One of the critical things you need to have to be successful in business is efficiency. It should be a consideration from top to bottom of what you do. Your processes should be streamlined where possible, automated with easy measures of success in place.
An office should be the ideal environment for your team, and equal consideration should be given to your warehouse.
The layout of your warehouse will be one of the most impactful things to your efficiency of operations.
Always keep in mind what you need in terms of storage options, equipment, people, and production.
As soon as you have the keys to your warehouse, map out the space. Where should the parking be for forklifts? Where will the production line be? Factor in all of the walking pathways and the flow of the products and shipments.
Start labeling the areas up and prepare for optimization.
The space in the warehouse will be the driver when it comes to the layout. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, like only offering a maximum of 27% space to storage.
Clustering products or parts can make it more efficient for the workers, as this is a logical arrangement.
Make use of all of the vertical space too.
Depending on the state of your warehouse, it might require some floor screeds and concrete floors, ventilation systems, and other fittings. Depending on the size of your products and shipments, you may need to consider pallet jacks, forklifts, and other sizable machinery.
This means you will need to have your aisles a minimum of 13 feet wide, as most forklifts are 12.
Before you start having the aisles or anything else fitted, tape up the outlines on the floor and get some of the equipment in. This test run will show you if the widths you have in place are reasonable.
Have your forklift drivers come in and see how easy or practical it is to maneuver around. Get feedback and manipulate your layout design based on that.
Once you have the green light from your machinery team, start to place the rest of the warehouse fixtures in place and get your team to test it further.
It should be easy for everyone who is usually in the warehouse to move around – in fact, it should be easier than before if you are adjusting to a pre-existing warehouse.
If your warehouse is optimized, you can expect to see an increase and improvement in operations – but not all warehouses are equal. Two warehouse layout designs are often known for their efficiency.
The U-shaped design looks like a semi-circle and has loading and shipping next to each other, with staging behind loading and picking behind shipping.
The L-shaped design has shipping and loading at either end of the L. With shipping and picking being next to each other, staging and loading. The rest of the space is dedicated to products.
A warehouse is certainly something you will need to consider as a product-based business grows; here are some other things to keep in mind: 5 Things to Consider if You’re Thinking of Starting a Manufacturing Business – CommonWisdom – London.