Phased designing allows for scaling to be predicted and accommodated as part of a multi-year plan. Site one can be designed to just barely accommodate the volume you expect to require by the end of the second year. Site two can be pre-planned for years three or four, designed in advance so the transition from one site to the next can happen seamlessly.
This type of planning prevents the challenges that come with outgrowing an existing facility by getting ahead of the jump and effectively beginning design and development on the next site as the current one is launching. Knowledge gained about workflows and processes during operation of one site can be incorporated into subsequent site designs.
For example, as picking patterns develop, items commonly ordered together can be shelved together, reducing picking time.
Redesigning during a move
If you are moving from one location to another, you can enable your existing processes and procedures in the new site, tailoring the location of replenishments and product loading into the AMR system around the previous grid layout. The steps are simple: disassemble, move and reassemble.
If you are expanding or scaling, the move is more than picking everything up and setting it down in the same configuration. With a new site, you have the option of redesigning your layout to suit your AMRs and the flow of your DC. The steps can become disassemble, move and reconfigure, based on how your new site redefines your workflows.
It is worth considering your move as more than a shift from “smaller” to “bigger” in terms of square metres. Instead, think of it as a move from “A” to “B,” with an eye to continuous improvement. Some questions to consider are:
When you are relocating a complete warehouse or DC, there will be specific members on each team driving the process forward. Moving a modular, grid-based AMR system requires much less effort and time than a traditional automation site.
On your side, you’ll need to assign a head project manager, who can be supported by the site operations teams, and IT teams. Your warehouse manager and site project manager will handle most of the day-to-day physical steps of your move.
On our side, we provide a project management team to oversee the relocation, AMR engineers who will mark the grid, and wireless engineers to make sure there is adequate coverage in your new facility. Since equipment such as racks are already set up, there’s less involvement.