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My Introspective

by Laurus Nobilis
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Supply Chain | Warehouse Design

Warehouse Zones (E)

Warehouse DesignLogistics is very expensive function of every company. Warehouse is very expensive, often contributing 25% of total logistics. At same time warehouse need to provide sufficient service level to customer. Therefore, planning of warehouse design is crucial for effective and cost efficient service.


Posted: Nov 2013

Moving on from the planning base, the next area is the warehouse zones, and obviously this is implied to some extent already in the day in the life of that we've just been looking at. We need to think very early on what the warehouse zones might be. There's different ways of determining these zones.

One obvious way is if it's different temperature ratings. If ice cream, which is a frozen commodity, is held in the same warehouse as ambiental-chilled goods, then obviously it is a natural zoning according to temperature rating that needs to take place there.

Other ways to determine zone maybe by the storage or handling characteristics. An example there is water for example, which is produced in large batch runs and can be block stacked physically, one pallet being placed on top of another. So that gives a particular storage option that could be considered, which may not be appropriate for other types of product which cannot be block stacked, for example, or are produced in smaller quantities.

Another way to determine the zones, as in the day in the life example, is byfast-moving, slow-moving lines. For example, being in the fast-moving line, we may actually want to pick that in a completely different way to a much slower moving line.

Warehouse Design - Warehouse Zones

Other aspects of zones may be security, hazardous considerations, or indeed cross-contamination. For example, the order of one product and you may actually want to keep that well away from certain other products which may be sensitive to that.

In terms of how many zones, obviously a zone can be designed for the high picking efficiency of a particular product, therefore we may have theoretically a very large number of different zones which are ideal to particular products or product characteristics.

But we need to recognize, obviously, the more zones that we have then the more complex is the marshalling of packing operations and the more difficulty with work load balancing and flexibility. So we need to consider a compromise and what the optimum is between picking-efficiency and the ease of managing the actual operations between the zones.


7 Steps of Warehouse Design
Planning Horizons
Planning Levels
Equipment resource Levels
Day in the Warehouse
Warehouse Zones
Case Picking Methods
Warehouse Equipment Selection
Fixed and Variable Costs
Relative Attributes of Warehouse Design
Suitability for SKU Throughput Ranges
Warehouse Equipment Attributes Matrix
Final Warehouse Equipment Selection Factors

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