Does Warehouse Design Impact Supply Chain Efficiency?

February 21, 2020

Yes, warehouse design does impact supply chain efficiency, but an affirmative answer won’t cut it just yet. There are different warehouse designs out there, and picking out a useful one can be a needle-in-a-haystack struggle. Luckily, below are ways on how warehouse designs can positively impact supply chain efficiency.

Zoning Items

The proper grouping and zoning of your items effectively ensures an efficient supply chain. You can set up a “frequently picked” zone near the front of the warehouse to minimise travel time for your material handling crew. If you have the space, consider keeping a small supply right in the packing area or next to the dispatch desk to eliminate excessive travel time. You can replenish the supply at regular intervals, at the end of each shift, or by using cue cards to keep the material flowing. Consider storing items that are often picked together next to one another to further minimise travel. If you cut down on even a few trips per shift per item, your productivity could significantly soar.

Rack Systems

Racks come in multiple designs to help improve productivity. If you have items with expiration dates, consider using gravity feed racks to keep the goods in first-in-first-out (FIFO) order. Gravity racks deliver the oldest package or pallet directly to the picking site, so you can reduce travel time and time wasted looking for the right lot or expiration date. Automatic storage and retrieval systems, drive-in racks and conveyors can also improve productivity. Remember, you don’t have to replace all your racks at once. Updating a few areas to more efficient racks can have a significant impact on productivity. What’s more, if you upgrade a few each year, your productivity could be on a continuous upswing.

Maximise Space

Area footage is expensive, so it makes sense to make the most of what you have. One way to squeeze more products into the same space is to use the right racks. Two-deep and three-deep racks and drive-in racks increase storage space by enabling fewer or narrower aisles, while still providing product accessibility. Similarly, vertical space is often overlooked, but using height can double or triple the volume of goods you can store. You may need to upgrade your material handling equipment to be able to manage the height safely and effectively, but a new forklift will be much less expensive than more square footage, and your productivity will likely increase.

Utilise Technology

A modern and efficient supply chain is the price of entry in business today, and the warehouse is the backbone that keeps the supply chain flowing smoothly. However, you can’t keep the warehouse running effectively without visibility into supply and demand. You need technology to optimise and balance inputs and outputs. Additionally, you need an effective way to communicate quickly and reliably with every member of your extended supply chain.

For more information on the types of warehouse design to maximise supply chain efficiency, consult Challenge Packaging and Warehousing Solutions. We provide timely service that you can rely on. We deal directly with the owner to ensure that your critical deadlines are met 100 percent of the time.

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Address: Unit 3, 8 Weddel Court Laverton North,
Vic 3026

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