Optimizing your warehouse layout: tips and tricks for the New Year

David Weakly

By David Weakly Business Development at King Solutions

warehouse layoutThere are many reasons why operations leaders continually seek to optimize the layout of their warehouses. When everything from shelving to freight is in the right place, orders are fulfilled more quickly, safety improves for the material handlers and much more inventory can be kept on hand.

While getting everything in place can feel like a process, organization is a necessary step that all warehouses must take in order to streamline their operations. If left unchecked, a poor warehouse layout will cost money as time goes by.

As we launch 2016, there is no better time than now to optimize your warehouse layout.

Think spatially, but don’t sacrifice safety
If more room is need for more inventory, the first warehouse redesign might include narrowing the aisles. Some warehouses waste space by having too great a division between their pallets and shelving.

This doesn’t mean sacrificing workplace safety in order to cram more products into the warehouse. Allowing ample space for workers to move freight about without causing a hazard is can sometimes be overlooked. There should be enough room for two forklifts carrying a pallet each to pass each other while in the same aisle.

Think vertically
There are quite a few warehouse management tips focusing on safety, automation and cleanliness. When it comes to optimizing the layout of a warehouse we recommend thinking upwards as well as outwards.

Warehouses have a lot of square footage, but they have an even greater cubic volume. When you cannot possibly fit anymore on the floor, it’s time to start stacking upward.

It may be time to invest in some additional industrial shelving so products are removed from the floor. The more product stacked on shelves, the more room workers have to move about more quickly.

When stacking upward, also remember to place more commonly used items on the lower shelves. This will help by improving your warehouse efficiency and fulfillment rates.

Fulfillment speed
When an order comes in, what is the process in which you have it fulfilled? What path do your employees take to retrieve equipment, find stock, then bring it to the bay to load onto a truck?

Your warehouse layout decides the speed in which orders are fulfilled. If workers have to travel to one corner of the warehouse in order to retrieve a forklift then travel all the way to the other corner to retrieve stock, they are wasting precious time moving all over the warehouse. Keeping slower moving product separate from faster moving product is another common practice that saves time and resources.

The flow of the warehouse should be natural. You can also increase warehouse efficiency by implementing wearable technology that enables workers to receive orders no matter where they are in the warehouse.

Even if you are only saving minutes per order, time savings will add up quickly as you continue to process hundreds and thousands of orders.

Partner with the right company
When it comes to warehouse management and order fulfillment, King Solutions has all the right answers. We can help you no matter your logistics needs may be. Contact us today and we will tailor a solution that is right for you.