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Looking for a More Efficient Warehouse Layout? Maybe the Flying V, Fishbone, or Chevron are for You

Creative new warehouse layouts takes first steps to acceptance.

(Boonton, NJ, December 9, 2011) — Nearly every warehouse in the world is laid out in a basic grid. Picking aisles are straight and parallel, and cross aisles run straight and perpendicular to the picking aisles.

But this layout — Auburn University researcher Kevin Gue calls it "your grandfather's warehouse" — might not be the most efficient way to arrange a DC.

"Why does this middle aisle have to be straight?" Gue asks in the December issue of Distribution Center Management newsletter. "It doesn't."

Gue and the University of Arkansas's Russ Meller have teamed up to question the assumptions behind the traditional warehouse layout, and they've found that modifying the layouts can cut travel times by as much as 20 percent.

Gue and Meller have seen the successful adoption of some of their layouts, which include the Flying V, the Fishbone, the Chevron and the Leaf. But, Gue cautions, "Every implementation is different. There's no cookie-cutter approach."

Details on these layouts and their uses appear in the December issue of Distribution Center Management newsletter.

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