Improving Warehouse Design and Efficiency

September 22, 2010 at 2:27 PMRing Power
Improve warehouse design and efficiency, beyond forklifts.

When we speak of “Warehouse Systems Consulting” or “Turnkey Design” we are addressing the umbrella of warehouse design. Everything comes from a warehouse of some sort. Receiving, storing, production, packaging to shipping, all products we touch every day start at a warehouse. Too many clients believe they can go it alone, drop some rack into a space with a forklift and crank it up. Most do not consider product flow, work in process (WIP), and the design of their system.

Warehouse Designwarehouse forklift
Some companies in the material handling industry manage to get products or services out the door with some profit. Many are so busy running the myriad of details a business requires, that they do not see the gaps in their efficiency. This is where a design consultant can step in, interview employees, collect necessary data and provide impactful changes affecting the bottom line. For many companies, this could equate to a double-digit benefit to the bottom line.

Design Strategies
One key to effective design is the relative dominance of picking or storage activity. These two warehouse functions have opposing requirements.

Techniques that maximize space utilization tend to complicate picking and render it inefficient, while large storage areas increase distance and reduce picking efficiency. Ideal picking requires small stocks in dedicated, close locations. This works against storage efficiency.

Automation of picking, storage, handling and information can somewhat compensate for these opposing requirements. However, automation is expensive to install and operate.

The most difficult thing to absorb is the knowledge of how your pallets flow and why they move like they do. Ask yourself: 

Does your product move units in and out (the simplest). Or are they unit in – case or per piece out?

How many turns per month, per quarter or per year?

Are you special labeling or tagging product?

Are there any temperature requirements for your goods?

Has your information technology (IT) department ever run a velocity report?


As you see there are many questions to answer and necessary information to collect in order to begin designing an efficient and productive warehouse.

The one thing to remember when designing your warehouse is to select a vendor that can supply you with a turnkey system. Select a business partner that has many years of system designs and consulting work. Make sure they have the experience to offer good solutions out of the gate.

Maximize Your Current Setup
To receive a consultation or to discuss ways to improve your warehouse productivity and efficiency, contact one of our Regional System Consultants.

Contact one of our warehouse forklift specialists with any questions or recommendations for warehouse design and efficiency improvements.

Ring Power Lift Trucks  is the forklift division of Ring Power Corporation, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Additional offices service Pompano Beach, Miami, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Ocala, Sarasota and Tallahassee. Ring Power Lift Truck represents: Cat® Lift Trucks, Mitsubishi Forklifts, Clark forklifts, Linde forklifts, Kalmar Industrial Forklifts, Kalmar Container Handlers, specialized products by Bendi and Combilift and productive Cascade Attachments. All of these products utlized properly could help your warehousing operation to become more efficient and more productive warehouse.

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