Tips to Help Determine How to Structure Your Warehouse Numbering System
How you number your warehouse locations can have a major impact on the efficiency of your warehouse operations. You might have the best warehouse management system (WMS) technology, but if your layout and numbering scheme are haphazard, you’ll still struggle to achieve maximum benefit from it.
Here are a couple of quick pointers to help you when determining how to structure your numbering system.
Use numbers only. If you feel strongly about having alphanumeric locations, limit the use of letters to some elements of the location, such as the levels in a rack or shelving, and not for the aisles. One example to illustrate this recommendation is that we do not quickly remember whether ‘M’ is before or after ‘P’ as we move from one location to another.
Plan your segments. Before assigning a warehouse numbering system, you must decide how many segments you want your location code to be. For example, you can have a location with multiple segments, such as:
- Section or Zone – This should be used to identify an area of the warehouse distinctly different from another, for example, Freezer versus Dry Goods, Retail versus Bulk, etc.
- Aisle – Each aisle should be identified with a number. If you have more than 9 aisles, start your number with 01. This will give you up to 99 aisles. If you have over 99 aisles, start your numbering with 001 for a max of 999 aisles.
- Rack – This is defined as an area between rack uprights. Some use the term ‘bay’ to describe the same space. Assign numbers to the racks beginning with 01 in ascending order, with odd numbers on the left and even numbers on the right.
- Level or Shelf – This should be assigned from 1 to 9, ascending from the floor. If you have more than 9 levels, you should start with 01.
- Position – Assign numbers to each position ascending from 1 to 9, from left to right, as you face the rack.
Here’s an example of a location label where the format is Aisle – Rack – Level – Position. In this case, Aisle 01, Rack 02, Level 1, Position 1.
Keep your warehouse location number system short and sweet. Notice that the more sections you have, the larger your location code will be. Longer location codes require larger labels, which can be more expensive. They can also subject you to a greater risk of reading errors if your labels become degraded.
Get your team involved. If the workers can easily understand your warehouse location numbering system, you’re well on your way to an effective location numbering system.
Need more help with your numbering project? We’ve consulted with hundreds of warehouse operations that use Sage 100 and Sage Intacct across a broad range of industries. Contact us for assistance!