Optimizing Your Warehouse Layout

Business owners quickly learn the value of organization and efficiency within their operations. Properly utilizing available space allows you to optimize storage and locate needed inventory with ease. When you own and operate a warehouse space, this is especially important.

Whether you have a lot of stuff to store and limited space at your disposal or you have high turnover and frequent demands for rotating stock and shipping goods (or both) you need the ideal layout to fit your needs, saving you time and money. Here are just a few tips to help you create the warehouse layout that’s best suited to ensuring organization and efficiency.

Legal Specs

The place to begin, before you start purchasing storage options and organizing your space, is to make sure you are operating within applicable legal standards. This means understanding any building and safety codes associated with your operation.

You need to know how much clearance is required in aisles and overhead before you buy and install industrial shelving . You might need to install safety features like a sprinkler system, ventilation, and so on. Knowing these legal specifications before you start the layout process will help to ensure that you don’t face penalties and costly remodeling down the line.

Storage Options for Your Space and Your Goods

Once you have an idea of the legal limitations of your layout, you can start planning the parameters of your intended storage solutions. This begins with knowing not only the space you have to fill with shelving, but the items that will fill the shelves.

You need to choose storage solutions that are not only optimal for your warehouse, but also for your inventory. Maximizing use of space means choosing industrial shelving and bins that optimize merchandise storage.

Breaking Up the Space

It’s a good idea to start with a floor plan so that you can try out different arrangements on paper before committing to the ideal layout for your needs. However, the best floor plan is going to avoid long aisles and consist of space that is broken up for quick and easy navigation. Don’t forget to make sure that all of the aisles not only work with legal specs, but also with any equipment like forklifts and pallets that might move through.

Shipping and Receiving

It’s natural to devote a lot of time to planning your storage areas and leave staging areas as a secondary consideration, but this is a mistake. The size and configuration of your shipping and receiving area can have a major impact on the relative efficiency of your operation, especially if you manage a busy warehouse that deals with frequent turnaround and/or large orders.

Access to Popular Items

Early on, you might not have a clear idea of how to efficiently manage your inventory, but with the right tracking software, you’ll soon gain an understanding of which goods see the most circulation. At this point, you can reassess your current layout to more efficiently manage inventory and ensure easy access to the most popular merchandise. Planning and regular assessments are the keys to optimizing your warehouse layout.

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