A Complete Guide to Creating A Warehouse Racking Numbering System.

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Establishing and maintaining an effective warehouse can be challenging. Having a lot of inventory might result in overproduction and other types of waste. The warehouse racking numbering system makes it possible for staff to work more productively.

The effectiveness of your warehouse management can be impacted by how you organize your warehouse rackings. For instance, someone has the best warehouse management technology.  However, if his racking numbering system is haphazard, he will fail to get the most out of it.

Racks are large pieces of shelving units used to store goods. If the warehouse racking numbering system is duplicated, this can inflict a huge loss on our business. Errors could develop in your daily tasks as a result of it.

That’s why if you are a warehouse manager, you should think about the warehouse racking numbering system. This article will describe in detail the warehouse racking numbering systems.

warehouse racking numbering system
warehouse racking numbering system

In this article, we will explain:

Overall, this article will be especially beneficial for the following group of people:

  • Warehouse manager and owner who wants to know about warehouse racking numbering system.
  • Warehouse manager who already has an existing racking number system but wants to upgrade your facility.
  • Warehouse owners who want to use technology in warehouse numbering.
  • Warehouse managers who are facing difficulty in the current warehouse numbering system.
  • For academicians and researchers who want to know more about the racking numbering system.

What is Warehouse Racking Numbering System?

A warehouse-racking numbering system is a method through which warehouse racks are numbered. There are various ways through which rackings can be numbered.

The manager of a warehouse has to decide which is the most suitable racking number system for his warehouse. As there is no ideal numbering system that can be universally applicable to all warehouses.

Managers may have to come up with a new warehouse racking numbering system in the following scenarios:

  • If the existing warehouse facility is being expanded.
  • If a new building is added to the warehouse.

From the definition, many readers may think that warehouse racking numbering systems are an easy method. However, it’s not the case.

Why Should You Use Warehouse Racking Numbering System?

One question that may arise is about the need for numbering racks in the warehouse. Can a warehouse function with a racking numbering system?

The answer is yes and a warehouse can function without a racking numbering system. However, the efficiency of the warehouse will be reduced to a great extent if this system isn’t used.

pallet racking numbering system
pallet racking numbering system

Now, we will explain in detail the need to number the racks. In addition, our readers will also understand how numbering the racks helps to manage the warehouse efficiently.

Increases The Productivity Of The Workers

Having a racking numbering system helps to increase the productivity of the workers in the warehouse. Workers can easily find out, identify, load, and unload from racks from these numbers.

Having a racking numbering system also saves a lot of time for warehouse operators.

Saves Operational Cost Of The Warehouse

In the USA, the average wage of a warehouse worker is $15 per hour! Across the Western nations, the average wage of workers is too high due to a shortage of labor. This has led many companies towards automation to save their operational cost.

Without the racking numbering system, the company may have to hire a worker or two to identify racks. So, the company will have to pay them just for identifying racks or what was stored in racks. This will increase the operational cost of the business.

But what if the company doesn’t hire separate workers even if they haven’t numbered the racks? The time of the warehouse workers will be wasted as a result of not hiring separate workers.

So, the operational cost of the warehouse will increase a lot if they don’t number the racks. This will make it difficult for the business to remain profitable.

Just by numbering the racks, warehouses can cut down their operational costs. They won’t have to hire workers separately for identifying racks and the worker’s time will also be saved.

If a company cuts down its operational cost, it’ll also help them to stay ahead of its competitors. So, numbering the racks is beneficial for the company from all sides.

Decreases The Chance Of Human Errors

Suppose a company doesn’t have a rack numbering system. Or, it doesn’t have a label on the racks about which good was stored there. So, what will it do to identify racks? It will have to rely on its workers or hire workers separately to identify racks.

While relying on workers to identify racks may work for small warehouses, it won’t work for big warehouses. Small warehouses have few racks which are easy for workers to remember various racks.

However, big warehouses have a lot of racks. More racks mean it’s difficult for the workers to remember what is stored in the racks.

Also, what if a worker who remembers rack specifications doesn’t come to the warehouse for a day? Then the other workers will find it difficult to identify rack specifications.  Overall, there’s a higher chance of errors if the warehouse depends on workers to remember rack specifications.

Numbering the racks can easily solve this problem. Numbering the racks helps to do the following things:

  • Decreases the chance of human errors.
  • Don’t have to rely on workers too much for warehouse rack specifications.

So, these are the reasons companies should use a warehouse racking numbering system.

Warehouse Racking Numbering System: Effective Tips For Maximum Efficiency.

As was discussed earlier that warehouse racking numbering system increases the efficiency of a warehouse. Here we will discuss various ways through which you can number your racks in the warehouse.

