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Some might call warehouses “chaotic”, but we prefer to think of them as ”ever-evolving”.

No matter how long you’ve worked in warehousing or logistics, you’ve probably gotten the idea that warehouse layout never stays the same for too long. And there’s a very good reason for this – as product demand, customer interaction, and supply chains change over time, warehouses need to change to keep up with it.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. Even if you’re used to switching up your warehouse layout, it can be tough to know when to do it – you don’t want to bring about big warehouse layout changes if your current system is working, but you also don’t want to be caught off-guard with the sudden need to update your warehouse’s layout when it may already be too late.

Wonder when it might be time to update your current warehouse design? Wonder no more:


Signs It’s Time To Update Your Warehouse Layout


When you no longer have room for your inventory

It might sound a little obvious, but a common complaint among most warehouses is that they just have too much stuff, and not enough room for it all. Sound familiar at all?

There can be a number of reasons for this – maybe you’ve started to carry additional products from new suppliers, maybe one of your mainstay product lines is seeing an expansion, maybe you’re just getting more items than you used to due to an uptick in business. Either way, if you’re expecting (or already receiving!) a lot more product than usual, it might be time for some warehouse layout changes. These can be as simple as moving around some of your bigger shelves, or as complex as installing a warehouse mezzanine to afford even more floor space, but either way, it’s a good time to get ready for a layout update.


When you predict an increase in activity

Similarly, if your warehouse is going to see a lot more foot traffic, whether it be from new hires adding to the workforce or simply an increase in activity on the floor due to an increase in orders or an influx of new product, your layout might need to be changed. This could be a good time to consider widening some aisles and improving traffic flow, both for the sake of speed and safety – and really, aren’t those the two goals of any warehouse?


When you need to improve the human factor

A lot of warehouse layout designs focus way more on the warehouse itself. Shelves are placed in a way that can make the items easier to access, but all of the fast picking in the world can’t change the human factor of every workplace.

If your workers are having a difficult time navigating the warehouse, using the breakroom, or just getting tasks done outside of their duties on the floor, it might be time to consider updating your layout. If you have teams that handle back-office duties that need better communication with the floor staff, you might want to consider installing a prefab office closer to where the action is to improve teamwork and collaboration. Making your breakrooms more comfortable with furniture and industrial lockers can help your teams get ready at the beginning and end of their workdays as well. Or, even if it’s as simple as creating an easier path for workers to walk and drive forklifts through, even this small change will go a long way.


When safety is an issue

The rush to fit as much inventory as possible into any given warehouse is one we’re all familiar with, but this can actually lead to bigger issues in the long-term. If you’re dealing with a lot of safety concerns like pallet overhang, bent or damaged shelving posts, or even just overstuffed shelves, revamping your warehouse layout to fit in new, undamaged warehouse shelving in order to increase capacity and provide a more stable home for your goods will do a lot to keep your teams and inventory safe.

At the end of the day, the answer is clear – if you think you might need to start moving stuff around in your warehouse, then you absolutely need to.

If you have questions about your warehouse layout or any new shelving installations, contact Shelving Inc. today!

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