As the demand for quick delivery ramps up for ecommerce it makes many companies re-evaluate the layout of their warehouses to increase productivity. Whether your warehouse is a cross-dock or an e-commerce facility there are many ways to optimize your facility for both inbound and outbound operations. Here are a few ways to optimize your warehouse design layout:
The number one priority when planning out the layout of your warehouse is safety. The top three injuries in a warehouse are falls, ergonomic-related pains, and material handling incidents1. It’s important to keep the health of your employees in mind and how their daily activities will be affected by your layout. Aside from the proper training, safety can be ensured through other precautions like enough space for machinery and keeping a clean environment.
Believe it or not, the more movement that is made can affect your bottom line. The more the product is handled, the higher the risk of damaging the product. The less your employees have to travel, the more they can get done. This will also save labor costs since most employees will be more efficient as the distance they have to travel decreases. Re-evaluate the flow of material in and out of your warehouse to make the process seamless and as efficient as possible.
We have seen how quickly companies can grow and advance so it’s important to keep these possible changes in mind while planning your warehouse. Planning for the future will help transitions and expansions occur with ease. Planning ahead with facility options, like a built-to-suit, will leave room for future expansion and most of the time the extra space can be filled until you need it. Having extra warehouse space will make future expansions achievable.
Inventory is a huge factor in determining an optimized layout for your warehouse. The type of inventory you distribute, the amount, and the length of time the product is in the warehouse are all things that should be taken into consideration during the planning process. Things like the inbound and outbound process as well as the way the items are stored should also be considered. Aside from the type of inventory, you should also consider how much you are going to keep available at your warehouse at any time. Operations run best at about 85% full, anything more than that will be less efficient and anything less would reduce your potential profit. Projected order statistics along with past data can help determine an optimized solution.
Size Your Storage Means Correctly
If you have a warehouse where your goods move quickly then it’s important to have a good estimate on the size storage you need to have. You don’t want to have to replenish a fast moving pick location more than one time a day. This means that you should have enough inventory to last you a whole day or else you could have delays in moving the product outbound. If you are continuously replenishing the shelves you are using more labor than if there was enough space to store at least a days’ worth of items.
Optimizing your warehouse can increase productivity while reducing costs. Having an exceptional warehouse design will make for a coherent process with less risk and more reward.