Storage & Handling Design
We take the mystery out of warehouse design by relating it to your individual business needs. Our key difference is that we can link the design of your warehouse to your broader supply chain goals as set out in your supply chain strategy.
We use our Value Stream Mapping techniques to clearly establish the main transactional and distribution goals of your proposed warehouse. These goals are intimately related to the way you plan to maximise the flow of products through your supply chain.
Based on the Value Stream Map and business case documents we accumulate vital information that relates to warehouse design, including;
- Forecast volume of materials through warehouse
- Space restrictions
- Physical requirements of inventory (e.g. bulk pallets, rackable pallets, binnable items)
- Activity patterns (e.g. pallet operations, order picking, shipping and receiving)
- Segmentation of operations (e.g. covered, picking, administration, shipping and receiving, packing and crating)
Create a preliminary building layout based on the data collected.
Use data and building layout to model different combinations of storage and handling techniques and technologies. This can be done using a simple spreadsheet right though to sophisticated dynamic modelling.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Create a cost/benefit trade-off curves for the different storage and handling options taking into consideration the (pragmatic) use of different storage and handling technologies.
Modify goals and layouts according to information gleaned from the preceding analysis.
We can assist with optimising your warehouse system in the following areas;
Use statistical and Plan For Every Part (PFEP) information from your supply chain strategy, as well as dynamic modelling for more sophisticated warehouses, to create the most efficient utilisation of space.
Review your current cycle count methodologies to increase stock accuracy.
Demonstrate potential labour savings created by the judicious use of automation.
Examine buffer options throughout your supply chain to maximise throughput of material through your warehouse.
Customer & Supplier Collaboration
Examine opportunities with customers and suppliers such as Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), order & freight options and vendor assurance programs.
Bulk Storage Design
Bulk Storage is required for materials (predominantly raw materials) that are better stored within tailor-made vessels, usually external to a warehouse environment. Based on your supply chain strategy (including Plan For Every Part – PFEP) we can design the specification for a bulk storage system taking into account;
- supplier and freight availability
- your supply chain planning and control strategy (including buffer positioning and sizing as well as supply chain scheduling techniques)
- physical material flow characteristics
- current and future buying price strategies
- current and future formulation strategies
- cleaning and HACCP requirements
Factory Storage & Handling
Storage and handling activities within a factory are designed and optimised using techniques that are very similar to those used in dedicated warehouses. There are however 3 factors that are also important when considering factories within the process industry;
Load leveling for a processing factory should be undertaken using a standard sequence that minimises total changeover costs while also optimising inventories. This sequence (and its duration) should be considered when modelling the storage and handling activities within a processing factory.
Use of Technology
Technologies such as Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) and Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) have appeal to those businesses pursuing a “lights out” manufacturing philosophy. We can model and perform appropriate cost/benefit analysis on these systems to ensure that they deliver the expected business outcomes.
Local Consolidation Centres
Local consolidation centres are used in the process industry for a variety of reasons, generally motivated by the unique requirements of a fulfillment strategy. These centres will often require regular reassessment as changes in the operating environment occur (e.g. product mix, formulations, schedule sequence, demand, etc.). We can assess current consolidation centre performance and offer alternatives for savings.