It is surprising how many warehouse operations run without a warehouse location system. The usual justification is ‘the guys just know where everything is’. If something isn’t where it should be, time is spent trying to locate it. Also not having a location system makes it hard for new employees and temps to do their jobs. In addition, your warehouse will not support a Warehouse Management System install or even manual based inventory transactions by locations.
The simplest way to set up a Warehouse Location System is as follows:
- Use the letter sequence A to Z to identify the storage rows. These can be rows of shelving, racking or even floor locations.
2. Within each row of racking (or shelves) there are a number of storage bays. Identify each bay with a numbered from 01 to 99.
3. Each bay of racking (or shelves) will have multiple levels of storage. Use the letter sequence A to Z to designate each storage level.
4. You now have a unique storage address for all the locations in your warehouse. So if the warehouse pick sheet says go to location G03C, the warehouse operator will look for Row G; Bay number 03; and Level C.
Once there is a warehouse location system is in place, the next step is to label each location. If there are plans to implement Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) software, make sure the ID labels are bar coded. This will allow the warehouse operator to easily scan each location during put away or when picking product for orders. By having a warehouse location system you will also improve warehouse travel time related to efficient picking cycles and direct to location product put away. Operating a warehouse is much simpler when all your inventory has a location assigned to it.