An empty warehouse is a blank canvas, a chance for a fresh start and an opportunity to implement new ideas and practices. To a warehouse design expert, the prospect of an empty shell filled with potential is a dream! For many business owners, however, the weight of possibility that assembling your operational engine from scratch carries can be outright intimidating – and understandably so.
Modern Warehouse Design is crucial to the success of your business and goes far beyond installing basic Warehouse Racking. We are not talking about a few crude sketches in the back of an old notebook here; the design process is a delicate balance of science and creativity; it takes precision and experience to take such a dizzying array of elements into account and mould them to the unique character of the warehouse you have at your disposal.
Your warehouse design directly impacts your performance. Getting the basics right will ensure a solid foundation to build upon; innovating in this area could give your business the competitive edge it needs. So whether you just signed the lease to new premises or you are looking to upgrade an existing facility, there are instant, tangible benefits you’ll gain by addressing your warehouse design.
Benefits of a Strong Warehouse Design
Maximising every square foot your facility has to offer is a high priority in the current economic climate. A robust floor plan will leverage your surface area and available headroom by effectively combining storage solutions and mezzanine flooring.
Operational efficiency is the primary objective for a modern warehouse; a slick warehouse design will make your workspace work for you by incorporating process flow, storage solutions, handling equipment, and product analysis to ensure the fastest methods for storage and retrieval.
Health and safety policy is paramount to the well-being of your team. A meticulous warehouse design will devise and deliver safe traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, fire safety and escape routes, appropriate storage equipment, and racking protection
Your warehouse team will thank you for taking careful consideration over the free, logical movement of goods within your facility. Order fulfilment strategy is an ever-evolving process, but getting the blueprint right from the outset will save you time and money in the long run. An optimised floor plan will avoid the unnecessary labour associated with double-handling and illogical order-picking processes.
The design of your warehouse is as significant to your carbon footprint as it is to its success. All benefits mentioned above, along with the prioritisation of efficiency, will inevitably reduce labour and waste in addition to your energy usage.
Warehouse Design Fundamentals
No two warehouses are the same, so you need to determine your objectives and ensure they align with your overarching company strategy. Below are a few design fundamentals you should consider at the outset of the design process to provide a solid foundation for growth:
While there are many facets to building a warehouse layout, the product you are storing is a logical place to start. Quantifying and categorising your product(s) by size, weight, and perishability will get the ball rolling with the appropriate storage equipment. Your product and proposed stock holding will ultimately dictate much of your layout.
Your internal workflow and the connectivity of each step in the order-fulfilment process will need careful consideration in the early stages of the design. From receipt of inventory to storage, picking, packing, sortation, and shipment. The ideal layout should examine ways to maximise efficiency while minimising any safety issues and the overall well-being of your team.
Your storage equipment will form the backbone of your facility; you must factor it in during the infant stages of the design process to avoid any hiccups down the line. Options such as Industrial Pallet Racking and Shelving, Drive-in Racking, and Pallet Live systems all offer very different approaches to storage. The best-fit solutions for your facility will be determined by: available space, product type and the rate at which the products will circulate.
Sustainability is now a mainstream talking point in most industries. With the corporate and social pressures involved, many clients now seek to work exclusively with environmentally conscientious businesses. While the warehousing industry does not have the best reputation relating to green practices, every modern warehouse should incorporate energy-saving solutions into its warehouse plans and business model.
Automated or Manual Solutions
While most facilities rely heavily on manual operations, the influx of the new technology over the last decade is slowly reshaping the warehouse and logistics industries. Automation Products such as warehouse management software, Autonomous Mobile Robots and Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems offer superior efficiency. Your decisions around this topic will likely hinge on budget and business model.
Speak To The Experts
With so many moving parts and business-critical decisions involved in warehouse design, it is prudent to enlist the support of an experienced partner that can guide you through the process.
Nene Warehouse Solutions’ design services are carefully tailored to the needs of your business, ensuring we meet targets and comply with health and safety – leaving you with a highly efficient and functioning warehouse layout. We have 45 years of experience in the industry, providing solutions to businesses of all sizes across varied sectors.
Whether you are building from the ground up, modifying or retrofitting solutions into an existing warehouse, you can contact our design team today, who can walk you through the entire process from design to implementation.
Contact Nene Warehouse Solutions today to find out how we can help you.