We could define storage logistics as the science in charge of managing the merchandise, raw materials or products that a company will receive to carry out its activity. It does not matter if we do it directly or if we outsource it to an operator, there are various basic concepts that we must know so that this storage logistics is, at the very least, logical.
Warehousing Logistics Principles
Storage and provisioning
One of the closest concepts and one that has to work more closely with storage logistics is supply logistics. In other words, the planning of what merchandise we are going to receive must go hand in hand with how we are going to receive it.
A common example in reception is that the warehouse is able to efficiently communicate to the supply that a merchandise that has arrived has not done so in the expected conditions (quantity, quality, breakage…). If this is not the case, the procurement may believe that it has some materials that it does not really have, having accepted the delivery.
More can be less in warehousing logistics
The complexity in a warehouse is usually proportional to its size. Even with the same type of customers -in terms of number of SKUs, merchandise rotation speed, etc.- a large warehouse will have to refine much more when it comes to optimizing transit, choosing the most appropriate warehouse model, or betting on by more advanced and expensive computer tools.
the treasure map
The best ally of storage logistics is a good warehouse design -or layout, in English-. In order to get the design right, you must first have the answer to several questions: How many storage areas do I need, based on the types of product I have (food, ADR, etc.)? What will be the growth of my company? How does the demand and seasonality of my products oscillate to make the most of the space? How much beach do I need in the warehouse for the arrival of merchandise or other movements?
Another component to analyze is the movement of goods. In a warehouse in which the merchandise is transformed, for example, it will be essential that the route of the product as it is being assembled makes sense. That is, it makes more sense to go from point 1 to 2 and 3 and so on instead of going from 1 to 4, back to 2, go to 5 and back to 3.
In the same line we have to examine the movements of the operators to reduce them as much as possible. Or the location of the materials on the racks (does it take me longer to advance through a 50-meter aisle of racks or to lower a pallet from the second height to the first position?). For not going into all the possibilities of racking and warehouses (carriers, LIFO systems, automation, etc.).
Warehouse safety is so important that we wanted to give it its own point, although it could be included in the warehouse design. Among the tasks corresponding to the design is determining areas for the passage of people, merchandise handling areas, protections for the shelves, distance between them, etc.
However, it would be a mistake to leave all security in the hands of our inhuman friends. Staff awareness and training on good security practices is the first step. In addition to providing workers with the necessary safety materials, of course.