How to Set Up a Warehouse

by Meg Jernigan ; Updated September 26, 2017

Companies that carry inventory need a well-thought-out warehouse space. Efficiency in storage, receiving and shipping helps the company's bottom line. Workers who know where things are, who work in safe conditions and whose needs are considered in the warehouse layout are likely to make fewer mistakes. The items you're warehousing determine the exact layout of a warehouse, but you can set up a warehouse by adapting these guidelines to your needs.

Lay out a floor plan with areas designed for receiving, shipping and storage. Include a break area for your employees with a couple of comfortable chairs, a small fridge and a coffee maker. Include bathroom facilities.

Determine what kind of shelving and storage you need for the items you'll be storing in your warehouse. Buy the sturdiest shelving available. Have it professionally installed and securely attached to walls and floors. Leave enough space between the units to comfortably move items.

Create a storage area or storeroom for items that are frequently needed like boxes or packing tape. Make sure the storeroom is always fully stocked. Keep it supplied with cleaning supplies.

Keep the area around the loading dock or bay clear of shelving. Buy a forklift for truck deliveries and leave plenty of space around the dock to maneuver.

Define separate spaces for shipping or disbursement and receiving. Install large, sturdy worktables in these areas.

Install an inventory control system where employees can enter information about items that are received and shipped out. Make a work station with a computer and printer in an area that's not subject to spills or things dropping onto it.

Post safety signs and notices required by your state or city in prominent places.

Locate a Dumpster convenient to the warehouse so that trash doesn't clutter the workspace. If your company uses a lot of cardboard, consider a compactor. Contact recyclers to find out their requirements.

Provide mats for areas where employees spend a long time standing in one place. Install a heating and cooling system that's powerful enough to keep your employees comfortable as the seasons change.

About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

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