If you work in manufacturing, wholesale or logistics, the efficiency of your business is likely to be dependent on how well designed your warehouse is. Below are just some of the key ingredients to consider when designing and furnishing your warehouse.
FAST is an acronym that is often used in warehouse layout design. It stands for:
Each of these four factors plays a vital part in how practical your warehouse is. It’s therefore important that you incorporate all four factors into your warehouse design.
· Flow is all about laying out your warehouse in a logical sequence so that there is no interference between tasks. This could include creating separate areas for goods coming in and goods coming out and possibly even creating one way systems and areas for queues.
· Accessibility is about making sure that all items can be accessed when needed. This could involve placing popular items in the easiest-to-access locations and not having items hidden behind other items.
· Space is all about considering the dimensions of your warehouse and how best you can use them. Ailes need to be big enough for equipment such as forklifts to fit down. At the same time, you want to be able to dedicate as much space to your inventory as possible so that you can store more items.
· Throughput is all about being able to adjust to different volumes of work. There may be times when you have lots of items coming in and few items coming out – this could mean having to use your ‘out’ area for items coming in to cope with the demand or having the ability to easily transfer resources from one area to another.
By incorporating all these four factors into your design, you can help to create a warehouse that runs like clockwork with few bottlenecks or blockages.
Make cleaning easy
Being able to clean your warehouse easily is important. Consider installing impact flooring that can be easily swept and mopped. Similarly, locate bins in convenient places so that waste can be easily disposed of. Incorporate cleaning processes into your workflow so that you’re constantly cleaning as you’re going along.
Invest in security
Warehouses can sometimes be targeted by thieves due to the value of the items and tools stored within them. Make sure that doors and windows cannot be easily broken into and that there are burglar alarms fitted. Security features such as cameras and motion-sensing lighting could also help to deter would-be burglars. Security is something that you don’t want to skimp on – it’s worth spending extra on high quality locks and alarms.
Prioritise health and safety
Health and safety is also very important in a warehouse. Make sure that there is clear signage around to warn people of dangers, as well as safety features such as barriers around pits. There should also be clear fire exits, as well as smoke alarms located around the warehouse.