DESIGN YOUR WAREHOUSE LAYOUT & BIN LABELS FOR WMS SUCCESS
How to set your warehouse location labels
Wrong planning of a warehouse layout might result in many hours of implementation of your Warehouse Management System and constant rework of the layout. Today I am going to explain how you can lay out the product location within your warehouse in a way that is both, intuitive and easy to follow. The concept behind bin labeling is super simple; all that is needed is to understand the structure. Once you do that you can apply that structure to your warehouse and you can finally label those bin locations with accuracy.
A warehouse layout typically has five components:
- The area, zone or section
- The row or aisle
- The bay or rack
- The level or shelf
- The bin or storage position.
The labels to identify where the goods are stored should be structured to reflect each of these components.
Let’s go over the concept of each of these components
1. First component: the area
The storage areas in a warehouse are designed to delineate or separate each physical section of the warehouse according to the products storage requirements or the warehouse locations. One example of the former would be a warehouse that stores products refrigerated, frozen, and at normal temperature. One example of the latter is a company that has more than one warehouse.
2. Second component: the row
The next level in the warehouse layout is the row. Every warehouse has a set of aisles and those aisles traditionally have a racking system of some kind on the left and the right-hand side.
Each of those sides is called a row and each of them has a unique number. Think of it as if you are in a supermarket: you have the canned goods in one aisle and the rice in another and so on for each product category.
3. Third component: the bay
The rows have vertical columns separated by metal braces bolted or welded between frame columns in a specific pattern to resist cross-aisle forces imposed on the rack’s frames and to improve the stability of the row. These columns within the rows are called BAYS as illustrated in the picture.
4. Fourth component: the level
Within the bay itself, you have a set of levels. The number of levels depends on the size of the operation. Some distributors have two levels others have five. Either way, each level is numbered from down below to the top as illustrated in the picture.
Depending on the size of your warehouse you will specify which of these levels you pick from and which are overstock. Most distributors use the bottom level as the picking floor or the place where the employees grab products from and pick.
5. Fifth component: the bin
The last component in a warehouse layout is the BIN. The bin is the position where the product is stored in the level. I have customers that normally have two bin locations within each bay on the level because they have two pallet positions: a pallet position on the left and one on the right. But other customers that sell lotions or makeup and products of that nature have multiple bins within that level in the bay. It is all up to the product that you sell and how you want to lay out your warehouse.
For a successful implementation of a Warehouse Management System or WMS, each area, row, bay, level, and bin position must have a unique identifier. The Bin location label for the product allocation must conform to this structure, as shown in this example.
I hope this information helps you optimize the implementation of your warehouse management system. We will continue publishing information related to warehouse management and distribution practices. If you are interested in this article or want to learn more about Laceup Solutions, register to keep you updated on future articles.