Tips on Warehouse Design

Tips on Warehouse Design

If your company is not reviewing every possible way to streamline operations, then you’re one of the few. Most companies are looking to make their supply chain more efficient, and what better way to start than warehouse design?

The goal of warehouse layout design is to optimize your warehousing functions and achieve maximum efficiency and space utilization. There are four primary functions that a warehouse layout must accommodate.

Product storage: Start an analysis by looking at current average inventory levels and growth projections by SKU. Make sure this analysis leverages clearly defined units of measure in the facility.

Inbound operations: Gather the necessary data to determine receipt and returns profiles, including the average number of lines on a receipt/return, the quantities and cube of an average receipt/return, the number of trucks received per day, and the units of measure in which you are receiving (pallets, cases, etc.).

Outbound operations: When allocating space for picking and shipping areas, it is important to consider shipment order profiles and pick units of measure to analyze the flow of product to the dock.

Value-added Processes: Many warehouses incorporate some additional value beyond receiving, storing and shipping. Many processes can be included within the picking or receiving processes, but some may need to be performed in a separate area. Ensure that you incorporate the correct cube of the inventory and incorporate growth when sizing these areas.

It is important that companies analyze the labor in picking, replenishment, and shipping and receiving to ensure there is proper balance amongst all warehouse functions. Whether a company is redesigning an existing warehouse or developing a new distribution center, it is important to focus on balance to provide flexibility for future business requirements.

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Distribution centers must work to relieve congestion through cost-effectively optimizing the space within the four walls of the facility. This requires a two-pronged approach: minimizing space requirements and maximizing space utilization.

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