Defining Your Objectives
If you’re moving into a new warehouse or redesigning your current one, there’s likely one or more aspects of your current operations you’d like to improve. Do you need to more efficiently utilize your warehouse space? Does your current warehouse operation require additional space? Or, perhaps you simply need to accommodate a higher product flow. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in material handling, which is why it’s so important to utilize the expertise of our seasoned pallet rack systems specialists to find the solution that’s right for you.
Warehouse Layout and Design
It’s essential to utilize the existing cubic warehouse space in a way that prioritizes safety and efficiency. In order to begin planning your warehouse layout, the total usable space must first be calculated. When doing this, we’ll need to take into account the warehouse’s fixed structures, such as doors, columns and walls. Once we have a good idea of the space in which you’ll have to operate, it will be time to inventory the product that will be stored there. Is the product stored on pallets, bins or cases, or is it loose? If you’re going to be using a lift truck to pick your product, how wide must the aisles be? Finally, what kind of pallet racking and/or shelving do you currently have in place? All of this data will be used to inform decisions about the material handling equipment and warehouse layout needed to fully optimize your operations. There are important questions we’ll need to ask as well. Why was your warehouse laid out this way to begin with? What inefficiencies or other problems have you identified that have caused you to consider a new warehouse or redesign?
One of the most common design flaws we run into is poor aisle design. Optimal aisle length is heavily dependent upon the pick frequency of the items being stored. For example, high frequency picks are best stored in short aisles to make access to them faster and easier. Lower frequency picks, however, should be stored in longer aisles, which are conducive to greater storage density and can save space. A key rule of thumb to keep in mind is that, generally speaking, 20% of your products represent 80% of your picks. Identifying and properly positioning these frequently picked products can save you tremendous amounts of time and money.
Another common pitfall is not considering a goods-to-people pick model. By simply having the right pick model, warehouse efficiency can skyrocket. If a product is picked only once a month, it will be a waste of money implementing an expensive automated system. Our rack experts have the necessary knowledge to help you create the pick model that’s custom tailored to your business.
Yet another potentially costly mistake is selecting equipment before developing objectives. Before deciding which equipment can best accomplish the goals put forth by a business for its warehouse, the goals must first be thoroughly established. We’ll listen to your goals and apply our knowledge to design your warehouse before making any recommendations as to what equipment will best help you accomplish them.
Seek Professional Input
Designing a warehouse and choosing the right equipment for it can be complex tasks, but we’ll work with you to fine tune the vision you have for your warehouse by analyzing your product slotting to make sure you’re not keeping your slowest moving products front and center, while inadvertently hiding your fast-movers. We’ll also make sure your order picking technique is congruent with the layout of your warehouse. When this is accomplished, warehouse efficiency can be increased by 10, 50, or, in some cases, up to 100%. This not only increases profitability, but can result in boosted morale for personnel who no longer need to walk or bend over as far as before.
Choosing the Right Equipment for your Warehouse
There are a lot of areas to address when it comes time to fully optimize your warehouse, and selecting the right equipment to get the job done is just one part of the process. If you’re interested in learning more about how to find the equipment that’s right for you, give us a call. While you’re here, check out the rest of our informational videos, too.