God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer, Reinhold Niebuhr)

Warehousing

A warehouse is a commercial building for storage, sorting, packaging, staging or finishing goods (Wikipedia). You add a warehouse in a logistical system if it reduces systemwide logistics costs or adds speed such that the investment in the warehouse is economically justified.

Types of Warehouses

Warehouse Operations

Warehouse operations must deal with:

Handling

Storage

Value-Added Services

Warehouses commonly also perform various value-added services such a product packaging, assembly and customization. Some of these activities full under the concept of postponement by delaying investment in a product or service until the last possible moment (Wikipedia).

Warehouse Layout & Design

Warehouse design must accomodate:

Common pallet size is 40x48" and 32x40". Most warehouses are designed as single story with 25- to 30 foot ceilings.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

A warehouse management system (WMS) aims to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and process the associated transactions, including shipping, receiving, putaway and picking. The systems also direct and optimize stock putaway based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization (Wikipedia 2011).

WMS may also include advanced functionality such as yard management, labor management, warehouse optimization and returns management (Bowersox 2010). Warehouses must manage damage and pilferage of the stock.