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How To Optimise Warehouse Layout For Maximum Efficiency

April 18, 2023

In a warehouse environment, the layout is one of the most important components of the whole machine.

That’s because as well as layout making all the difference in terms of safety, the warehouse layout can also affect how productive the business is overall. 

It’s easy to overlook having an optimised warehouse layout. But when this is the case, a business can notice many negative trends in terms of safety and productivity.

Is it time your warehouse had an improved layout to improve its efficiency? Here’s what to consider. 

Analyse The Product Flow

With so many products moving through your warehouse, it’s safe to say there are going to be areas for improvement in terms of efficiency. 

An efficient warehouse is one that prioritises fast-moving goods so that they can easily be packed, moved or shipped. Items of lower demand should also be easy to reach but do not take priority compared with higher-demand items. 

Use the information from your stock/data trend patterns to determine where products need to be based in the warehouse depending on the product flow.

Create Designated Zones

Once you have up-to-date information about your warehouse product flow, zones can be created to reduce the time and effort involved in storing, picking or transporting these items.

For instance, separate zones for high-frequency items, slower-moving items or any products which require careful handling. 

The creation of designated zones can be implemented with precision based on the business itself as well as the industry as a whole. When done well, this can be extremely effective in increasing productivity and reducing costs. 

Scrutinise Current Storage Methods

No warehouse can be efficient without a logical storage system.

Some common methods of storing goods in a warehouse include pallets, racks, shelving and mezzanine flooring. 

What’s going to work for one warehouse will be different for another.

The ideal solution must consider the size and weight of the goods. Plus, what would work best for the product type factoring in any hazards or other considerations that may negatively impact the product. 

Create An Efficient Order Picking Process

Now your warehouse has an efficient layout and storage process, the picking process must follow suit. 

As order picking in a warehouse can be completed by humans or automated processes (or a mixture of both methods), efficiency-increasing measures will vary.

However, the exact tasks to be considered include the receiving, putting away, order processing, pick list, verification, packing and shipping of goods. 

It’s also a good idea to consult with your team about where any efficiencies lie within this process. This can help decide what the potential ROI may be of investing in new equipment, systems or even staff to improve these areas. 

Use Handling Equipment To Reduce Laborious Tasks 

Hitachi Amsterdam from Metreel

Here at Metreel, we provide various handling solutions for warehouses, among many other industrial environments. 

Some of our top material handling equipment include workstation cranes, workstation jib cranes, gantries and track systems.

For the movement or production of goods especially, there’s only so far human efficiencies and even AI intervention can take you. Material handling equipment will help to improve efficiency and safety in any business where lifting, repositioning or repetitive movements cannot be fully completed by human input. 

Implement Technology 

Technology is astounding us all by the day. With new developments constantly coming to the forefront, technology remains one to watch, especially when it comes to making a warehouse more efficient. 

The main areas where technology can help within a warehouse include warehouse management systems (WMS). 

Re-Assess Your Warehouse Layout Efficiency Regularly 

Warehouses are constantly changing, and any layouts, processes or equipment need to be able to adapt to this change to maintain efficiency. 

Keeping an eye on any unsatisfactory trends or patterns is how to stay on top of efficiency within a warehouse. Current processes then need to be re-assessed regularly to ensure they are still appropriate and maximising all opportunities to improve further still.

The only caveat to this process would be to ensure any efficiency-boosting strategies are never implemented at the expense of safety, which ultimately must always be prioritised first.

Improve Your Warehouse Efficiency With Material Handling From Metreel

SiteTeam from Metreel

Want to chat through your need for a more efficient warehouse with us personally?

Metreel is based in Derbyshire and we supply our material handling products on a global scale. 

You can also download our free brochure to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page

Alternatively, if you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].

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