Various external factors influence the design and layout of a warehouse operation. These factors have to be taken into considerations to achieve an optimum overall system.
- Size & configuration of site: must be adequate to accommodate the required equipments
- Site access: must be adequate for the types of vehicle and volume of traffic using that particular site
- Local authority plans: the proposed warehouse can be greatly affected by the government development plan
- Site details: characteristics of the facilities found in the site such as drainage and ground.
- Financial considerations: consider about the rents, costs of ownership, investments grants
- Building factors: existing building to be use as a warehouse.
These factors has a dominant influence on how effectively a warehouse can be operated.
- Flow of goods in the warehouse: ‘U’ flow or through flow
- Movement of people and equipments
- Access to stock and minimize congestion
- Identification of stock and codes
- Stock location, rotation( FIFO)
- Stock checking requirements
- Stock replenishment
- Handling of goods in and out of the warehouse
- Supervision, safety, stock security
Warehouse aisles and gangways need to be properly design in order to achieve one of the warehouse objectives, which is maximizing effective use of space. The widths in between should be adequate enough for movement of people and equipment. It is ideal to have separate doors for people on foot and for forklift trucks.
Some areas should also be set aside for other warehouse activities. These include:
- Areas for loading and unloading vehicle
- Staging or temporary storage areas
- Office space, washroom and lunch rooms
- Area for repacking, labeling, marking
- Area for equipment storage and maintenanceHazardous or high-value items