Looking for help with warehouse design and warehouse layout? Here are some great tools for warehouse manager looking to set up a new warehouse ideas. Here is an easy guide to designing a new warehouse or distribution center.
Sizing the Warehouse – How much space do I need?
First you will need to determine how much cubic space you have or need. You can first start with the number of pallets you need to store and work backwards. To do this, you will need an approximate estimate of the how many pallets are (or will be) in your inventory. By taking the total value of your inventory and dividing it by the average value of a pallet, will give you a very approximate number of pallets stored. Check this number against your records.
The other way to do this is to look at the number of containers or trailers coming to your new warehouses. Knowing the number of pallets coming out of a container will help estimate the pallet slots you will need.
I know how many pallets I need to store, but how many square feet do I need?
With the number of pallets you will need to store in your new warehouse, try this calculator to determine the square footage you will require.
This warehouse calculator will help determine, using an estimation of the number of square feet each pallet consumes when stored based on the aisle dimension used by a lift truck, then divided by the amount of vertical space available. The smaller the aisle, the greater number of pallets you can store in the square footage available.
I know how many square feet I have, but I don’t know how many pallets I can store in my new warehouse.
There is another calculator on this website that tells you the square footage (cubic footage actually) of your warehouse, and depending on the lift truck and aisle spacing you use, will estimate the number of pallets you can store.
What lift truck (forklift) should I use?
At this point, you have likely an idea on how many pallets can be stored in your new warehouse. Picking an MHE (Materials Handling Equipment) strategy is next. Your decisions around choosing a lift truck will have an impact on your storage utilization and warehouse productivity.
Here is a primer on the different types of lift trucks available: https://www.warehouseiq.com/what-is-a-forklift/
However, picking what forklift to buy comes down to what aisle you intend to use. Here is a guide to help you decide on the various aisle requirements: https://www.warehouseiq.com/strategies-to-reduce-warehousing-costs/
What type of racking should I use?
You will need to decide what type of storage media makes the most sense for your product mix. With a tool called the 80-20 rule, you can anticipate some commonality in your warehouse inventory. Using Pareto’s Law, you will be able to calculate the number of pallets per SKU you will have on hand, and, with this information, you will be better able to choose the best storage media for your operation.
Here is a description of the rule: https://www.warehouseiq.com/paretos-law-and-the-80-20-rule-for-the-warehouse/
Here is a calculator to help estimate the number of pallets you will have on hand per SKU. It works on the premise that 50% of the warehouse’s volume is represented in only 10% of the SKUs.
With an understanding the volume of pallets by SKU, you can now choose a type of racking. This page has information explaining the different types of warehouse racking available: https://www.warehouseiq.com/storage-strategies-for-warehouses/
Of course many warehouse managers might be motivated to use the densest storage strategy available. Before you load multiple pallets into deep lane storage, think about the rule of 4. It will help you increase your space utilization to above 87%. Here is an explanation of the rule: https://www.warehouseiq.com/space-utilization-and-the-rule-of-4/
How do I reduce operating costs in the warehouse?
Here are some ideas on how to reduce the cost of running a warehouse. It will help you look at operational costs that take money away from the bottom line. https://www.warehouseiq.com/strategies-to-reduce-warehousing-costs/
How do I permit my pallet racking (shelving)?
This is more or less complicated depending on where your warehouse is located. In California due the seismic and fire considerations, permitting be quite a challenge for someone new to the process. Here is a guide to the possible process of pulling permits for your warehouse: https://www.warehouseiq.com/how-to-permit-pallet-racking-for-your-warehouse/
Warehouse Design Advice
We hope this warehouse design advice resource has been helpful. There are lots of xperts out there to help warehouse managers…here is one warehouse design consultant we recommend in the eastern U.S. And here is a warehouse design expert in the west