15 February 2021

Warehouse Racking Design Tips

A warehouse racking design has a direct impact on the operations workflow and the layout can be such that maximises the efficiency and speed up picking times of orders in the warehouse.

It may be the case that you are setting up a new warehouse or your current warehouse layout needs a review. As with the different needs of each client and industry, one design does not suit all and in many cases it will need a tailored approach.

Follow our tips below in a guide of what to consider in a warehouse racking design.

Warehouse Layout

Warehouse Plan
In the initial stages of planning a new warehouse racking design, the first step is to draft up a plan of the warehouse. If you already have a map of your warehouse you can utilise this or alternatively create your own.

There are many methods available to drawings up a warehouse plan it can either be pen and paper or a more advanced drawing on a software program. Some program suggestions for designing a warehouse layout include; OnShape, AutoCAD and SketchUp.

When measuring out the warehouse and the space allocated to the warehouse racking it is imperitive to ensure they are accurate and shortcuts are not taken. Ensure to mark out the different zones in the warehouse and the flow of operations through the warehouse, including potential pick paths. Include all measurements of the warehouse areas on the plans and design. Once the plan of the warehouse and the measurements are completed then it it time to look at improving the space in the warehouse.

Warehouse Racking Design

It is a good option at this point to partner with a experienced professional in the warehouse racking industry. They can draft a warehouse racking design and layout to maximise the efficiency of your operations and the warehouse, based on your current requirements and those of the future. At Abbott, we offer complimentary warehouse racking layout design consultations.

Based on the amount of floor space within the warehouse, it will be a guide as to the layout of the warehouse racking design. The racking area, should be the first thing you consider for when planning the operations. This key part will show the amount of floor space being dedicated to the storage of products and inventory. Considerations to look at once the racking space has been accounted for is the workflow of the operations, workshop areas and warehouse equipment.

There are many ways in which the warehouse layout can be arranged. Some examples of popular choices include:

Organised Cluster Method - in this layout design the inventory is grouped by inventory type and each cluster is accessible to all warehouse staff.
Aisles - this method involves having the aisles of racking towards the back of the warehouse and the production and workshops in the front, nearby to the dispatch zone.

If ever an issue arises and the plan doesn't work or not all inventory can be stocked into the racking structure set out. At this point is time to reassess and go back to the drawing board.

Warehouse Machinery & Equipment

It is important to invest in warehouse machinery and equipment that will suit your warehouse racking design. There is a lot of warehouse equipment in the market, but the determining factor will be the space in the warehouse for the equipment to manuevour. One of the most common pieces of machinery in most warehouses is a forklift other material handling equipment include pallet jacks and order pickers.

In most warehouses there is at least one forklift, often more. They are designed for the transportation of heavy, bulky and palletised goods. They are ideal for use indoors for the loading and unloading of the inventory stored in the racking structure.

Pallet Jack
A common materials handling equipment in the warehouse is a pallet jack. They are useful in the warehouse for operations staff in moving small loads around the warehouse for short distances.

Testing, Reviewing & Implementing

Before making any changes to the warehouse racking design it is important to test how the new plan will work. One method to trial is measuring out the plan on the warehouse floor and setting out the perimeters and moving through it. Make sure to utilise the warehouse equipment when trialing the warehouse layout and ensure that it can move through the warehouse with ease. Get warehouse staff on board with the testing as well.

Ensure to make a note of the results on what is expected to work well and any forseen issuees. With any issues, go back to the plan and make the neccessary alterations to eliminate the kinks prior to implementation of the new warehouse racking design and layout.
Warehouse Flow

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