The role of warehouses in distribution and supply chain management can never be understated. A good warehouse design has extensive consequences for efficiency and savings. Transforming a warehouse into something better involves:
- Making it environmental friendly: this involves going green and limiting carbon emissions. Use of natural energy is essential here, too.
- Energy conservation: energy conservation will help cut down operational costs which in turn makes it affordable to customers
- Developing an efficient inventory system: Good inventory management systems help in streamlining operations. Computerized systems promote speed and efficiency in storage, tracking and retrieval of items.
How to Transform Your Warehouse to Be Much Better
Your warehouse transformation is achieved by building a system that is adaptable to technology. Here are some tips to achieve this:
Improving safety conditions
A lot of activities go on inside the warehouse. The warehouse operators carry out tasks to do with:
- selecting the merchandise, organizing and processing it
- filling orders and retrieving items from bulk storage
- preparing items for transportation and delivery
A large part of these activities will involve use of large machinery such as forklifts, cranes and so on. Safety conditions are important to ensure workers:
- Correct lighting systems to enhance visibility: the systems should also be energy efficient. LED lights are the best as they lose less heat which means low electricity cost and a safe environment
- Make use of the natural lighting alternatives like solar tubes and skylights which are environmental-friendly
- Install motion sensors to detect movement, control ventilation, heating and airflow.
Good layout to promote accessibility of items
For smooth operation, it should be easier for workers to retrieve items from bulk storage. This means that the layout should not limit movement and access to the shelves. When limited time is taken in finding items, a lot can be done in a day. Operations become seamless. Here are tips to follow to ensure the layout favors both you and the customer:
- Divide the warehouse into zones and mark them to represent receiving areas, returns areas and shipping areas
- Make the receiving area large enough to accommodate incoming merchandise
- Include directions like the pick path and bin locations. Perpendicular aisles are the best as the customers will move faster down the aisles to the shipping zone.
- Go with the grid-style arrangement for easier access to items. Also include special places for special packages.
It is essential to reduce emissions and energy consumption:
- Install more windows and ventilations to let in light
- Reflective materials such as white paints on the walls keeps the place cool by reducing heat and the need for air-conditioning system
- The design should promote airflow.
Location matters a lot in terms of how it can be accessed. Easier access by the customers will reduce transportation expenses and promote sustainability. Here is what to consider in choosing a location:
- Good infrastructure and road networks to facilitate transportation
- Central location: for easier access the warehouse should be situated closer to both the ports and the customers
The bottom line, it all starts with good design to better management systems so as to end up with a harmonious functioning system.