Try To Keep The Numbering System Simple And Consistent

A common mistake that warehouse managers do is to make the numbering system complex. Besides managers, the warehouse racking numbering system should be easy to understand for the workers.

The workers are the ones that will extensively use the racking numbering system in daily activities. Sometimes the workers of a factory are not well educated to understand any complex racking numbering system.

Also, in many factories, often old workers go and new workers take their place. If the numbering system is complex, it will take time for the new workers to understand it. As a result, it will decrease the efficiency of the new workers.

Another important thing to be considered while numbering racks is consistency. No matter what method you use, you should not shift to another method of numbering racks frequently.

For instance, a warehouse manager prefers the column in the sequence of numbering. The manager is planning to prefer the row in the new sequence of numbering. He should not change it unless there is some big structural change taking place in the warehouse.

Remember, having a haphazard numbering system is the quickest way to mess up your entire system. So be consistent in the numbering system. Even if you have to add new racks, try to stick to the old numbering system if possible.

To sum up, it can be said that the numbering system should be easy-to-understand for the workers.

Embrace Numeral System When Possible

Using an alphanumeric numbering system to recognize things have long been standard practice across many sectors. However, using an alphanumeric method may not be that efficient from the standpoint of warehouse operations.

Using a numeral system will be more effective for a warehouse. The reason for this is that the numeral system is simpler than the alphanumeric system. It is also easy to understand for the workers of the warehouse.

Additionally, the alphanumeric system can be very complex. For instance, using AA, AB…AN, etc can be difficult to understand sometimes. The workers may get confused sometimes if the alphanumeric system is used.

Whereas, in the numeral system, it is just numbered likewise 01, 02…99…200. If the serial is properly maintained, it’s easy to understand for everyone. Using a numeral system reduces the risk of error in warehouse operations.

Warehouse racking numeral numbering system
Warehouse racking numeral numbering system

However, in some cases, using a numeral system may not be enough. Especially when there are various goods stored in the rack and that rack needs to be identified separately.

For instance, there are inflammable products in some racks of the warehouse. These racks need to be separately identified to reduce the possibility of any accident from it. The warehouse managers may use the alphanumeric numbers, in this case, to separately identify racks.

He can use X-01, X-02… etc to identify the risks associated with these racks. The “X” will signify the risk of the goods that are stored in the racks. And, the “01” will indicate the number of racks that has inflammable goods in them.

Managers should also use “Signs” that is used to identify items that have risks associated with them. This will make the workplace more secure and help to avoid any additional incidents. The sign should be used beside the racking numbers.

The best practice is to enter a zero for all numbers below ten (i.e. 01, 04, 07, etc.). As a result, the system will be able to read the locations’ alphanumeric data correctly.

Overall, we can say that most of the warehouses can use the numeral system to number their racks. However, in certain cases, an Alphanumeric system is necessary for the warehouse racking numbering system.

It is highly recommended that warehouse managers embrace a numeral system to label the racks.

Use Of Row And Columns In The Numeral System

While using the numeral system, the big question is, “Will the row come first or the column?”

If the row is preferred, then the sequence of numbering will be one row after another. It will be likewise:

01, 02, 03…………………20
21, 22, 23…………………40

If the column is preferred, then the sequence of numbering will be one column after another. It will be likewise:

01 11

02 12

03 ..

10 20

In general circumstances, we will suggest using a numbering system where the column is preferred. However, in some special circumstances, the row system can be preferred over the numbering system. It can also be used if the workers feel comfortable preferring the row first.

In a nutshell, preferring columns in the numbering system is easier. It is easier to navigate as workers can keep the count of racks in the line. However, depending on the circumstance, the row system can also be preferred while numbering racks.

Racking Numbers While Keeping In Mind Its Position

Again, it’s crucial to take expansion potential into account while numbering the racks. There would be a gap of numbers at either end of an aisle to increase in either direction.

The racks are often numbered along the line of the pick path in the food service and retail industries. Each position within a rack bay may have a number. This amounts to two places per rack bay for pallet slots. However, it can be increased for hand stacks as necessary.

For instance, the two pallet positions in rack bay number 11 maybe 11-1 and 11-2. And, the six hand stack locations in rack bay 12 are 12-1, 12-2, 12-3, 12-4, 12-5, and 12-6.

Sometimes warehouse managers choose to number each place sequentially rather than randomly for each rack bay. Due to the removal of one numbered element, it is frequently regarded as a simplified numbering system.

On the other hand, it might be less adaptable than the rack and place numbering approach. Pallet slots benefit from the individual places being numbered. More imagination is required when applying this technique, for example, to number hand stacks.

Keep The Codes Short

Besides using numbers in racks, some managers also use various codes along with the racking numbers. For instance, in the rack number code 23-02-03-01-B,

  • The number 23 is the rack number.
  • 02 is the aisle number.
  • 03 is the bay number.
  • 01 is the position number.
  • And, B is the level number.

