. Perhaps pallet flow racks will work best if you move all your stocks on pallets.
Think about aisle size. Does the system you have currently or plan to install require forklifts? If so, don’t forget about rail guards and safety bumpers.
The climate makes a difference in the sorts of racking and other equipment used.
In humid climates, think about using vulcanized metal or stainless steel racks that will not corrode as quickly under wet conditions.
Don’t Forget about Upkeep and Order
Ensure you include a system to keep your facility clean and organized. Set a time frame, perhaps weekly or even daily, to restock and reorganize shelves.
Make it a policy to return to keep all tools in one place and to return them to that location after use.
Clean everything regularly. Dirt and dust can quickly accumulate in warehouses and adversely affect the lifespan of the shelf and product.
There is a lot more that could be included in warehouse organization and planning.
If you need help, contact a reputable online company with experience in warehouse organizing and equipment to help you design and stock your storage facility.
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