Warehouse Layout and Design: Optimizing Space and Workflow Efficiency

09.20.23 | Management Tips

If you run a warehouse, you’ll need to ensure it’s properly optimized for workflow efficiency. Taking the time and effort to optimize both the space and workflow will pay off in spades. You’ll see time and costs go down and employee productivity soar. Here are a few tips for optimizing your warehouse.

Streamlining Workflows

Streamlining workflows is the first step in optimizing any warehouse. Take a walk through the facility and stop to watch each department for a few minutes. Do employees have everything they need within easy reach? Is there a logical progression of items from picking to packing to shipping? What about incoming materials? Is the path from the delivery truck to the warehouse shelves clear and simple?

Utilizing Your Space

Warehouses store a lot of goods. However, they must be stored logically, making them easy for employees to access. Are you using all of your available vertical space? Do you have the right types of pallet racks? Can employees readily get to high-turnover items? Is everything well marked? Are pathways clear and well-lit?

Creating Ergonomic Workstations

Ergonomics has become a popular buzzword, and for good reason. Warehouse workers are at risk for repetitive strain injuries that can lead to missed workdays, medical bills, and lower productivity. Consider hiring an ergonomics expert to come in for a couple of hours and assess your facility. In many cases, simple changes such as investing in higher-quality seating or redoing rotations to give workers the chance to use different muscles throughout the day can make an enormous difference.

Optimizing your warehouse requires a full-scale overhaul of your workflows, storage solutions, and workstations. But there is no reason to be intimidated. If your warehouse is already running reasonably well, odds are good that you just need a few simple tweaks to make it the best it can be. And the rewards in saved time and costs, along with increased productivity, are well worth the hassle.

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