You might have the largest warehouse space but still, count losses if this is not optimised. This is because the lack of efficiency in the layout of your warehouse results in bottlenecks and the loss of items now and again.
Moreover, you can hardly keep track of your inventory, and it is easy to run out of stock unknowingly. You will first need an efficient form of storage for your inventory. Some of the standard storage options include a warehouse pallet racking system, shelving and mezzanine flooring.
Pallet racking systems are further divided into drive-in, high-bay, cantilever, mobile coil, carton flow, and shuttle racking systems. These have precise weight and size restrictions to guarantee their stability. To ensure they improve your warehouse’s efficacy, it is advisable to section the warehouse.
The following are the crucial areas you should include in the warehouse.
Warehouse optimisation starts right at the moment you receive your inventory. In the receiving station, products will be checked in and assessed for quantity, and damages. In this station, ensure you have sufficient space for the check-in staff so that the entry of new inventory is unobstructed.
You should also include a loading dock where pallets can be loaded straight from the truck rather than divided and delivered in small loads. This minimises the staff you will need to offload inventory and increases efficiency.
This is the area where your pickers will take orders from then proceed to the shelves to pick the products. Your inventory storage, type of pallet or shelf, and the location of the station are some of the elements that will determine the efficiency and accuracy in this area.
To maximise the productivity at your picking station, place the products in easily accessible pallets or shelves, and designate areas for specific products. You can also reduce the travel time of the pickers by having adequate transport means to allow them to carry as many products as possible in one run.
Here, a customer’s goods will be packed into poly-bags or shipping boxes and clearly labelled for shipping. The storage and correct labelling of materials are crucial at this stage to ensure the goods get to the right clients while intact.
Packing stations are ideally located near the shipping stations to reduce the travel times between these locations. It also reduces the packing materials you will need between these two stations.
It will not matter how efficient and fast your packing and picking is if you cannot get goods to the client on time. If you are outsourcing your shipping, get multiple service providers for the same. This way, you have a backup in case one of your shippers fails.
Orders are picked up at the shipping station, scanned in then shipped out.
Designating the above spaces for your warehouse will significantly ease your procurement process and reduce losses. When considered in the short term, the construction of these spaces is costly and will take some time that might necessitate you to shut down for some days.
The guaranteed payoff of the sectioning will, however, be worth the time and money you spend on it in the long run.