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Optimizing the Design of a Warehouse- Part 1 of 3

In a world of longer and complex supply chains, automobile industry is faced with a challenge of framing competitive strategies which deal with customers demanding lower costs, greater product availability, increased product selection, value added services, and reduced delivery times.


Auto spare parts warehouses are often built to handle defined number of products and volumes, and limited unit loads. The recent boom in the spare parts business has often resulted in typical warehouses running out of space due to seasonal peaks, large discount buying, planned inventory builds for manufacturing shutdowns, or during slow sales period.

Then they are expected to be flexible in handling customer demands as well as being more productive over time. Apart from this, increased inventory references, decreased inventory turn ratio, increased product obsolescence and increased price and volume pressure make it mandatory for auto spare parts warehouse to be more robust and agile.

This makes it critical for auto companies to have a closer look at the way they manage their warehouses-and consider re-designing them if it makes for a profitable business case.

The potential benefits of a warehouse re-design can be- improved order turnaround time ensuring on time deliveries to the customer, optimal space utilization, reduced manpower requirements, improved stock accuracy, better matching of supply and demand and eventually more streamlined and responsive supply chain.

In the forthcoming posts, we shall be discussing in detail on the most common challenges in warehousing, propose an optimal warehouse layout along with material picking strategies and technical alternatives evaluation.

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