15 November 2017

How to Design your Warehouse Layout

The design of any warehouse is an important step in how successful the operations of the business will be. The reasons for designing a warehouse layout can vary due to a variety of reasons. For example:

relocation warehouse facilities,
increasing the product lines or,
just simply to increase the flexibility of the operations department.

The planning process should be thorough for the warehouse layout design and implementation to be successful. The planning process includes:

outlining the expected outcomes,
gathering information,
analysing the information,
the implementation plan,
implementing of the design, and finally
the ongoing requirements.

Outline Expected Outcomes

Having a clear understanding of the warehouse objectives will assist in the decision of a warehouse layout design. With this in mind, the warehouse objectives should line up with the warehousing strategy of your company. The outline of the expectation of outcomes can either be at a high level or a more specific goal. Many outcomes that companies use include:

improving the warehouse running expenses,
increasing warehouse space or,
to improve a warehouse's efficiency without having to increase expenditure on more resources.

Gather Information

The next step is to get together all the data on the new warehouse. The information to collect includes physical maps of the building, builders documents, architectural drawings and as well as warehouse racking plans. Take all the information into account and incorporate it into the warehouse design. Doing this will assist in the planning of an effective warehouse design. Some important considerations to note on the map include marking out the height restrictions, doors, and planned warehouse storage area.

Analyse the Information

After collection of all the data, analyse the information along with the overall warehouse strategy. The management will be able to determine if the warehouse objectives can be met or need modifying. It is up to the warehouse management then to determine what the next steps are if the warehouse objectives cannot be met. If all the objectives are achievable then the next step is the implementation plan.

Implementation Plan

Setting up the warehouse layout is in the procedure of the implementation plan. The utilising of the collection of warehouse objectives and data enables assistance in creating the plan. The implementation plan includes firstly the major tasks and then the smaller more specific tasks. Each task within the procedure includes an allocation of a set time and resource for its completion. All the plans should be verified that all dependencies have been accounted for. In that the timeline is achievable and the required resources are readily available.


Make sure the planning of all of the above points is correctly done. Otherwise, it can lead to a warehouse layout that is not correct to the initial plan. This will ensure the achievement of the correct warehouse layout. The implementation plan should be organised around a time that there is little to no materials in the new warehouse. 

For some organisations, it isn't an option to remove all materials from the current warehouse. In that case, is it a factor to include in the implementation plan. An important point to note is that all stock should be physically counted once it is in the new warehouse. This is so as to ensure that there aren't any discrepancies with the system and the counted stock.

Ongoing Requirements & Warehouse Layout

After the new warehouse is up and running, engage the warehouse management in a series of checks. It will help to ensure that the warehouse layout is working correctly. Consequently, errors can lead to lost goods and picking errors. If the warehouse system is not up to date with the new information on the location of goods or items are in an incorrect location it can slow the shipping down significantly. The management should make regular checks on the warehouse operations for a time after the new layout has been implemented. So as to check it's all working correctly.

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