Warehouse layout design and simulation tools are providing businesses with the right information to test ‘what-if’ scenarios which identify where the operation can be better optimised and the possible ‘stress-points’ it’s experiencing.
Our CLASS 2012 tool enables you to realise your operations potential, without the need for any specialised programming skills – you simply drag and drop to reconfigure layouts and work flows. Here are a few tips on how to get it right.
1. Know the Peak Requirements; daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal patterns determine the peak input/output requirements. Knowing the peak requirements enables pick faces to be sized, shift patterns to be determined, marshalling capacity and the number of dock doors to be determined
2. Keep it simple; creating complex material flows within a warehouse and supporting these with mechanical handling equipment can lead to a lack of flexibility and limited opportunities to re-scope the warehouse in the future. Demand profiles always change so whilst nothing looks quite as impressive as automation, ensure it has a degree of redundancy and flexibility to change with the order profile, be this seasonal or trending with customer demand.
3. Ensure the Yard supports the Warehouse; the warehouse will require deliveries and collections to be scheduled, usually through gatehouses. Congestion outside the warehouse, driven by parking area constraints, will affect all warehouse activities. It is therefore import to understand the capacity of the yard to ensure that this potential bottleneck will not impact warehouse productivity.
4. Work in 3D; when a two dimensional model has been constructed and the layout looks correct make use of computer technology to bring the model to life. 3D modelling allows further qualification of plans and enables the designer to perform a “virtual tour” of the new warehouse, stimulating discussion and buy-in from all of the stakeholders.
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