How to Set Up a Small Warehouse

Warehouse Business

If you have recently leased or purchased a small warehouse, you probably have a lot of ideas about setting it up. You need your warehouse to work well for you. However, deciding where everything goes can be hard. Optimizing your warehouse can be easier said than done. On top of that, you’ve also got to decide where the packing and shipping areas need to be. 

Don’t worry, this article will help you to set up a small warehouse so it works effectively and efficiently. 

Connecting Systems

Ensuring that your warehouse teams understand when to take action to pick, pack and send customer orders away is key. That’s why you must ensure a seemless integration and automated data exchange between your warehouse system and all involved sales channels. This is why solutions such as Everstox exist.

Receiving Goods 

When you have a smaller warehouse, chances are that you will be both shipping and receiving goods from it. Make sure that you do what you can to avoid the dock or warehouse doors from becoming congested. 

As soon as the new stock arrives, unload it and store it in the receiving area. When you do this, you create space for more deliveries to arrive. Just make sure that once the goods are in the receiving area you work on them as soon as you can. It would be a shame if the receiving area became cluttered. Don’t forget to prioritize the stock that needs to be dealt with first. 

The Storage Area

Being smart about the storage area is easier said than done. Try to keep the amount of time you have goods in the storage area to a minimum. If you have goods that take a while to sell, they should be moved to the bulk storage area. The goods that tend to shift fairly quickly should be accessed easily so there’s no hold up. 

Try to have just one day’s worth of stock for every fast-selling product. When it comes to your slow-moving products, keep plenty in stock but don’t let them take up too much space. You may want to consider storing slow-moving stock to a corner of the warehouse so it won’t get in the way. Alternatively, you could store the stock on some high up shelves. This can help to keep the stock out of the way, allowing you to access your quick-selling stock easily. 

Picking Paths

Smaller warehouses can be notorious for having people run into each other. People and even machines can get in the way of one another. Your ideal warehouse will minimize cross-traffic so that the picking paths and flow are optimized. 

Create a straight path from the receiving area to the storage, the picking areas, and to the packing area. Finally, the packing area should have a straight line to the shipping area. If you can’t work with a straight path, used a Z-shaped one instead. 

Consider placing some brightly colored tape down on the warehouse floor. The tape can show your employees where they can walk freely. In addition to this, it will be easier to see where the shelves are when the light is low or someone is using a fork-lift truck. 

Packing and Shipping 

The packing and shipping areas need to be specialized. The packing area should work in such a way that the products come in at one end and leave for shipping at another end. The flow needs to be as seamless as possible. 

As soon as the products are packed they should be moved to the shipping area. The shipping area should contain two sections. One section should be for the packages/boxes that can be picked up at any time, the other for packages that are clogging the shipping station. Just make sure everyone who works in shipping has all of the packing tools and supplies that they need. When they have what they need, there will be fewer delays in the shipping process. 

Use the above tips to help you set up your warehouse. As soon as you do, you’ll find that your warehouse is more likely to be well organized. Now all you have to do is to decide how to organize all of your shelves. The whole process can take time and a lot of planning. However, it can be worth it. If you organize your warehouse now, you may not need to make changes when it’s up and running.

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