Flexible & Bespoke Storage Solutions
For warehouse and distribution facilities, the improvement of storage capabilities and the necessary investments to achieve business goals will inevitably involve decisions over racking, shelving, ASRS automated storage and retrieval systems, or even carousels. Service levels and lead times are just a few of the important metrics impacted by those supply chain and inventory-management decisions, it’s up to businesses to take a very serious look at how decisions like purchasing warehouse storage, laying it out, and deciding whether or not to automate it, will impact those metrics.
Initiate a thorough study of inventory management to maximize investment dollars and determine how storage hardware can best be utilized
Examine the movement of goods, how quickly orders must be fulfilled, and determine the best ways to pick products, some goods are small and fast movers, while others may be large and slow movers.
Set your goals
manpower, stock availability, picking strategy and the warehouse environment must be addressed. A review of short-term goals also will inevitably lead to exploration of future plans and growth strategies.
Assess Warehouse Space and Inventory Requirements
For example, a line of pallet racking could be interrupted by a physical column, forcing the need to move the entire line, or eliminating a bay, resulting in wasted space. Physical characteristics of the products and packaging also need to be examined thoroughly relative to building constraints. Picking, packing and other essential functions also must be factored into the layout.
Have future expansion in mind
When selecting products, product interchangeability and flexibility is paramount. On one hand, for example, many types of racking claim to be interchangeable. In reality, there may be limitations due to the layout of the warehouse. On the other hand, implementing a modular warehouse storage solution that can be added to or reduced if and when required may make more business sense.
Holistic and Innovative Structure
Invest in Automation for Inventory Management
The supply chain of the future will need to be dynamic, operate in a more holistic structure and work innovatively to deliver outstanding products in an efficient and effective way. Whether that involves part automation is another hot topic.
Among the reasons to invest in automation for inventory management and order fulfillment is the ability to maximize storage space in a minimal footprint by utilizing the vertical, overhead space within a warehouse. With products delivered using automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) pickers receive the items at a waist-height position, utilizing the goods-to-person principle, reducing travel and search time considerably leading to less downtime from pickers.
Health problems associated with excessive bending or stretching are also minimised. Further, the transition to an automated system eliminates the need for wasted aisle space required for the navigation of forklifts and other material handling vehicles.