The layout of your store room determines to quite an extent whether the right thing reaches the right place at the right time and in the right quantity. But to get so many things right requires careful planning on your behalf and also some good sense of material management.

The factors detailed below are important elements of a storeroom layout:

Infrastructure

Warehouses are hardly found in the commercial centres of the city. They certainly do not belong to those skylines alongside commercial skyscrapers. Moreover, they require bigger areas compared to usual offices and as a result, warehouses often get pushed to old and abandoned buildings where the rents are comparatively lower.

The condition of such spaces can play a huge role in determining the ease with which your warehouse operations are carried out.

If the warehouse has moist conditions, it stands at a risk of developing mould that could result in damage to goods that occupy your storeroom.

Broken windows and missing doors pose a threat to the security of your storeroom.

Poor lighting and other technical aspects, such as th functioning of air conditioners and heaters can impact the performance of those who have been employed to work in the storeroom.

Dust, corrosion, dirt and other factors can lead to degradation of the goods and also the warehouse that stores them. In some cases it renders the goods unusable, resulting in losses for the business.

Location

Even though location is not exactly a part of a storerooms layout, it can decide the way in which goods move around in the warehouse. Having a great distance between the location of your warehouse and suppliers or clients can lead to unnecessary delays in shipments.

As logistics become time consuming, it reduces the amount of time that you can invest into organising the warehouse. With the existing staff it can prove to be a difficult task and for better organisation, you may have to hire additional employees. It also places tremendous pressure on the transportation team which could result in the loss or damage of goods.

Physical Layout

The physical layout of a storeroom is possibly the most influential factor that determines the effectiveness of your material management strategy. The storeroom should be set in such a way that the material flow takes place without any hassle. Whether your storeroom layout is appropriate or not depends on the answers to the following questions:

  • Does the placement of objects on the warehouse floor allow for quick movement of materials between the different areas of a storeroom?
  • Can the material be stored in an organised way inside each of the individual areas?
  • Are there proper structures in place to ensure safe positioning of material?
  • Do the structures provide sufficient space for your staff to conveniently handle the material?

Also, the path along which the material moves should resemble a simple figure in geometry. Having such a set up implies that you have made reasonably good use of the available space. On the other hand, a movement path that resembles the shape of an amoeba can severely hinder the productivity of the employees responsible for moving the material.

Space Utilisation

Optimum utilisation of space is the biggest concern of most warehouse owners. You will often hear them say, ‘We’re out of room, we’re out of space’. But just a simple visit to their storeroom will reveal to you how the furniture hasn’t been designed in a way to handle the existing load. Examples are as follows –  the shelves have been improperly stacked, bins are overflowing and old useless material is just lying around. As a result, the space merely appears to be occupied when in reality there is ample space hidden behind the disorganised arrangement of objects.

Another mistake that leads to wastage of valuable space is the inability to use correct storage solutions. If the boxes in which the material is stored are much bigger than the material’s size, it c0uld limit your storage capacity by a fair margin. Another great idea that helps in reducing wasted space in a warehouse or storeroom is stacking boxes on top of each other. Tote boxes are the perfect storage solution if your business is looking for a way to save space.

How well the space has been utilised depends on how efficient the inventory control is. To have ample room for your material, you should first clear the trash and make the available space known to you. You should then determine on the basis of the available space, how much material it can comfortably store. Once you have established the safe upper limit of your warehouse capacity, you can proceed to storing the material systematically and in an orderly manner.

In this way, with the right storage solutions and an efficient material movement strategy, your storeroom layout will make perfect sense!