Warehouse Optimisation | Project Management Tips

Growth as a business is important, it also causes huge headaches if not managed well.

We thought it would be interesting to share some tips on what a project plan looks like for the redevelopment of a warehouse with new racking, mezzanines or shelving. Obviously every project differs; using our experience we have captured the main elements we consider as part of warehouse optimisation project.

1. Initial investigation

Understanding where the challenge lies and the future growth plans for the business is the most critical piece of the whole project. Get this wrong and many subsequent decision will be impacted. We take a holistic view of the business and try to involve people at all levels before determining what needs to change. We suggest undertaking time and motion studies to determine where savings can be made, and ensuring you measure all aspects of the warehouse space.

2. Design and sign off

The design stage should straightforward if you’ve asked the right question in stage 1. Working with a space planner/ warehouse optimisation team to accurately create your vision is essential as it helps you work thought any kinks in your thought process. The presentation of the business case and return on investment needs to be done confidently to address any concerns, you should review your numbers frequently to make sure your growth plans are supported by your designed plans.

Also make time for this stage of the process to taking longer than intended as you will want to ensure all key stake holders are onboard before committing to a warehouse design. Like with all good project management, you’ll need to factor elements outside of your control into the plan; for example – the ordering of steel for your racking could delay the project.

3. Space preparation and installation

The practical stage, and again, if everything before this stage has been undertaken correctly there should be no surprises. This is where you will want to limit down-time as your warehouse is in transition – clearing and moving any existing racking is something often forgotten about and should be factored into your schedule.

Working with Oakway you will be able determine how quickly they can work to bring your new space online, so you can start to plan for increasing your workload with the increased capacity.

4. Post installation

As you bring your new warehouse capacity and workflow online, you will want to monitor how you’re progressing against the growth plans mentioned in stage 1. We suggest several milestones be set in place to support this, plus you should review your initial reasons for starting out on the warehouse optimisation project to ensure all boxes are ticked and stakeholders happy.

Any undertaking of this size is a challenge for most businesses and will certainly take most of your senior team’s focus for the duration of the project. Oakway would be very happy to discuss your project to see if we can add value and experience to your internal team. Contact us today or call 01604 79225.

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