The speed and accuracy of fulfilling your business are what may take your business to the top. For long term success, more warehouses should consider improving how well they organize and store inventory such that it will be picked, packed, shipped, and delivered effortlessly.
That being said, your warehouse needs to be correctly designed and optimized to achieve these functions. To ensure that your warehouse is the most proficient it can be, you need to ensure that the design is creative and functional.
Rethinking the design of your warehouse will not only improve productivity and speed, but it will also improve how much space you have. Employees will also have more room to conduct tasks more efficiently.
The key to optimizing your warehouse is to first figure out how your inventory moves from stage to stage. The better design you have for the warehouse, the quicker and more efficiently the stock will move.
Selecting the Warehouse
If you have not yet chosen your warehouse or have been meaning to upgrade, consider the following factors to help you make the choice
- Size- Consider what you have right now; do you want something bigger or smaller. If you are just starting off, think about the type of inventory, equipment, and the number of employees you will be having. The goal is to have a spacious warehouse that will leave room for expansion.
- Location- It is important to be closer to your critical consumers or at least be located in a central area for quick dispatching of items.
- Cost- Buying or leasing a warehouse is not cheap. Therefore, you need to look at your budget and see what you can afford. Ensure that what you choose will be a lucrative decision that can be expanded.
Now that you have the right warehouse implement the following tips to maximize space and efficiency.
- Golden Zoning- The key to improving flow in the warehouse is by ensuring that the most commonly shipped items are in the golden zone. This will reduce the time used between picks as they are closer to the exit and have a clear path that leads directly to them.
- Path focus- Ensure that you focus on clearing a path that is commonly used by employees to move, pack, or pick the items. Dense traffic areas should be easy to navigate and should lead to different types of inventory. Furthermore, these paths should be less crowded, so adjust the widths to give more room for movement.
- Shelving- Rearrange your shelves so that they are all running in one direction. This will give employees a clear view of the whole warehouse and the different stations. It is also best to have longer but fewer rows than shorter but many rows.
- Rearrange- When in doubt, rearrange your inventory. While many businesses insist on storing similar products together, it is better to store them according to how quickly and often they sell. Place the fast-selling items closer to the shipping lanes to reduce traveling time.