December 23, 2019
Once a company has gathered information about its current and anticipated future warehousing space and process needs, it can undertake to design, or redesign, a layout that will best handle those needs. The design process will incorporate evaluation of various layouts and their respective abilities to meet productivity and cost requirements. An effective warehouse layout reduces space and labour requirements, lowers operating costs and increases customer-service performance levels.
Considerations in selecting a layout relate to product flow, equipment use and capacity, inventory storage and access, adaptability, staffing and training requirements, capital and operating expenses, ease of implementation and user-friendliness.
Computer modeling, or simulation, using company-specific data, will analyze a layout, pointing to its strengths and weaknesses, and quantifying its benefits. Its use allows a company to test designs before any physical changes are made to ensure that the best-possible layout is implemented. Users can change parameters in the virtual layout to assess the impacts of different scenarios on throughput, staffing needs and costs.