If the warehouse racks are numbered like that, it can be very confusing. That’s why we will advise the managers to keep the codes as short as possible. A completely separate numbering system can be introduced for the racks only.

Shortcodes reduce the possibility of confusion. Additionally, shortcodes make it much simpler for workers in the warehouse to work.

A longer code increases the chance of making mistakes while workers are in a hurry. Additionally, if the warehouse’s longer number code deteriorates, there is a higher risk of reading errors.

So, for practical reasons, it is best for any warehouse to keep the numbering labels of racks shorter. However, if the managers use rack numbering with other codes, the codes should be elaborated like that:


Rack Number- Aisle Number

Also, warehouse managers can use barcodes if they are using a longer code for numbering. Using a barcode will drastically chances of error.

warehouse racking numbering barcodes
warehouse racking numbering barcodes

However, using a barcode system is expensive. Workers also need to be properly trained to use the barcode in the numbering system.

Overall, it can be said that keeping the numbering system short for racking numbers is a wise decision.

Rack Numbering Based On The Type Of Products

In a warehouse, there can be several types of products. For instance, if a company has multiple businesses, it may store multiple products in the warehouse.

Suppose a company sells 3 different products in the marketplace. So, they stored the following products in the warehouse:

  • Oil.
  • Flour.
  • Sugar.

When a company has multiple products in the warehouse, it can keep the same type of product altogether. For instance, suppose oil is stored in 50 different racks of the company.

So, in the warehouse, the company may keep the 50 racks stored with oil in the same place. Additionally, it can also number the racks based on the product it has stored. This will help them to identify, load, and unload the products faster.

Suppose the racks where oil is kept are numbered O-1… O-50; it will be easier to identify. Similarly, the racks of Sugar and Flour can be numbered separately.

Now, many companies keep multiple products in the warehouse. If they keep the same type of product in the same place, it is beneficial for them. Workers can load and unload the products faster.

However, the benefit of this system can only be achieved when similar products will be stored together.

Also, read this informative article about Pallet Racking Types.

Numbering The Racks Based On Urgency Of Unloading

Sometimes, in a warehouse, some goods need to be urgently unloaded. Especially the food items may need to be urgently unloaded sometimes as they can be rotten.

If a situation like this arises, the goods that need to be unloaded urgently should be stored together. If these goods are stored in a rack together, a lot of time can be saved while unloading goods. Besides storing goods together, these racks should be numbered one after the other.

Be Collaborative With Your Team

A fantastic idea won’t function if your numbering system is difficult for employees to understand. Ask for feedback from your team members during the process of planning and executing to gain insight. Ask them what kind of numbering system they are comfortable working with.

Once a system for rack numbering has been created, make sure to provide your team with adequate training. You’re well on your way to having an efficient numbering system if the staff can understand your method.

Make Sure No Duplication Happens In the Numbering System

Another thing you should make sure that no duplication happens while numbering the racks. A warehouse manager should check the numbering system once in a while to prevent duplication-like errors.

So, these are the warehouse racking numbering system that you can use in your warehouse. Warehouse owners and managers should choose a racking numbering system from the above-mentioned methods.

Consulting the workers is very important no matter what type of racking numbering system you choose. Because ultimately the workers will complete their daily activities with the rack numbers. So, taking input from them in the racking numbering system is a necessary step.

Also, one part we have skipped in this section is the use of technology while numbering the racks. We will discuss the use of technology in the next section.

Also read, warehouse racking layout design.

The Use of Technology In The Warehouse Racking Numbering System.

The modern era is the era of science & technology. Now, almost everywhere we see the application of science and technology on a regular basis.

Using technology to number the warehouse racks can is highly beneficial in the long run. However, they are pros and cons to using technology in the warehouse racking system. Some of the advantages of using technology in the warehouse racking system are as follows:

  • It will save a lot of time than manual numbering systems.
  • Decreases the chance of human errors furthermore if workers can apply it properly.

However, there are disadvantages to using technology while numbering the warehouse racks using technology. These disadvantages are as follows:

Using a warehouse racking numbering system will increase the operational cost of the warehouse. It will have to train its workers to use the technology which will cost a good amount of money. They will have to pay for the software if they are using any for the numbering system.

Also, if the workers aren’t trained properly to use technology, they can mess up the whole system. So, managers will have to be particularly careful if they are using technology to number the racks.

Overall, it’s up to the manager of the warehouse of using technology to number the racks. Barcodes can be used to identify rack numbers. It’ll also have some additional information along with rack numbers like what good is stored there, etc.

So, this is everything you need to know about the warehouse racking numbering system. If you have any questions about the warehouse rack numbering system please contact us via the form below.

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