How to organize an aviation spare parts warehouse
The organization of a warehouse is necessary for the correct conservation of the parts and mainly to quickly find the parts you are searching for. Not finding the part we are looking for can lead to economic losses such as delays in orders or a missed sale.
It doesn't matter if it is the warehouse of a small MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) that repairs General Aviation aircraft or the warehouse of a big OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), to find what you are looking for you have to organize the warehouse with the same standards.
In addition, MROs, OEMs or distributors need to handle oversized parts (such as large wooden crates for the storage of structural parts), which means having the right structure and equipment like counterbalanced forklifts with long forks, side loaders or multi-directional forklifts.
To find the parts you are looking for you need to identify the shelves correctly and for this process there is only one method that works. Over the years we have seen perfectly functioning warehouses but also warehouses with complex procedures and incorrect assigned positions.
Before starting to assign a location numbering system you will need to decide how many segments you want your location code to be. For example, you can have a location with multiple segments such as:
A company can manage several warehouses with a single ERP system, so even the warehouses can be coded, for example ZRH for the Zurich warehouse or MUC for the Munich warehouse.
Zone or Area
Should be used to identify an area of the warehouse distinctly different from another. For example Pallet Rack area versus Small Parts Area.
Each row should be identified with a number. If you have more than 9 rows then start your number with 01. This will give you up to 99 rows. If you have over 99 rows start your numbering with 001 for a max of 999 rows.
This is defined as an area between rack uprights. Some use the term Bay instead of Sector. Select the conventional entry of the aisle and assign numbers to the racks beginning with 01 in ascending order with odd numbers on the left side and even numbers on the right side.
Level or shelf
Should be assigned and address from A to Z ascending from the floor. It is recommended to use the letters of the alphabet to identify levels so that you can recognize that it is a level.
It is also unlikely that there is a warehouse with more than 26 levels as the number of letters available.
Assign numbers to each position ascending from 1 to 9, from left to right as you face the rack. Here is an example of a location label where the format is Row - Sector - Level/Position. In this case, Row R5, Sector S4, Level/Position G1.
It is recommended to combine the Level and the Position on the shelf in a single code, for example B3 or H2.
The Horix Aerospace logistics team is available to help you manage your aviation components. Contact us today by filling out the contact form.