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How to Design a Warehouse Perfect for Your Needs

– Contributed content –

Warehouse

(Flickr)

6 December 2017. If you’ve had an amazing idea for a product, you will need somewhere to manufacture and store it, ready for sale to your customers. For many businesses, buying a warehouse is a simple process, but for your more complex needs, you may need to look into how you can fully optimize a space to get the most from your square footage.

A warehouse isn’t just about storing products and parts, though, you also need to make sure that your warehouse staff will be safe in their working environment and that any risk of accident is minimized as far as possible. This will certainly influence the layout and design of your warehouse and thinking about this now will help you to save money and lives in the long term.

Make use of mezzanine levels

If you have a high ceiling, installing mezzanine levels is a really good idea. You will essentially increase your floor space without having to expand your footprint which is a much more efficient use of space and will likely end up being cheaper than bigger premises.

You can use a forklift truck to ensure the safe movement and storage of your stock and even have staff up there to guide things into place. A simple way to ensure their safety is to install pivoting mezzanine safety gates which will ensure that there is always a gate between your employee and a potential fall.

Consider layout and movement

Yes, it is obvious, but you do need to make sure that if you are using forklifts, they are able to move between the units in your warehouse and there is enough space for them to safely maneuver. The best way to do this is to create a floor plan that is roughly to scale to see what the best way of fitting everything in is.

Another thing to consider is how you want everyone to safely move around the warehouse. This could be another simple thing like marking colored lines on the floor to indicate where people can walk and where forklifts can drive. You should also mark out walkways around the warehouse to indicate where the safest places to stand are.

Use tech to optimize processes

There are all sorts of warehouse and logistics technologies you can use to optimize your processes while making the warehouse safer. However, the future is also looking bright for further developments in warehouse tech.

One of the most common causes of accidents in a warehouse are forklift trucks which can topple over, emit carbon monoxide and be mishandled. Every year 95,000 warehouse employees are injured and 100 employees are killed in forklift related incidents, giving a clear indication that there is room for technological intervention in this area.

There are already plenty of pick and place robots and human-friendly forklifts that are capable of doing these jobs effectively but due to the number of other modification required to let them do their job, they haven’t really caught on yet.

Watch this space, though, the future of industry is right around the corner.

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