4 Things Your Warehouse Layout Must Address
How efficient your retail operations warehouse is laid out will determine to a great degree how profitable your retail business is. If warehouse workers can’t find product or maintain an inefficient workflow, it will eat your profits. Here are 5 things your warehouse layout plan must address:
- Equipment storage and placement – Every warehouse has some essential equipment. At the very least, it will include a forklift, computer system, and safety equipment. Larger warehouses may have multiple forklifts, and other heavy equipment. You might need a cold storage location or other special equipment related to your industry. At any rate, you’ll need to account for the storage of that equipment when it isn’t being used and the placement of fixed equipment that will always take up some warehouse space.
- Production zones – If your warehouse is used for boxing, packaging, and other non-movement related activities, you’ll need to account for where those activities will take place. You’ll need a dedicated production zone that allows space for employees to perform those activities without interfering with the usual business of product movement.
- Workflow – Every warehouse manager must consider workflow. Where will you receive product when it arrives from the vendor? Who compares it to the purchase order to ensure all product was received? Where does it go from this initial docking stage? Who handles it? Where is product stored when not in your stores? How does it get from the warehouse shelf to the retail store shelf? Workflow is the circulation system of your retail operations.
- Storage areas – You can’t forget the purpose of your warehouse–to store product that isn’t being sold. Do you put your product on a shelf then let it sit until it’s time to send to a store, or do you use a rotation system? Your warehouse layout plan needs to address this.
Warehouse layout is one of the most important aspects of a retail operation. Get it wrong and it will cost your money.