The efficiency and working environment of your warehouse is essential to its purpose. Your primary goal is servicing customers to ensure speedy delivery. The on-demand energy of the modern environment influences decisions about your location’s proximity to customers and the capacity.
The factors of warehouse design can be remembered by the acronym, FAST:
Important to every warehouse is flow. The sequence of operations where each activity is located closely to the activity that precedes it and the activity that follows. Good flow improves efficiency and output. The controlled movement of people, materials with no interruptions or collisions where activity is disrupted or halted is important to ensure smooth operations.
Hand in hand with flow is accessibility. From equipment, to materials, to products, everything should be easily accessible. Accessibility should be applied to every aspect of a warehouse floor including staging areas and the loading dock. This is where you need to consider the needs of your warehouse: What market does it serve? What types of goods will be stored?
These elements are a factor when considering the accessibility of items throughout the design.
Space is your most valuable asset in a warehouse. Unused space can limit productivity and create a stressful and chaotic environment. When allocating space in your warehouse, the most space should be used for operational storage and stock processing. Offices, empty pallet storage and other associated functions can use less space. A lot of modern storage space can be used to make the most of your space. Also consider the future when thinking about space in the warehouse, how will your space change as the business evolves?
Throughput is the rate of production or the rate at which something is processed.It’s a good idea to have accurate throughput data to assist with your design, take note of the periods of high demand to maximize production. When designing a warehouse you should always account for the highest demand periods so that production can always be ramped up to the maximum level without your design slowing it down. Take note of not only the types of products flowing through the warehouse but also how they are handled, their different sizes and bulk as well as security and safety requirements.
There are many different elements to warehouse design and this list only briefly covers a framework with which to conceptualize your design. SEA Studios has considerable experience in planning and designing warehouse and distribution centers and are happy to help you when it comes to designing your warehouse or network. As a team, we have completed over 2000+ projects for numerous clients in various industries around the U.S. Here at SEA Studios, we pride ourselves on working as a team not only with one another but with our clients, contractors, and engineers. Reach out today for your next project!