How important do you think it is to have a particular design in mind before leasing or investing in building up new warehouse space? Turns out the answer is ‘very’. The amount of factors needed to be considered before making an important decision such as investing in a storage space is high in number. Factors from both inside and outside the warehouse space that affect productivity can be summed up with its location as well as the “fast” factors.
When we talk about the location it becomes very easy to give an example that the public would understand. For example, let us say that a family for four is looking for a new home. Before investing in real estate they will want to check its location. A family with children will want the house to be in close proximity to a school, marketplace, etc. This means that they will majorly focus on the location of the house. In the same way, it becomes extremely important for a warehouse owner to keep an open eye on where he builds a warehouse. They would preferably go for an area where they are closely situated along the highways or to their customer base. Warehouse designing can be further accentuated with the concept of flow, accessibility, space, and throughput which can be abbreviated as fast.
1. Flow a warehouse in charge here will be concerned with the placement of goods in his storage space. The efficiency in positioning his goods in order will ensure the smoothening of activities. He should go for a sequence in which preceding and succeeding activities compliments the current activity. This will ensure uninterrupted movement inside the warehouse. He, therefore, does not need a clog in between and would prefer a flow in the activities like a free-flowing downstream river!
2. Accessibility accessing the product once they have been stored is yet another need of the hour. Special machines and equipment such as forklifts will be needed to put the goods in as well as extract those that need to be shipped. Palette racks and forklifts come under the category of such pieces of equipment. Easy accessibility will automatically lead to uninterrupted work in the warehouse as a whole.
3. Space by definition, a warehouse will need to have at least a certain area which gets designated for storage of the goods. Let us talk about the goods that come into the warehouse. A warehouse manager will allocate the space in such a way that storage area will be given priority (maximum share of an area) over management (office) area. Using the assigned space efficiently is just as important. Goods are expected to be racked in such a way that there exists space optimization. The manager should know exactly where to keep the goods in such a way that there are uninterrupted flow and accessibility of activities.
4. Throughput is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that productivity does not get stalled due to the designing of the warehouse. The concept of throughput looks at how the products are categorized with respect to the nature of the product as well as the speed at which it moves through the supply chain and reaches the final consumer. An accurate set of throughput data will greatly help solidify the outcome of the overall warehouse design concept.
To put it all in a nutshell, we now know that while deciding upon the layout and spacing of a warehouse it is very important to have the above points on the top of the checklist and to check them out on a priority basis.