In this infographic, we look at the four steps to successful warehouse design.
Step 1: Know Your Business
Understanding your current situation is the first step. It sounds obvious but you have to have answers to these questions:
- What business need are you fulfilling?
- What is your current storage requirement for each of your products?
- How can current warehouse operations be made more efficient?
- What throughput, i.e. “speed to market” are you achieving?
- When are your seasonal peaks?
Step 2: Project Your Future Needs
- What new processes and activities will take place in the warehouse?
- How much capital investment is needed?
- What type of storage equipment and media will be needed?
- What type of automated systems and technology are required to support this?
- What will the effect be on space and resources?
Step 3: Consider Design and Layout Options
The goal is to achieve a logical sequence of operations in which each activity is located as close as possible to the operation before it and also to the function that follows.
Documenting the building size and dimensions and its position on the site provides input to the design process.
Compare a range of warehouse layout configurations to find one that fits in principle.
Step 4: What Happens Outside the Building?
When designing a warehouse, don’t forget what happens on the site outside the building. Consider the flow of vehicles in and out of the yard, queuing and parking facilities for both trucks and trailers. Remember the employees and visitors; they need safe pedestrian walkways and a place to park their cars.
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