Key Factors for Effective Warehouse Storage

Written by Lim Jun He, DLSM

by Lim Jun He, DLSM

The warehouse storage system, also referred to as warehouse management system, is a process whereby we make use of warehouse storage equipment and planning the process to help facilitate the process of managing the warehouse storage, organizing and optimizing space for safe storage as well as safe being for logistics workers at the same time. The importance of a warehouse storage system is essential to every logistics and workers, as well as owners and users. As mentioned above, the process helps to facilitate the flow of warehouse storage with efficient planning flow utilizing storage equipment and also minimizing the risk of work incidents that could be prevented with the proper warehouse planning system.

Planning and Adaptation

The first and also the most important key point of this process is planning. This step is critical to every warehouse owner or user because it will affect the flow of the warehouse process if there is very bad planning. Warehouse owners and users have to plan a forecast of their future stock level, the volume of their products so that they could decide what is essential for warehouse storage to store their forecasted stocks. Sometimes, there may be times that there will be an error in forecasting future stock levels for warehouse users or owners. Another major factor that will also affect the process of this system is the layout process of the warehouse. Despite the planned forecast of the stock level, there will also be times of unseen forecasts due to the demand of consumers. In that case, warehouse users and owners will have to stock up their stock levels abruptly.

The layout of the warehouse becomes the key factor to meet the demand for a sudden increase in stock levels. The layout of the warehouse has to be versatile enough to store these unpredictable forecast stocks.

A mezzanine layout is beneficial in this case.

Pallet racking

The racking system plays the main role in warehouse storage. Having an organized racking system is essential for organized storage. Many products or stocks can be stored in the appropriate racking is used. Mentioned earlier on, warehouse equipment is utilized to ensure facilitate warehouse process storage. An example of an effective tracking system.

Push Back Racking System

It is pressured in shelves storage system consisting of inclined rail and carts with trolleys to store pallets and at the same time using the force of gravity to unload the pallets from the racks implementing the “first in first out” process. After the product is load onto the pallet on the pushed back shelve cart, the first pallet will be pushed into the back position to load the next pallet that is ready for storage until the last pallet that is stored at the front for easy access of unloading for picking.

Terasaki Electric

Image taken from Terasaki Electric (F.E.) Pte Ltd

Push Back racking design is both versatile and functional to help reduce time consumption while retrieving pallets that are in rotatory directions. It is a high-density type of pallet storage system that offers much more selectivity compared to the drive-in rack system. This system helps stores and retrieve pallets from the same aisle using “last in and first out order” while making use of the push back rack that is ideally suited to facilitate the operations and storing a larger quantity of SKU (stock-keeping units).

Warehouse Receiving Area

This is the busiest area for all incoming goods and is also the warehouse’s main port for unloading. Transport congestion can sometimes affect the process of unloading and if there are pallets, forklifts or trucks all outside in one congested area, not only is it disorganized but may also cause unintended work incidents to logistic workers or staffs. Having a barrier or markings outside where transporter trucks can unload the goods is a good practice.
The markings can tell transporter trucks where they should go for unloading, while the barriers can stop the next transport truck first while storing time, letting the first truck finish unloading the goods first before the next truck comes in for unloading.

While storing time for the next transporter truck to unload, warehouse staff can have ample time to check delivery or packing documents and also do proper physical checks to make sure there is no discrepancy in the delivered or loaded goods. Once goods have been unloaded, it has to be placed away in order not to obstruct the pave way for next unloading.

Warehouse staffs have to also check if there is any damaged in the package and also if the physical product is broken or damaged. Any damages found have to be reported to the relevant personnel.

Terasaki Electric Pte Ltd

Image taken from Terasaki Electric (F.E.) Pte Ltd

The final step to the storage of products. After inspection of the final products by warehouse staff. It is put away and segregated to the storage shelf or bins that are meant for the classified product.

This process is essential, by having this practice not only does it helps to maximize space for products, but it also helps to reduce receiving wrong products or misplacing goods due to the congestion of products stored in the area which is considered disorganized. What has considered good practice for the put-away process is upon receiving of goods and then put it away to the point of its final storage location.

warhouse mang

Image taken from Terasaki Electric (F.E.) Pte Ltd

Warehouse Equipment

Referred to as warehouse handling of equipment. When products are loaded into carton boxes, warehouse equipment such as forklift is required to load the goods onto the racks to help facilitate the storage space, height of the racks are not reachable by warehouse staffs alone hence, the dependency of warehouse equipment to help load the pallet onto shelves racking.

Benefits: if the pallet is too heavy or high, there is no way that warehouse staff could carry it to the point, by using warehouse equipment it minimizes injuries that might happen while handling the pallet.

One of the main processes involved in warehouse storage. Items are picked from the location storage based on the Bill of Material for packing for customers or manufacturing for the production team. The warehouse could be big enough to store the goods, however picking process is still considered essential to the warehouse to get the stored products to the final party

Conclusion

Warehouse plays an important role in supply chain operations in order to make a positive contribution. To achieve smooth operations of WMS, foremost planning is required. And also, the warehouse has to be organized considering the factors mentioned above to improve the WMS.


References

Material Handling Hub, (2018). “Avoid Common Warehouse Mistake In The Receiving Area”, Retrieved From:
https://www.materialhandlinghub.com/2017/07/21/warehouse-mistakes-receiving-area/, accessed20/12/2019.

Muhammad Hairul Bin Hassan, DLSM (2019). “Effective Warehouse Storage for Shipment Efficiency”. Retrieved From SIPMM: https://sipmm.edu.sg/effective-warehouse-storage-for-shipment-efficiency, accessed 18/12/2019.

Multi-Channel Merchant. (2019). “Best Practice In Material Handling And Put Away”, Retrieved From:
https://multichannelmerchant.com/operations/best-practices-in-material-handling-and-put-away/, accessed 20/12/2019.

Syed Muhamad Faizal, DLSM (2018). “Five Essential Methods Efficient Warehouse Operation”, Retrieved From SIPMM:
https://sipmm.edu.sg/five-essential-methods-efficient-warehouse-operation, accessed 20/12/2019.

Unarcorack. (2018). “How Push Back Rack Work”. Retrieved From
https://www.unarcorack.com/push-back-rack/how-push-back-rack-works/, accessed 20/12/2019.

About the Author Lim Jun He has substantive years of experience in logistics and warehouse storage management, and specifically in material control. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Jun He completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on December 2019 at SIPMM Institute.

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