Warehouse Layout & Design

Warehouse design must accomodate:
  • Receiving - handling incoming shipments
  • Storage - areas to store goods, usually organized by product velocity in A, B and C inventories
  • Order picking - areas to pick items for particular orders
  • Packing or unitizing - areas to pack shipments, usually in pallets
  • Staging - areas for staging shipments for transportation
  • Shipping - area for handling outgoing shipments
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.