The role of storage installations has evolved over time and they have become strategic factors in the success of many businesses. Warehouses are no longer merely places for storing products; they are now focused on providing service and support facilities to companies of all kinds. To fulfil this new role, they must be properly designed, with a design project that compiles as much information as possible, so that the installation fulfils its function and can even adapt to any future needs that may arise.
Few factors should be considered when designing or laying out any storage or distribution facility. Be it a large multi temperature composite distribution centre servicing a high market network, a spare parts store in mobile service centre, or raw materials store supporting a manufacturing operation.
The basic factors can be easily remembered using the pneumonic FAST or fast standing for F-Flow, A-Accessibility, S-space, and T- Throughput. These are not in any order of priority. Each is as important as the other and your aim is to obtain the best compromise of these often-conflicting influences. As one factor is considered and altered, each of the other should be revisited to see what is the impact of that change on the whole process.