Your forklift drivers are running out of places to park and the admin staff are probably working elbow to elbow. It’s time to expand your operations, and that means a new warehouse. Make sure your warehouse follows the flow essential for workers and forklifts so you get the best thoughput possible.
- What sort of warehouse you need
Your success means you need extra space to keep up with demand. Warehouses are essentially large storerooms, but some are more specialised than others. Some warehouses are run by private companies for the exclusive storage of their own goods and others are public, where anyone can store their items. Bonded warehouses are on contract with the government and specialise in handling imports/exports.
- Hire a specialist
Building from the ground up or retrofitting an existing building requires an expert design team. Commercial construction firms are the ones you turn to in this case. They’ll have a team of architects, specialist builders, and the right contacts for making the building process as smooth as possible.
Your old warehouse didn’t have enough of it, and that’s why you’re building a new one. There needs to be space for your machines, such as conveyor belts, forklifts, pallet trucks, and floor staff.
This isn’t just about having room for cars in the parking lot. Warehouses that stock items like medicine need to have a certain standard of accessibility. Items like this can’t get shipped out by the pallet; rather, they’re sent by the batch. Accessibility in warehousing, is about how easily goods can be reached and distributed when needed.
You know the saying ‘go with the flow’. Workflow is vital in warehousing operations. Here’s an example:
- The order is received
- It’s sent to the warehouse staff
- The forklift driver, or warehouse picker, finds the item and retrieves it
- The item is sent to get packed, where it’s registered
- The package (with tracking) is sent on its way
As you can see, everything flows flawlessly, from the ordering to the shipping process.
This is the rate at which targets are reached. When designing a warehouse, do it with maximum throughput in mind. You’re building another warehouse in the first place because the throughput in the previous location was slowing, thanks to high demand.
Can the forklift drivers park their machines away safely? Is there a staff common area? The people working in the warehouse will work better if their needs are met. Find space, indoors and outside, for staff to take breaks and socialise. During the design process, don’t forget about your machines. Ask the designer about including a ‘garage area’ where the forklifts can get regular maintenance work.