Optimising Your Warehouse Layout Using 3 Questions

Now you want to get the best warehouse layout for your specific business. The aim in the design is to reduce the distance goods travel from the loading bay to their chosen storage area, reducing the need for manual handling. The best way to store items is to have the large items of stock with a fast turnaround to be stored closest to the loading bay and the items of stock you rarely access to be stored furthest away.

You may already have racking in your warehouse, but due to changing demands, you must implement some changes. These changes include shelving and racking arrangements so that they can continue to function effectively. If this is the case and you are designing current storage facilities then this is a good opportunity to conduct a stock movement assessment in order to identify and then reduce any unnecessary manual handling of goods.

Here are the 3 top questions you should ask yourself before designing your warehouse layout.

1. What storage space do you have available?

Before you can plan your warehouse layout and arrange your shelving and racking it is essential that you know the exact dimensions. This can have costly implications if done wrong and the shelving and racking does not fit the intended space. Take the time to get this right first time!

Do this by taking numerous measurements of the floor area as well as the high of the room, taking into account any pipes or ductwork overhead. In doing this you can calculate the amount of ‘clear space’ available before planning storage facilities and ordering shelves rather than using the dimensions of the building.

When taking these measurements also be aware of power sockets and fuse boxes and measure carefully to ensure that vents, drains, sockets and fuse boxes will not be blocked. In addition to this, sufficient clearance space must also be left for doors. At the same time you need  to consider the accesses routes for vehicle and pedestrians around the site.

2. How are your orders prepped and how do your staff move around the warehouse?

Increase your output significantly while saving in staff costs through reorganisation of storage locations. Organising your space efficiently can make a big difference whether your operation is small or large.

Make it easier for your staff by incorporating convenient order preparation areas to reduce the walking distances. Making sure everything is suitably labelled with also reduce frustration in staff and speed up operations.

3. What kind of access do you need for your specific goods?

Even a relatively small storage rooms with limited floor space can still offer plenty of storage. Try to think of the space in terms of volume rather than floor space. Your shelving choice will be dictated largely by how much you need to store.  The space you have available is another factor. But when planning you need to take into account other aspects. How are you going to access the goods? What will the vehicle access be? Last but not least, what are the goods that you want to store there?

One way of economically increasing your storage space at a fraction of the cost of buying a bigger facility is to implement a mezzanine floor. Read more about them here and see what we have done for our customers in the past here.

Another way is to use narrow aisles. These allow ample room for easy loading and unloading. Another important aspect is sufficient space for forklifts to access the goods. We can also provide you with specialist equipment for narrow aisles, call today on 01661 853 198.


See our full range of shelving & racking here, if you need help organising your facility then contact one of our engineers on 01661 853 198. Or arrange  a free site visit online by clicking here.