The design and layout of your OEM spare parts warehouse can have a major impact on efficiency, picking accuracy and other factors that can affect your bottom line. There are thousands of new parts being added all the time.
The more inventory you take on, the more difficult managing these products can become. That’s why it’s important to make sure you arrange your products in a way that makes sense to your employees. They should be able to quickly find what they need on the shelf without second-guessing themselves. Use these design and layout tips to keep your spare parts moving.
Choose a Layout Strategy
It all starts with deciding how you plan on moving your spare parts from point A to B.
Many warehouses and distribution centers use conveyor belts and other forms of automation to quickly move inventory to and from the loading dock. The container will pass from one zone or area to the next as workers add products along the way. The order should be complete and ready for shipment once the container makes it to the loading dock.
Other facilities use light-to-pick systems to direct workers to objects on the shelf. Certain shelves and picking zones will automatically light up when new orders come in. The worker then retrieves the item, thus completing the order as the light turns off.
You can also separate your storage area into zones. Every zone represents a different type or category of product. Workers are assigned to specific zones, so they are only responsible for picking certain kinds of products. This allows workers to focus on a particular type of product. They also don’t have to cover as much ground as they would if they were gathering items from the entire warehouse.
Design and Layout Tips
Once you have an idea of how you plan on picking and moving your inventory, use these tips to make the most out of your existing storage space:
- Keep Inventory Within Reach
Your workers should be able to retrieve the items they need in just a few seconds or less. That’s why it’s important to keep your most popular spare parts and products at eye level. Your workers can quickly see the contents and grab items without bending over or grabbing a ladder.
Many facilities will use a multi-tier system to keep their inventory at the appropriate height. It’s much faster to have workers climb a set of stairs than have them climb a ladder. You can also assign workers to separate tiers or floors for faster retrieval times.
Consider using automation to speed up the picking process when handling heavy or sensitive merchandise. The machine will automatically bring the item to the correct location, so your workers can focus more on fulfilling orders and spend less time handling inventory.
- Use Durable Containers
Your containers should provide maximum protection without slowing down the order fulfillment process. Use industrial metal storage bins to safely store and transport items made of metal and sensitive goods, such as sensors, computers and other digital assets. These containers come in all shapes and sizes. Choose a container that’s close in size to your inventory to reduce movement during transit.
- Palletize Your Inventory
You should always focus on the end goal when preparing your goods for shipment. It’s your job to make sure your goods arrive on time and intact. Fulfill orders using a pallet container to make sure it will fit onto a pallet when sending it out for delivery or pickup. These containers have the same dimensions as a regular pallet, so you don’t have to shrink wrap miscellaneous packages together. This will help you save time during the loading and unloading process. Your team can quickly move large quantities of goods without worrying about attaching goods to the pallet.
Choose the right style of pallet for your merchandise. It’s best to use metal pallets when shipping metal auto parts and accessories. Stainless steel pallets are more durable than those made of aluminum, but they can also weigh down your shipment. Learn more about the differences between galvanized steel vs aluminum pallets.
Changes in Layout Achieve Better Results
Making a few changes to the layout of your facility can yield major results. You can use these tips to save time, money and improve the integrity of your products. It’s all about making sure your goods arrive at their destination on time and intact.