Warehouse Design Consultancy

Warehouse DesignWarehouse design is a critical element within the field of logistics management. Warehouses and distribution centres are a major expenses for any business and inefficiency in their design can lead to lower service levels and higher operating costs.

New build designs require significant capital investment and even reconfiguration of existing facilities may require large investment in storage media and material handling changes. Considering these costs, coupled with return on investment requirements which demand that a facility is future-proof, it is critical to get warehouses and distribution centres professionally designed.

How Our Warehouse Design Consultants Can Help

Our warehouse design consultants have significant experience in both new build design and space optimisation of existing warehouse facilities. From the design and implementation of 650,000 sq ft distribution centres through to optimising space and throughput in 10,000 sq ft stores, our consultants know how to design efficiency into all types of warehouse facilities.

Warehouse size, configuration, handling equipment and operating processes all impact both the cost and service performance of any logistics operation. Ensuring efficiency within these areas is of paramount importance to ensuring the overall ability of a company to service it’s customers at the lowest cost-to-market. Areas where our warehouse design consultants can assist include:

Our warehouse design consultants can produce detailed CAD schematics for the optimal layout configuration of a warehouse or distribution centre. There are many elements that can be considered within the design, including material throughput rates, SKU profiles, storage level requirements and order-picking velocity.

Our team will build a detailed profile of the full business requirement, including all constraints, and design an optimised warehouse layout with consideration for the best rack configuration, material handling equipment, pick routes and marshalling areas. Varying options can also be designed around utilisation of different levels of automation, or alternative picking methodologies.

The warehouse layout design will include:

  • Current and future space requirements (with full consideration to customer forecasts);
  • Detailed CAD drawings of layout configurations and elevations;
  • Bill of equipment (racking, packing benches, trollies, MHE etc.);
  • Phasing in of equipment/space (in line with sales forecasts)
  • Labour requirements, labour utilisation and workflows;
  • WMS specification requirements;
  • Budget operating and capital costs;
  • Implementation timing.

If you are considering transferring to a new facility our warehouse design consultants can help you determine the most suitable size. The team will consider the business’s forecasts and growth projections along with storage and order picking requirements, and calculate the most suitable facility size.

In addition to facility sizing, there are many other considerations for new facilities that our consultants can also advise you on including location, location costs, proximity to parcel hubs, local employment levels and impact to transport costs.

Equipment selection is a key element of efficient warehouse design. There are a plethora of storage and material handling equipment options in the market and they need to be selected with consideration to capital investment, operating cost, service efficiency and safety.

As part of undertaking a layout design, our warehouse design consultants will consider all possible storage and handling equipment options, within budget constraints, and determine the best combination along with any benefits that automation may bring. Through experience in the market, and our network of contacts, our consultants are also able to identify the best equipment suppliers and assemble the most competitive quotes.

The efficiency of a warehouse layout needs to be matched by the efficiency of the operating processes followed by personnel. Our warehouse design consultants are able to generate full and detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for any warehouse operation.

The SOPs our consultants can produce will cover all warehouse activities including putaway, replenishment, pick-face control, order picking, damaged goods control, returns, marshalling and perpetual inventory checks. The SOPs will be set out in an Operations Process Manual and will include proformas for periodic auditing of process adherence and effectiveness.

There is a significant benefit to having the same consultant who designed a warehouse layout also implement the new design.

Our warehouse design consultants can be available to undertake full implementation project management, from agreeing project governance through to being fully operational.

Implementation programmes undertaken by our consultants can typically include:

  • Equipment tendering (with consultant recommended suppliers and/or approved client suppliers);
  • Equipment installation and testing;
  • CAD schematics for ancillary areas (offices, toilets, canteen facilities etc.);
  • General site-works (flooring, ventilation, windows, external, signage, line painting etc.);
  • Lighting and heating configuration;
  • Contract arrangements (security, waste, cleaning etc.);
  • IT requirements (hardware purchase, software provision);
  • IT installation (ADSL, access points, power-point locations, CCTV cabling, fire systems);
  • Operational set-up (H&S compliance, SOP packs, recruitment and staff transfer planning).

We have an extensive and frequently updated News & Insight section. If you would like to read further information from the team at Paul Trudgian, this article may be of interest:

Warehouse Technologies on the Rise

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