Most of the time warehouse design is taken for granted and neglected in terms of investment and consideration with the overall supply chain strategy. However, it is the warehousing operation within most businesses that is a key factor in either the success or failure of the supply chain.
The warehouse in supply chain is much like heart in the human body as it keeps on receiving and distributing product all along the supply chain process. So it becomes important to take into consideration how the warehouse is designed keeping in view present requirement as well as future requirement. Read on to know the role of warehouse design in achieving improved efficiency and the factors to be considered while designing a warehouse.
Productivity ties directly to the layout of the warehouse. Hence, you got to have a perfect warehouse design for operations to take place smoothly. The goal of warehouse designing is to optimize the warehousing operations, achieve maximum efficiency and optimum space utilization. In short, warehouse design element aims to maximize the utility of space, equipment, and efficiency of operations.
Here are some factors listed for the design and layout of a warehouse:
1.Product: What kind of goods will it hold?
As we all know that warehouses are primarily used for storage purpose, it is essential that we clearly understand all the characteristics of these goods. For instance, characteristics like no. of units to be stored, unit weight, unit dimensions and so on. Since it’s all about the product/goods, we should make sure to categorize the goods and make a place for the same in the warehouse design as per the requirement.
2.Space: What physical characteristics should the warehouse have?
The dimensions and characteristics of the warehouse infrastructure play a huge role in deciding the layout structure inside the warehouse. These features impact the design of shelves, capacity of the installations and the distribution of the goods inside the warehouse. There are some limitations too that must be considered: access, floors, windows, columns, boxes, lines and power lines are all examples of parts of an installation that influence the design. There are building regulations too which directly affect the calculations of metal storage structures and ultimately, the warehouse design too.
3.Equipment: What means are available?
In many cases, basic warehouse design not only includes vacant space but elements like racks, lifts or transport equipment are also taken into account. These components really influence the design proposal. They make it possible to evaluate which design best adapts to project needs, any limitations present and/or the need to integrate new equipment in the future as per capacity expansion.
4.Circulation of goods: How do goods circulate?
Circulation here means the movement that happens in logistical operations, such as dispatch, receipt and order preparation processes. Product rotation is how often the goods are renewed, i.e., a high-rotation product is one that has a high rate of input and output. Moving loads involve costs, hence it’s better to minimize the movement, provided the company operational procedure admits it. Detecting these flows is very important as they contribute in defining what is needed for effective warehouse design.
5.Personnel: How much is the manpower requirement?
The working staff within the warehouse is one of the most important assets of any company. It is important to know the required number of employees, their level of training, how they are organized, the shifts they work in and other related factors in order to refine the proposed warehouse design. They should be introduced to various automated components, warehouse management software and other IT tools which are nowadays much more specialized than before. Industry standards also demand high level commitment on the part of management to make sure health & safety standards for workforce are in place.
Warehouse operations decide the supply chain efficiency to a great level. How these operations will be carried out depends on the layout of warehouse. Thus, it is important to consider warehouse design an integral part of supply chain process. It’s been observed that warehouses designed by supply chain experts enable organizations to achieve maximum out of their warehouse operations and enhance overall efficiency. Holisol’s in-house design specialists have +50 years of experience in designing warehouses for supply chains across industries. Reach out to us and explore the magic we create in our warehouse designs.