Why the layout of your commercial warehouse affects your business

By Greg Bell

Poor commercial warehouse layout creates operational bottlenecks in your supply chain, as staff waste time trying to locate products. Maximising layout improves both accuracy and picking time, which means you fulfil customer orders more quickly and error-free. 

Good warehouse layout centres around making the job as easy as possible for workers. Whether your employee deals with incoming stock, outgoing orders or inventory control, they should be able to locate products quickly.

Here are four points to consider when designing a Gold Coast commercial warehouse facility.

1) Your warehouse journey

Make each warehouse journey as straightforward and logical as you can so that workers waste little time travelling between products. The ideal scenario is a one-way system, whereby workers can collect all their items without going back on themselves or through unnecessary parts of the warehouse. 

Also, think about the layout of your shelving units, and whether they support a speedy journey. Long corridors of racking work in some situations, but in others, you are forcing workers to walk the length of an aisle to get to the next one. Considering breaking up long corridors so pickers can cut through as required.

2) Group products appropriately

Take a look at some of your most typical orders and consider what kind of journey that entails. If your workers pick one complete order at a time, you might want to consider grouping your bestselling items or popular combinations together. However, if your workers take responsibility for picking one type of product across multiple orders, it makes sense to organise the warehouse by category.

If there is no logical way in which to order products according to how they're picked, opt for an obvious numerical or alphabetical system to guide your team.

3) Create a clear labelling system

To avoid unnecessary errors, come up with a clear way of labelling aisles and products. It should take seconds for a worker to identify whether the product in front of them is the correct item. A clear labelling system also extends to aisles and shelf numbers. By giving clear guidance as to what products are stored where, you eliminate the time your pickers spend working out where to look. 

4) Think about shelf placement

Organise your best-selling products so that they're the easiest to reach. Doing this reduces time spent climbing ladders or moving other items out of the way. Store popular products at waist height so your workers can easily select them without extra equipment or risking injury. Reserve the highest shelves for items you need less often.

Ray White Surfers Paradise are experts in helping businesses find the right facilities for their needs. Get in touch with our team today.

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