How to Set Up a Warehouse
For any business that requires a warehouse it is important that they go about setting it up correctly from the start. From having the right shelving systems to putting emergency procedures in place, a warehouse is more than just a storage space.
Before you even move into the warehouse it is important to draw up a floor plan. Visit the space first and get a feel for how much room there is and how you think you might lay out all your inventory. You will need areas for receiving goods, as well as shipping, and naturally large storage areas. How you will lay all this out will also depend on what goods you will be putting in your warehouse. You will also need an area for a staff kitchen and break area, which will need to include a fridge, comfortable chairs or couches, a sink, and tea and coffee making facilities. You will need bathroom facilities and you might want to think about things like a drinks vending machine. In your floor plan work out where everything is going to fit, with an arrangement that is going to be logical and create a good flow of traffic through the warehouse.
Decide what shelving systems are going to work best for you and the type of products you will be storing. Make sure that you buy quality shelving systems that are sturdy enough to hold the goods safely. Have them professionally installed and ensure they are attached securely to walls and the floor. Leave enough space in between shelves to move products, and to fit a forklift in case items can only be moved this way.
You will need a store room or storage area for things like boxes, packing tape and anything else needed for shipping goods. It is a good area to keep cleaning supplies and anything else needed to run the warehouse.
Know what safety requirements are necessary to be in place around a warehouse, particularly if there will be forklifts in operation. You are required by law to display the proper signs regarding safety and any warnings about machinery operating in the area. You will need areas clearly marked out on the floor showing where forklifts are in operation, and staff need to know where are the safe areas to walk. A first aid kit should be in an accessible place, usually the kitchen is the best spot for it. You will need to think about injury prevention, so you may want to think about having softer floor coverings if staff will be standing in one spot for long periods. Standing about on concrete flooring, for example, can lead to problems like shin splints and back problems. You might want to install heating and cooling systems to make the area comfortable, although you will have to assess have cost efficient this will be, and there might not be any point if large doors are kept open during working hours.