Warehouse Layout

James Shores explains how you can create greater efficiency in your warehouse(s) by using simple time-saving tactics.

Hi. Welcome to this Whiteboard Wednesday. I’m James.

You know, here at Fishbowl we often talk about automated processes because, well, we’re pretty good at it. But today we’re gonna talk about more of the manual, physical side of things, and that is warehouse layout.

So the first thing we want to do when we look at the warehouse layout is the real estate. How much room have you allotted for your goods on your shelves?

Now, is it accessible? Is it easy to get to? Are you thinking of your ABCs in terms of products where the goods that you’re using often and always – are they ready on hand or do you have to go search for them? Do your employees need to go down the aisles to find the things that they need so they can get back to making the goods that you’re trying to produce?

We need to be thinking about your pick path. And that ties, obviously, into your real estate, but more specifically if you have a few stages in your manufacturing process or even in your distribution process, you need to understand what path is the most efficient in getting your goods and getting back to work.

Now, in the first run of, let’s say, making a product shaving off a couple minutes may not seem like a big deal. But remember, we’re doing this process continually, all the time, all year round, hopefully. So if we can save time by getting directly to the products that we need to get right back to work and get our products finished sooner so we can start on the next round earlier, then we’re saving money and we’re generating more revenue.

So think about each one of these points. If you’re in manufacturing, how close are you to your item to get right back to work? What kind of distance do you need to cover to get those items? And this ties into product info.

Do your employees both know where the goods can be found and what they’re looking for, specifically? Do they make sure to think of product cycling so that we’re not wasting goods that may have an expiration date?

And are we also think about products, depending on your industry, that cannot be put together? Back when I worked for some aerospace company, there were certain types of chemicals that could not even be housed within the same shelf or within a certain amount of distance.

All of this needs to be kept in mind so that, ultimately, you’re creating the greatest efficiency and work flow for all of your processes.

That’s this Whiteboard Wednesday. See you again next week.

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