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There are many factors involved in creating a solid and effective warehouse design system. Any warehouse operation also holds unique sets of circumstances to consider when deciding on logistical efficiency. However, the core basics to stand by remain unchanged. They are the foundation to start from when doing any warehouse design and planing, and can help maximize profit while minimizing costs.
There also is no real level of importance or priority to be taken with these factors. They equally weigh into the system, and when one part breaks down, they all are effected. So it is important to treat each of the factors with the same level of care.
Facility Space: For all practical purposes, this factor is as good as any to start with. It may seem easy or only logical to know the physical space of your warehouse helps determine the overall plan and layout. However, there are sub-factors involved that need to be addressed. The best place to start is with a blueprint of the facility, along with dimensions and characteristics of the infrastructure. This is required information you need to know in order to figure the capacity and distribution of the products you are handling. Things like how columns and other structural elements are placed, power lines, windows… all need to be considered when determining facility space. All of this information, along with a set of building regulations pertaining to you, are a very important factor in determining overall warehouse design.
Warehouse Products: What kind of products will you be handling? This also may seem obvious on the surface, but there’s more to it than just the size and shape of products. Weight and load capacities also come in to play, along with consideration for perishable items, or items that are sensitive to temperatures may need special care. You also need to consider the ability to have your warehouse adapt to new products if needed,. Therefore the ability to be prepared for possible logistical changes need to be considered.
Circulation: This factor refers to the relative harmony in which goods move around the warehouse and get to where they need to be most efficiently, which usually means the quickest and least expensive. There is a direct cost associated with moving product around a warehouse, so you want to minimize the amount of times and distance in which they move.
Equipment: Another keenly important factor in efficient warehouse design involves accessing resources either on hand, or resources that can be obtained and implemented easily with low cost. For example, if your facility already has part of a pallet racking system, and the inclusion fits with your overall goals, it is often times beneficial to base your design strategy on maximizing current equipment available, rather than building an entirely new system.
Staff: All of the equipment and proper warehouse layout activities mean nothing without considering the man power behind the operation. What human resources are available to you, and what type of training or level of understanding can you expect from them. Are there any training initiatives that will need to be developed? With the introduction of automation in modern warehouses, the level of skill needed to operate systems has increased. This is a very important factor to consider as well.
Company Organization: Sound warehouse design hinges on the ability to implement changes to continuously increase productivity and lower overall costs. The ability for warehouse management to make lucid decision backed by analysis of data is crucial. Some modern warehouses have begun using Warehouse Management Software to help the decision making process for continuing improvement.
Culver Equipment, LLC specializes in the details necessary to plan and design a smooth warehouse layout. As a consultant and provider for some of the industry’s leading warehouse companies, we understand what it takes to create the most effective warehouse design possible. Talk to one of our experts today for more information. Ask us about how we use innovative strategies with CAD to facilitate your warehouse design.