How can we avoid crowding a warehouse?

Warehouses are buildings or spaces defined and calculated to store goods (raw materials, components or finished products) until they are assigned a destination and function. For warehouses of production units, the downtime of the goods should be as short as possible, so that the turnover of stocks (how many times we use stocks during a month) is as long as possible. For distribution and other industries, stocks can be defining and very important for a company that needs to be available to its customers at all times. There are different ways of understanding stocks, depending on the industry in which we operate.

The calculation of the space in a warehouse initially takes into account volumes, packaging methods, delivery frequencies, production and distribution planning, the number of resources to be used, quality requirements in terms of storage of our goods (temperature, pressure, hazards, etc.) and much more. All elements are taken into account in the calculation formulas, resulting in an optimal storage area required to which we may also add a safety stock to be covered in the face of inherent variations. I said initially - because then there may be a few more customers with doubling and tripling of volumes, the suppliers and the commercial conditions may change (minimum order quantity) and, as a result, we have to deal with the space that we have.
What to do? Well, we have to adapt.
It is said that when you are not organizing, others will do that for you - as a result, we are organizing everything we can to improve the use of space:
  • We organize the space and the use of space in the warehouse (5S + S, warehouse map, VSM) - eliminating anything that is not direct material or finished product (no archives, no tools and motors from Maintenance)
  • We organize deliveries of raw materials by planning discharges - to control that what goes into the warehouse is what we need in the quantity we need and no more
  • We organize deliveries of finished products by planning loads - in order to keep the level of finished products to a minimum, to save as much space as possible
  • We organize internal logistics (internal movements of goods) through implementations, planning and automatic and semi-automatic methods of delivery (Kanban, supermarket, milkrun, robots) to reduce variations in consumption and therefore the level of stock required

Conclusion: Resource organization and planning are the two main key elements we can rely on when trying to avoid clutter of deposits.

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