Many warehouse operation problems can be avoided if careful thought is put into the design of that warehouse. This article discusses some design elements that can affect the efficiency of your new warehouse building:
The design of your warehouse should limit the distances that have to be moved by your products. For example, the off-loading areas should be located close to the shelving where the off-loaded products will be stored. Similarly, the loading docks should also be close to the products that need to be dispatched to clients or distributors. Minimising the travel distances ensures that less time and fuel will be required to move the products.
Greater operational efficiencies can also be attained by making a provision for a sufficient number of doors in your warehouse. For example, you can place doors 100-feet from each other. Those multiple doors will enable several trucks to be loaded or off-loaded at the same time. This will reduce the monetary and time cost of vehicles that wait in line.
Provisions for Expansion
The design of your warehouse should also cater for any anticipated expansion or upgrades in the near future. For example, you can use walls that can be knocked out easily in order to expand the footprint of the warehouse when more space is needed. Similarly, you can create a provision for automating your operations later on. Ample ceiling height is one way to make it easier to automate later when you need overhead lifting equipment that doesn't reduce the space available for storage racks.
Battery Changing Areas
The time lost when materials handling equipment, such as forklifts, moves to inappropriately situated battery charging stations can add up over time. It is therefore advisable to create a well-ventilated battery charging or storage area that is near the areas where lift vehicles operate. This proximity will enable the lift vehicles to get fresh batteries quickly before resuming their duties on the warehouse floor.
The rising cost of energy can lead some people to skimp on the lighting of a warehouse. However, skimping on providing adequate lighting can lead to higher operational costs later. For example, lift vehicles may move slowly in order to avoid accidents caused by poor visibility. Similarly, you may incur higher maintenance costs for fixing the damage caused when workers make mistakes due to insufficient lighting. Avoid these problems by having adequate lighting throughout your warehouse.
The best warehouse is the one whose design has been customised to address your specific needs. It is therefore advisable for you to take as much time as possible when defining and conveying your needs to the experts who are designing or building your new warehouse so that you receive a structure that will serve you well.