Designing your warehouse for maximizing flow and accessibility is key to maintaining your efficiency and improving productivity. Creating a new warehouse layout doesn’t have to be complicated. These five free tools will help you improve your existing designs or plan a new warehouse.
FlexSim is a warehouse simulation software that lets you model a warehouse system to test designs and experiment with new systems. The software includes 3D visuals enabling the user to observe which elements are blocking efficiency and which changes might alleviate the constriction. FlexSim also comes with statistical reporting and analysis built in to give you the numbers to back up your observations in real time. The free trial allows you to use all the features and experiment with improvements in your design.
Simple Warehouse Mapper
Create a visual representation of your warehouse with Simple Warehouse Mapper. The mapping software offers a 3D simulation technique that is easy to use and provides a detailed and realistic view of your warehouse. Easily create sharable graphics and share across your entire planning team. Presentations and training are part of this easy-to-use software and will allow you to seamlessly convey information on potential changes with everyone involved.
A free software for systematic planning, the Warehouse-Planner is a tool for visualizing space in a 3D model. Basic data for typical equipment such as trucks, pallets, and rack dimensions are built in, but also customizable for your situation. A unique feature of this software is a special rack shelving planner area. Click on a rack segment and the edition grid will open. Click on walls and the edition grid opens for the building. Switch between elements quickly and easily, then share your output in several common graphics formats.
Educational books for warehouse design feature graphics from ConceptDraw. A powerful software tool that is easy to use and apply to your design can be hard to find. The ConceptDraw software features hundreds of symbols and designs for you to create a sophisticated plan of your warehouse space. The user-friendly system also features dozens of special machinery shapes to drop into your design to illustrate the layout of equipment. Unique to the software is the ability to create powerful flowcharts to visualize warehouse flow from the supply inputs to the output chain.
It is likely that you already have Microsoft’s Excel program on your system. If not, most of Excel’s functionality is available for free at its Live website. Excel’s power and usefulness extend well beyond most standard office functions, and the software provides an excellent tool for mapping and designing floorplans in a package you are already familiar with using. For instructions and ideas on getting more out of Excel, consult this LifeHacker site with easy to follow steps on making Excel your handy grid paper of the future.
The warehouse design tool that you choose should provide easy-to-follow instructions and result in a clear and accurate model of your warehouse. Any of these tools will get you up to speed quickly.