10 tips for a smart warehouse layout

The warehouse is at the heart of many organizations. It is where stock is stored, orders are picked, and where turnover is made! This also means it is important to think carefully about the layout of your warehouse. A smart layout ensures faster turnaround, a clearer view of operations and therefore a more efficient business. Below are ten tips for a smart warehouse layout.

1. Don’t just make it up as you go along

Your warehouse employees know better than anyone what works nicely and what doesn’t, so let them contribute their own ideas. Bring in an Occupational Health and Safety specialist in order to ensure safety and ergonomics.


2. Establish storage requirements

Find the right balance: make sure there’s enough but not too much. Establish an order point for each item. If the stock level drops below that point, order more. Use this inventory to calculate your storage space requirements.


3. Go for a smart layout

Narrower aisles mean more storage capacity. Don’t make your aisles too narrow because your employees need to be able to walk around freely while carrying large boxes. If you work with forklifts, meten = weten (‘measure = know’) is more important than ever!


4. Length configuration

Place shelves lengthways as much as possible. In long aisles, order pickers don’t have to change paths as often, which saves a lot of time.


5. Numbering of paths and shelves

Number the paths and shelves in a logical way. You could have the even numbers on the left and the odd numbers on the right, for example. Give the shelves letters: 1A, 1B, etc. Hang a sign at the entrance to each path showing what is there. This will save a lot of time searching – especially at the beginning.


6. Base the layout on throughput

Organize the items by throughput. Place the items needed the most often at the front. Put the products that are only ordered occasionally at the back.


7. Make useful combinations

Place products that are often sold together next to each other as this saves an extra journey.


8. Prevent confusion

Do not place very similar products next to each other. This prevents confusion among order pickers, and therefore returns as well.


9. Consider occupational health and safety

Bear in mind that warehouse work is physically demanding. Place heavy products at hip height so they are easier to lift.


10. Automate

Warehouse software provides information, a clear view of operations and control. Can’t find your way around the shelves? Outsource your warehousing for peace of mind and certainty.