Optimising your warehouse layout may not feature high on your list of priorities as a busy business owner. However, we can’t emphasise enough, how important and helpful the correct warehouse layout is for maximising efficiency and productivity. If you believe there are improvements to be made, then it might be time to look at updating the layout of your warehouse.
What do we mean by warehouse layout design?
Warehouse layout design, is quite simply, how you choose to arrange the equipment, storage and products in your warehouse.
A well-designed warehouse layout can mean a better workflow, more efficient inventory management and optimisation of space within the warehouse.
So how can your business ensure you have your warehouse is set up properly? Whether you are designing for a brand new or existing warehouse, there is a lot you can do to make sure that you optimise your layout for efficiency and functionality. Below we offer our tips for designing and implementing a new warehouse layout.
What are the steps of warehouse layout design?
The objective of designing a new warehouse layout depends on the nature of your business. For any business, however, there are three core objectives – space, flow and accessibility.
- Maximise Space – How can you maximise the space you have available?
- Increase Flow – How can you design a warehouse layout that allows for easy flow of people, vehicles and products.
For instance, how can you ensure materials are stored so that they are easily accessible to people when they are using said materials.
Ideally, you will design a warehouse layout in such a way as to reduce movement around the warehouse, thus avoiding ‘crashes’ and disruption to other areas
- Improve Accessibility – How can you make all inventory, products, equipment easily accessible to all?
There are several storage solutions, for instance, that allow for pallets to be stacked in a way that enables all items to be accessed without the need to move other items.
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. So an important step to setting up your warehouse is to map it out: using an existing blueprint or you can draw out a new one.
No warehouse is the same, so finding the right layout for yours is key. Remember to accommodate your equipment (forklift and pallet jack), offices, inventory, and vehicles when mapping it out.
Draw out the proposed layout: warehouse layouts design software such as Smartdraw or simple pen and paper. You will need to factor in the amount of inventory you need to store, where you will keep your equipment and vehicles and how people and vehicles will access and flow throughout the space.
Once you have your plan drawn, it’s time to test it out for functionality.
It is important that before you go ahead with implementing the new layout, that you make sure your design is functional. You can measure and mark out the proposed new layout and take a walkthrough. If you use equipment such as forklifts then you should also test using them to make sure they can move around the new layout freely.
If anything doesn’t work, make sure to make amendments to the original layout and test again. Ironing any kinks out at this stage will help you to avoid wasting any time or money when you come to implementing your design.
The final, and most satisfying step, is to bring the new layout design to life! This may require you to procure new warehouse storage systems to create your new warehouse layout and to store your inventory according to your design. An experienced warehouse storage company will be able to guide you in what’s best for your warehouse.
Get assistance designing and implementing the perfect layout for your warehouse with Global Industrial
We have experience in advising customers on the best solution for their warehousing needs (check out some of our completed projects). So if you need some help to decide on what warehouse racking layout design is best for your business, we’re happy to help! Get in touch today to chat with our team, located in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.