Though it’s an old cliché, time is money. And if you’re losing time navigating your warehouse or finding the right items and materials that you need to fulfill orders, then we can assure you that you’re losing money — even if it may not directly show up in your bottom line. Essentially, your warehouse is either a place where you can increase your efficiency and profitability or a place where those are slowed down. And in addition to efficiency and productivity, a poorly designed warehouse layout can also pose safety risks.
Noting all of this, it might be worthwhile to revamp your warehouse floorplan so that you can optimize it to its fullest potential. If you succeed, your profits will likely improve, and you can pass along this additional revenue to your customers and your workers.
In this post, we’ll take a look at five tips for optimizing the layout of your warehouse:
1. Map It Out
When setting up a warehouse, you can’t just wing it. You need to have an idea of what might work best to streamline productivity. That said, grab a sheet of paper or fire up your computer and map out where things could go. And don’t just include equipment and stock materials, but offices, doors, entry and exit points, break rooms, and more. The idea should be to optimize layout and design and reduce any bottlenecks that could occur.
2. Define Your Goals
In addition to having a general idea of what you want the layout to look like, you should also have some objectives that you want to accomplish in mind. If you take the time to set some goals and then chart a course for achieving them, you’re much more likely to have success in doing so. Not all warehouse organization are alike, so not all goals will be the same. If you need help defining some objectives, read on to the next tip.
3. Identify Pain Points
What are some of the most significant issues your staff has with how the warehouse is currently laid out? Is it too difficult to find supplies and materials in the stock area? Are the tool chests a disorganized mess? Do they spend too much time with inventory management? When you can identify pain points you want to correct, defining goals and optimizing the layout can become much more apparent. Make sure you involve your staff in any layout changes. If they’re a part of the process, they’re much more likely to advocate for any changes when they occur.
4. Plan for Scalability
Ideally, you’re optimizing your warehouse layout so that you can enhance productivity, efficiency, and, ultimately, profits. And if you’re able to do all of these things, then there’s a good chance you’ll grow your operations to the next level. With all this being said, make sure that you design your new warehouse layout to scale up to meet any increase in business.
Remember, you’re optimizing your warehouse layout so that you can run a better overall operation. If it’s executed well, it should translate to more business and more revenue. Make sure you’re able to handle it.
5. Test It
Finally, you’ll want to test any new layout. While you can do your best to simulate it, testing is best done by physically adjusting the layout and having your workers operate in whatever new design you’ve chosen. Track and study any differences in how the workers carry out their jobs and make sure you measure any differences in productivity. After a few weeks of learning how this new layout is working, make adjustments accordingly to optimize performance further.
Additionally, you should be open to feedback from your staff about what’s working well and what’s not. Furthermore, we’d also suggest avoiding complacency with any layout that you decide upon. Make sure to make changes as your warehouse’s needs change, and continue tracking and adapting as necessary.
Whether you need to increase productivity, maximize manpower, improve safety, or enhance the way materials move through your operation, A-Lined can create the right solution for you. Contact us today to learn more!