When designing or planning your warehouse you need to think FAST. We don’t mean you need to think about it quickly so you can get it done with. We mean you need FAST. Flow, Accessibility, Space and Throughput!
Whether you are planning a huge warehouse to upgrade your existing warehouse or you are planning a new warehouse thinking FAST is an excellent way of ensuring your warehouse will work perfectly. Planning your warehouse for your business and employees.
So, how can you think FAST?
Think about the flow through your warehouse and ensure that each activity is as close to the activity that takes place before and after it. Think about the movement of materials and people. Ensure these are not interrupted and be aware of the location of each material and how it can get from one place to the next. When thinking about planning your warehouse consider positioning the various warehouse activities. This means that flow is as smooth as possible.
You need to think about if you can get to the product easily. But also how larger orders can be collected and if needed, directly loaded into vehicles by the truck load. Think about the shelf life of products and the ease of stock rotation if required. You need to make sure products are easily and clearly laid out for quick picking, and also easily accessible. Consider how much accessibility is required when planning your warehouse. How much room is needed and how you use the space in your warehouse when it comes to making all materials and products as easily accessible as possible.
Take the time to think about how much available space you have. Think about how much will be allocated to operational storage and stock processing purposes. You will also need to consider space for offices, working areas, rubbish and empty pallets for example. You will often find the machinery and equipment you use will be free-standing. This means you really are working with a clear and empty space to create the exact warehouse your business needs.
You need to consider the velocity of your products and the volumes moving through the warehouse. Are these products fragile, heavy, bulky, and awkward in shape or size, hazardous or similar? You need to consider the characteristics of handling these items and how they will be moved through the flow. Think about what will affect the throughput when planning your warehouse. Having this information and data to hand will greatly help you with the design and layout of your warehouse and make planning your warehouse easier.
When thinking FAST about your warehouse layout, please feel free to contact us directly for a consultation and we can help you with simple ways to improve your warehouse layout to increase productivity.