Running a top-notch warehouse isn't brain surgery.

But there are a few things to keep in mind that can come back to haunt you if not prepared.

Here are 3 tips to get started.

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1. Usable Layout

The best warehouse layout and design is really a balancing act between (a) maximizing your storage density and (b) maximizing operational efficiency.

That means considering and evaluating the loading, storage, and unloading of related SKUs, travel distances between those movements, and your turnover or speed of moving those products in and out. 

A lot of this depends on your unique needs, like if you're housing perishable goods vs. steel, which dictates the optimal racking layout, placement (and width) of aisles, and so on. It will also have a direct impact on your overall utilization.

 

2. Correct Utilization

 Bigger, isn't always better.

For starters, bigger buildings are tougher to come by, especially at a decent price point. But more importantly, bigger buildings can encourage waste or inefficiency because you're not forced to address critical utilization issues.

Fine-tuninig your utilization results in a better run warehouse that's leaner, faster, and more accurate. 

Start by figuring out what your density is (or should be). You should be shooting for ~85%.

Next, the layout. But we've already covered that in the last tip, so you should have a good idea.

Last but not least, figure out your density and type of racking or storage. Here's how.

 

3. Racking Choices

All racks aren't created equal.

Which sounds obvious, but can come back to haunt you if you're using the wrong racking for the wrong products.

Some racks, like a push back racking system, can help you maximize pallet turnover while also increasing storage capacity. While others, like mezzanine storage systems, can help you maximize vertical space for products with less turnover and volume.

The point, is that your racking options should be a careful mix designed especially for the specific products you're moving, and the frequency or velocity of your warehouse. 

If you're looking for a place to start, our free rack design guide can help you figure out what you'll need. 

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