Best Practices for setting up a Warehouse for the Distribution Industry?

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Warehouse locations

One of the most important areas of operations for distribution companies is the warehouse and how it is setup and tweaked as the business grows.  Proper planning is critical to the success of the operation. Setting up a warehouse with locations, zones and bins is a process that involves planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining a system that optimizes the storage and retrieval of inventory items. Here are some of the best practices for setting up a warehouse with locations, zones, and bins:

Assess your inventory needs and warehouse space!

You should analyze your inventory characteristics, such as size, weight, shape, turnover rate, and storage requirements. You should also measure your warehouse dimensions, such as floor area, ceiling height, aisle width, and door size. This will help you determine how much space you need for each item and how to allocate it efficiently.

Choose a location numbering scheme that is consistent and logical:

You should use a combination of alphanumeric characters to identify each location in your warehouse, such as site, warehouse, zone, aisle, rack, shelf, and bin. You should avoid using ambiguous or confusing characters. You should also use leading zeros to keep the same number of digits for each level of location. See example below:

A01-02-03-04-05-0645 could represent the following:

Site A

Warehouse 01

Zone 02

Aisle 03

Rack 04

Shelf 06

Bin 0645

bin labels

Create zones for different storage needs and purposes:

You can divide your warehouse into zones to accommodate various storage needs, such as temperature requirements, or various turnover rates for items. You can specify warehouse locations on any level (for example, site, warehouse, aisle, rack, shelf, and bin position

Assign bins to items based on their attributes and demand:

You should use bins that are suitable for the size and shape of the items you store. You should also consider the bin type, bin ranking, bin policy, bin content, bin condition, bin special equipment, or bin capacity when assigning bins to items. You should place high-demand items in easily accessible bins near the entrance or exit of the warehouse.

You should use barcodes or QR codes to label each bin with its location code and other relevant information. You should also use color-coding or symbols to mark bins with special conditions or requirements, such as fragile items or hazardous materials. You should also make sure that the labels and marks are visible and readable from a distance and from different angles.

Integrate the bin location system with your warehouse management system (WMS)

You should use a WMS that supports bin location tracking and management. You should also use scanners or mobile devices to scan the barcodes or QR codes of the bins and items when performing warehouse activities, such as receiving, put-away, picking, packing, or shipping. This will help you update the inventory items in real time and ensure accuracy and efficiency.

As you can see there is a lot of planning that goes into ensuring that your warehouse is laid out in the most efficient way possible which will drive sales up and dollars to your bottom line. Our team at ACE Micro will guide you through this planning process.

About ACE Micro, LLC

For over two decades, ACE has met the needs of its clients through the innovative application of software solutions. 

As specialist in solutions for distribution, our products and services are specifically designed for Industrial Supplies, Medical and Hospital Equipment, and Industrial Machinery and Equipment distributors who need to optimize their organizations with quick time to value, low risk and targeted solutions. Our Cloud based solutions for Distribution help you improve inventory management and increase order accuracy while providing improved organizational insights. Unlike our competition, our solutions for Distribution are industry specific and offered as solutions to meet your specific needs and provide the accelerated time to value. 

The ACE suite of solutions is based on Dynamics 365 Business Central, a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, that can improve the capabilities of a distribution company. By leveraging these capabilities, Distribution Companies make data-driven decisions, improve operational efficiency, and drive growth. In addition to ensuring clients are using tools effectively, ACE continually brings innovative ideas that help businesses reduce operating costs and improve productivity.

If you are looking for a “Partner for Life” for your Distribution company, contact ACE. 

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