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Warehouse Genius FAQs

If a warehouse has unloading/loading docks only on the long elevation, is there a simple rule of thumb that might be considered a starting point for optimizing the width of that warehouse in relation to its depth? Also, would using this rule of thumb help secure its ultimate full pallets only throughput efficiency based upon a standard Pareto analysis of its stock movement profile over say a 400k, 500k or 600k annual pallet throughput?

How do you optimize warehouse storage based on depth and widthWhat you want to know is where to start. What is the best ratio of width to depth for your warehouse? Assuming that you are talking about a new facility and not an existing one. Both rectangular and square buildings have their drawbacks. You need a happy medium, and that will depend on your product mix, reserve verses active storage, facility storage height, and so on.
A simple rule of thumb would be to maximize the storage of the available space. If you use dock doors on the long side of your building, your products will flow in and out the same doors.  Many customers designate both receiving and shipping doors, while some facilities stagger the receiving and shipping times to make better use of the dock doors.

As a starting point, we would normally begin with a CAD drawing of your facility. From there, we would fill-in pallet racking with appropriate travel aisles, back end turning aisles, and front end dock space. The aisle spacing would be dependent upon type of fork truck your company uses.  We would normally recommend using standard Raymond Reach Trucks or Swing Reach Trucks. Deep reach racking, push-back racking, and pallet flow racking could be considered, depending upon the number of SKUs, and number of pallets per SKU. The goal is to maximize the storage in the available space.

One concern many companies have is where to store the 20 percent fast movers and the 80 percent slow movers. Very often this involves different types of storage. Fast movers can be located in several designated aisles, but this can create bottlenecks when most of your fork trucks are trying to pick in the same aisles.  Another option is to spread out the fast movers into many aisles, and locate them at the front of the rack, nearest the dock doors. The slow movers can then be located in the back of these rows.
Another option is to place the fast movers on the rack floor levels, and place reserve pallets above these floor locations.

With your annual throughput, you would be moving about 2,000 pallets per day. This is about 143 pallets per hour, assuming two shifts. That is 143 pallets in, and 143 pallets out, each day. This is manageable, but space will need to be allocated for incoming and out-going pallets along with room for shipping manifesting.

One consideration would be to find a facility with dock doors on both long sides of the facility. This gives you defined receiving and shipping areas and better flow. Below you will find a list of questions to ask yourself:

Are both loading and unloading docks located in the same area?

Are times designated for loading of trucks at the end of the day, and receiving during the day? Or are your docks designated as being either loading or unloading docks (e.g. docks 1-10 are for inbound, and docks 11-20 are for outbound?

I would recommend maintaining an area large enough to hold one truck load of product in front of each dock, which would allow staging to take place for inbound and outbound loads. If space is short, you could add racking above the docks to hold inbound and outbound loads while they are being processed.

I would also recommend maintaining 15-30 feet in front of your docks for equipment movement. The exact amount of space needed is dictated by levels of traffic, volume of product movement, and specific processes. We would want to study the volume of loads in order to allow enough space for each operation’s expected workloads. Also, we would need to know how the product is moved?


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