Your distribution center design is integral to ensuring the optimization of your existing facility and keeping up with the needs of your business as a whole. The demands on the distribution center operation often change as the parent company grows and evolves, requiring continual adjustment for changing objectives.
Your distribution center is the heart and soul of the supply network for your organization. The operations of a distribution center, from simple daily tasks to more involved procedures, have many shared characteristics. Each distribution center must function as part warehouse, part storage, part office and part shipping center. These unique qualities place complicated demands on any distribution center management team. However, looking at the design and layout of your operation can help things to run more smoothly in every aspect.
In order to determine whether you could benefit from a redesign, first take a long look at existing infrastructure. Are there consistent hiccups at one stage of the distribution process? Does it seem there’s always an area where efficiency isn’t what it could be? If that’s the case, these are the first areas in which to examine which possible design adjustments can be made to improve the distribution process.
Much like a person’s physical health, the health of any business requires regular check-ups. Evaluating current efficiency levels is necessary to make sure your facility is operating in peak form. Businesses change, and the requirements they place on their distribution center change as well. Without restructuring, your distribution center can fall short of its goals.
The design of your facility and its resultant efficiency level is based on many factors. For example, a complex, long-term project will almost certainly have different requirements from a simple short-term project. Deciding what layout will work best for your needs requires evaluating your existing equipment and procedures while also examining proven layout schematics and design methodologies. Even personnel placement can have an impact on your distribution center efficiency.
Assessing your facility and procedures will help to identify any improvement opportunities which exist in your existing operational process. Once performance metrics and existing processes have been examined, a more thorough look can be given to maximum utilization of the physical space. Other factors should be taken into consideration as well, such as predicted growth and adjustments for seasonal business changes. This analytical, structured approach will deliver the best possible layout for your distribution center design.
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