Warehouse Layout Planning Tips for Retail Production
Warehouse layout planning is essential to any retail business. Just like any other part of your business, you need a strategy in place to ensure that your warehouse runs efficiently. An inefficient warehouse wastes time, manpower, and money. At Taylored Services we are warehouse experts and wanted to offer 6 tips to help you create a strategic warehouse layout plan.
Map out your current state.
You can’t create a plan for the future without knowing where you are now. First, sketch out your current building and floor plan. Make sure it’s to scale so you can maintain accuracy. In addition, take inventory of all of the equipment that’s currently in your warehouse. Finally, compare current documented procedures to what you actually see happening on the floor. Are there any discrepancies that need to be addressed?
Determine your warehouse storage needs.
Once you’ve documented everything that’s happening within your warehouse, you’re ready to consider inventory requirements. When estimating your inventory requirements think about the holiday selling season and generally high selling products. Use previous data on inventory turnover to make the most accurate estimates you can.
Identify opportunities for improvement.
Next, you’ll need to take an honest look at the current state of your warehouse and consider what steps need to be taken to get your warehouse layout to where you want it to be. For example, would omnichannel warehousing offer a superior customer experience? Are there any functions of your warehouse that could be automated? Have you considered the benefits of very narrow storage? Perhaps you need to change the location of your warehouse altogether for optimal supply chain performance.
Identifying alternative solutions can be challenging on your own. Try working with a third-party warehousing expert like Taylored Services who may be able to spot flaws in your warehousing system that you can’t see and offer efficient and practical warehouse layout planning solutions.
Evaluate your new plans.
When you have a new plan mapped out, you’ll need to then figure out costs. First, and most obvious are the total costs of new equipment or construction. But also consider the time and dollars lost due to upgrades that may impede production or order fulfillment as the new system gets online. Slower production can be also expected as employees get up to speed on new equipment and procedures. What will that do to your bottom line? Be sure to ask your accountant about how upgrading may impact your tax burden as well.
In addition to considering costs, it’s also vital that you conduct a qualitative analysis of your new warehouse strategy plan. Consider how staff safety will be impacted. Have you introduced anything that would increase the risk of damage to inventory? How easy or difficult will it be to manage your new plans when they’re actually in place? Will you require more or less manpower?
Create your master warehouse strategy.
After completing your financial and qualitative assessments, you are ready to draft an official master strategy for your warehouse. This should include:
- Space requirements
- Equipment requirements
- New processes
- Plans for growth
Revisit, revise, refine.
Keep in mind that your strategic warehouse plan is at best a semi-final document. Warehouse layout planning is never completely finished because you should always be optimizing your warehouse operations. Be sure to revisit, revise and refine as necessary to ensure you are running at optimal efficiency.
Taylored Fulfillment Services is a fully integrated third-party logistics provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer unit fulfillment. Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, we operate 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space strategically located near the nation’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York. Since its humble beginnings in 1992, Taylored Fulfillment Services has grown to become a national leader in distribution, fulfillment and warehousing.