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Good design, better benefits Featured

9:36am EDT July 22, 2002

Revamping your distribution center can yield other benefits besides more sales, says Lawrence Zima, a consultant who helps companies design their warehouse facilities. Here are a few of the ways that a good design can increase cost-effectiveness:

  • Zima says a well-designed facility will lower energy costs while increasing comfort levels for employees. The right lighting, for instance, will reduce radiant heat, making the facility cooler in the summer and cutting air-conditioning costs, while providing enough light for safe working conditions.

  • Keeping emergency exits clear, maintaining proper placement of fire extinguishers and installing fire safety equipment can lower insurance costs. Also, avoid stacking merchandise near boilers, furnaces and electrical panels to prevent fires.

  • An efficient design can reduce workers' compensation costs. Good planning can lower the incidence of back injuries caused by improper lifting.

  • The right combination of equipment can reduce damage to the facilities. Knowing, for instance, how much space the forklift needs to turn can minimize damage to shelving and other equipment. Installing shelving with the required holding capacity will minimize failure and help avoid accidents and injuries, as well as damage to product or injuries.

Ray Marano