A warehouse is a large storehouse where goods are stored in a long term or short term basis. This is a common practice for businesses that do wholesaling of goods, where goods are bought in bulk mostly from manufacturers and need a place to store them during their the time they are on stock. Warehouses also store goods that are not currently in use. This is probably the most common use, owing to the unique way in which different kinds of merchandise are handled.
There are businesses that offer this kind of storage space as a commercial service. These are common near ports and airports where goods are stored when they are imported before the owners come to collect them. These goods have to be kept safe when they are in this warehouse storage.
With this kind of business, there is a gap that is created. That of the actual management of the movement of goods from one place to another. The goods in the warehouse are usually there temporarily, at one point they will have to be moved to another place, either for use or sale. This management of warehouse transactions and how goods come in and go out is known as warehouse logistics.
There are people known as warehouse logistics managers who are employed to handle all the smooth operations in the space. Their sole job is the managing of space available and how goods will be stored in the warehouse depending on the kind of goods in question. They are also responsible for the employee issues in the place. They are in charge of scheduling and assigning of work shifts.
Apart from ensuring that the space is well kept in order, they are also supposed to take care of all the dispatching of the goods from the warehouse and maintain the safety standards of both the goods stored and the people handling the goods.
This entire business is highly dependent on orderly record keeping. The records should be correct and complete in order to avoid losses that occur from loss of goods and misappropriation of available space.
Many businesses will erroneously associate logistics solely with the transport and distribution of goods from the supplier to the end user. On the contrary, storage is an important metric that deserves an equal amount of attention. From perishable foodstuffs to electronic equipment, there are several issues which need to be addressed in order to maximise efficiency while guaranteeing continuous quality control. Let us have a brief look at a few concepts that should be embraced as well as why storage solutions are so pivotal in terms of the ultimate success of any organisation.
We should first realise that accountability is key to any efficient management system. Being able to track and itemise products within a production setting will help to avoid oversights, lost products and redundancies. In turn, management is provided with a clear means to track and improve their existing logistical methods.
End-user distribution also needs to be taken into consideration. The only way that this can be accomplished is through the implementation of a reliable and yet transparent storage system. Whether we are referring to the capacity to store specific electronic components or a long-term system intended to secure items for the subsequent shipment to another facility, these concerns are just as viable.
Centralised access tends to be a concept that is embraced within the logistics infrastructure as a whole. When all storage data can be analysed from a single node, it is much easier to encounter any discrepancies. On-the-fly adjustments may be implemented while the concept of interdepartmental accountability is enhanced. Many modern logistics systems will heavily emphasis such a centralised approach.
From the examples listed above, it should now be clear that there are several windfalls in terms of modern storage systems. First, the business will be aware of its inventory, the location of certain items and how long these items will require to be moved from one location to another. Secondly, end-user demands can be fulfilled within an amenable time frame. Finally, higher levels of efficiency are all but guaranteed with this cutting-edge logistical approach.
Refining the layout of your storage system
Developing a safe and efficient storage system can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to guide you along the way;
1. Understanding the requirements of your business
Before designing a storage facility, it is essential to examine your records. Sufficient data analysis should be done – so as to have proper projections on stock turns, returns, and stock volumes. It would help determine the size of the warehouse, its storage capacity, and the number of dock stations it would require.
2. Making provision for inter-modal traffic
Pay attention to the type of trailers that would be coming into your warehouse. When structuring your facility, it is necessary to make provisions for a variety of trailers. There may be variations in the size height of the traffic coming in and out of your facility – hence, it is necessary to have your warehouse designed to accommodate a variety of trailers.
3. Designing a proper receiving area
It is important to create a receiving area that is spacious. This is because this area is usually one of the busiest sections of a warehouse. A receiving area that is tight or cramped up could give rise to unnecessary injuries, and other profit-draining mishaps.
4. Choosing proper door designs
It is advisable to avoid making the doors in the interior part of the facility too big – as it could be a waste of space and energy. If there is need for a large opening, it is best to have a single large outer door – while keeping the interior doors small.
5. Safety and Efficiency
Safety and efficiency should work hand-in-hand. Ensure that safety signs a placed appropriately within and around the facility. Make a conscious effort at ensuring the safety of lives and property within your facility. Ensure that there are clear demarcations for pedestrian and forklift traffic – in possible set-up physical barriers to ensure that both are kept apart.
6. Cargo protection
Trailers at the dock essentially become a part of your warehouse – hence, it is essential to implement adequate cargo security measures. An example would be the use of interlocked restraints that are sensitive to external tampering.