The raw materials warehouse plays a key role in the manufacturing process by storing materials until they are needed on the production lines. The management of goods that are difficult to handle, such as plastics, abrasive materials, or liquid components, increases the complexity of stages like warehousing or order picking. An efficient design of the warehouse, as well as the flow of goods to production, can ensure an uninterrupted supply of raw materials to the manufacturing lines.
What is a raw materials warehouse?
A warehouse dedicated to raw materials plays a vital role in the manufacturing process by storing the necessary components until they are required in production lines. Raw material warehouses hold unprocessed goods, meaning they have yet to undergo any production process. The facility is responsible not only for the storage of raw materials but also for ensuring a continuous and correct supply of goods to the production lines.
To ensure efficient operations, raw material warehouses are usually located close to the production area to speed up the movement of goods. Synchronization between warehouses and production sites is necessary in supply logistics.
Maximum control over stocks is crucial in raw material warehouses to determine the required stock amount and ensure that regular supplies are received to maintain uninterrupted supply to the production lines. Product traceability is another essential attribute that the logistics manager must ensure. They must know the exact location of products and control the handling processes to meet the quality standards necessary for the production process.
Raw materials are deposited in different loading units, such as boxes, containers, or pallets, and when planning the warehouse layout and storage systems, several variables must be taken into account. These include the type of goods, the company’s production needs, or product demand. The correct distribution of space is crucial in facilitating the storage and movement of goods to the production lines.
What are the objectives of a raw materials warehouse?
In a raw materials warehouse, it is important to establish well-defined objectives, such as:
- Preserving the quality and safety standards of the materials. The warehouse should be equipped with systems that maintain the good condition of the raw materials and ensure the safety of the movement of goods to the production lines.
- Controlling stock management. The facility should be equipped with tools that enable rigorous control of available stock and minimize the risk of stock-outs on the production floor. The logistics manager should monitor metrics such as safety stock – the amount of goods reserved for unforeseen events – or the reorder point – when and in what quantity to buy more stock from a supplier.
- Ensuring the supply of raw materials. The warehouse receives goods from suppliers and dispatches them when a production order is generated that requires those raw materials. The facility should be configured to meet the needs of the product to be manufactured and to ensure that the manufacturing lines have a continuous supply of raw materials.
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