There’s more to setting up a warehouse than simply finding a large, spacious building in which to store your products: there are several different industrial warehouse tools and pieces of equipment that you need to invest in to ensure that your business runs efficiently and all your products are stored correctly. If you are in the process of setting up your own warehousing business or simply want to get some ideas for what you can improve, read on to discover six essential tools for an industrial warehouse.
6 Things Needed to Run an Industrial Warehouse Efficiently
You are likely to be storing thousands of items, all of which need to be stored safely and efficiently to make the most of your industrial warehouse space. To do this, look for shelving units that are several levels high for efficient use of your space. Sub-standard shelving that is unable to support your stock could be hazardous and eventually collapse, potentially injuring warehouse operatives and destroying hundreds of dollars’ worth of stock. Make sure that your industrial shelving is robust and durable and is able to safely hold a large amount of weight. Look for heavy-duty shelving made from galvanized steel that is able to support large amounts of weight.
2. Conveyor system
A conveyor system is essential for the efficient navigation of the warehouse and retrieval of products. Rather than setting warehouse operatives to manually retrieve and carry items to the order preparation zone, industrial conveyor belt systems can make the process safer and more efficient. Make sure that you choose a conveyor belt that is durable, made from heavy-duty rubber or synthetic fabric, and can withstand heavy loads. Additionally, ensure that you train staff to use the conveyor system correctly, as incorrect handling can cause tears and other damage to the conveyor belt, as well as damage to the products being transported.
3. Location tracking technology
Your industrial warehouse is likely to store thousands of products; as such, it can be impossible to remember where a specific item is shelved, potentially leading to warehouse operatives spending large amounts of time searching for each order. For complete tracking and traceability of your products, and therefore to speed up the retrieval process, you could invest in location tracking technology, such as RFID Discovery. With the help of handheld devices, this technology reduces processing delays and search times as it can identify exactly where an item is located in the warehouse. Furthermore, by recording information about stock, you can keep an eye on stock levels to ensure that you are not overordering on a particular item.
4. Forklift truck
A forklift truck is an essential tool for any warehouse, even if you are handling smaller, lighter items. It can be used to safely load and unload palettes onto shelving and delivery vehicles, as well as retrieving larger products that cannot be transported on the conveyor system. Ensure that staff is trained correctly in handling forklift trucks, whether or not they are driving one. Forklift trucks can potentially be hazardous, so ensure that safety protocols are followed when moving about the industrial warehouse to prevent accidents in the warehouse.
5. Ventilation system
Ensuring that your industrial warehouse is well ventilated is essential for providing desirable indoor conditions, both for the comfort of your warehouse operatives and the longevity of your products. This might involve bringing cool, fresh air into an environment that can quickly become overheated and stuffy or removing noxious fumes or vapors if you are working with industrial chemicals. Additionally, your industrial warehouse might store certain products that require cold or chilled storage to maintain their freshness, such as fresh food, flowers, and other perishables. A ventilation system will ensure that you maintain the correct temperature and air quality throughout your warehouse.
Warehouses are often large-scale, cavernous buildings that lack windows that let in natural light; as such, it is essential that there is an adequate lighting system running throughout your warehouse building to ensure maximum visibility. Choose LED lighting with a recommended LUX lighting level of 100 lux. Keep in mind that you can get away with dimmer lighting for larger objects, as they are more readily recognizable, whereas smaller objects will require brighter lighting to be identified.