The efficiency of your warehouse can depend a lot on your setup. Below are a few tips for getting the best out of your warehouse as you set it up.
Make full use of the space available
Maximizing space will allow you to store more inventory and potentially get away with smaller (and cheaper) premises. Most warehouses use pallet racks or shelving units to make the most of vertical space. These should be as tall as the ceiling allows.
When it comes to paths between racks, make these as narrow as you can get away with. This could allow you to fit more racks into the space. Options such as mobile pallet racking could allow you to squeeze in even more racks in a smaller space.
Not all space may be needed for storage. Make sure that you also dedicate enough space for processes like staging, packing and shipping.
Consider traffic flow
If your warehouse is likely to be very busy, traffic flow could be very important. You may want to designate pickers to certain sections, so that you’re not sending people all over the place. In some cases, it may even be beneficial to pick specific routes or make certain aisles one way - particularly if they’re narrow and you’re using machinery like forklifts.
Find a logical sorting method
You can’t just store items anywhere. Try to come up with a logical system as to where to put certain items. This could be alphabetical, or you could group items into categories so that items often accessed together are stored together.
You may find that certain items have to be stored in certain places because of their size or weight. It may also make sense to store regularly accessed items closer to the order preparation area to save time.
Decide whether you need forklifts
When it comes to storing and picking heavy items, forklifts can make light work of this task. However, you do need to consider the cost of acquiring and maintaining this equipment. On top of the forklifts themselves, there may be other parts to acquire such as batteries, which you can buy from companies like powRparts. You also need to hire staff who are certified to operate a forklift.
Integrate RFID technology
RFID technology can help to more easily keep track of stock. Every item can be mapped out electronically and you can automatically record when an item enters your warehouse and when it leaves. Such technology can help to reduce errors and also allow you to detect loss or theft or items.
Hire the right staff
A successful warehouse needs a strong team of staff. Make sure to take the time to hire a team that you can trust. When hiring management or individuals for specialist roles, it could be important to hire experienced talent.
Invest in health and safety
Health and safety is important in any workplace, but it can be particularly important in warehouses where accidents can cause greater risk of injury. Make sure to invest in barriers and signage where it may help. It could also be important to make sure that there is good lighting, good air quality and that flooring is flat and even.