When setting up your Warehouse, how you organize your products can affect multiple aspects of your operations, such as prekitting and auditing. The foundation of the Warehouse module is Areas and Zones, which are covered here in our Warehouse Setup article.
Because the setup of your warehouse is entirely based on your product setup and preference, Area Zones are intended to be flexible. This article aims to give guidance on how Area Zones can be used.
It can be helpful to map out your Area Zones on paper to help in this process.
One Area with Multiple Zones
The least complicated way to set up your Area Zones is to make one Area called Warehouse that houses all of your products, which can be broken up into as many Zones as you need.
For assistance on the setup of Areas and Zones, please see the Setup article linked above in the first paragraph.
First, create your single Area, and name it Warehouse.
Second, navigate to Settings > Warehouse > Zones. You can begin creating your Zones according to how you want to group your products.
One example would be to break them down by product family: Chips, Drinks, Pastries, etc. A second way could be to group them as they are physically organized in your actual warehouse: Cold Foods, Chocolate, Candy, etc.
There may be quite a bit of overlap between the two methods above. You can keep the Zones simple and broad, like Drinks, or you may choose to break them up further, such as into Bottles and Cans.
Following that, the Area Zones would simply reflect the Zone names. The example given below is a good example of a solid, organized warehouse setup using these guidelines.
One thing to consider using this method is your preference when auditing. If the categories are broad and contain many products, each audit will take longer to finish. Alternatively, smaller, more specific Zones will mean more total audits.
Multiple Areas with Multiple Zones
The second method of organization lies in the idea of treating your Areas as the broader categories for your more specific Zones.
You can create your Areas based on product family, keeping them broad so that you can organize them further within that category. Examples would be Areas named Drinks, Chips, Pastries.
Second, you would create your Zones as sections within those areas. Examples could include the Drinks area having Zones called Bottles, Cans, Energy Drinks, Coffees, etc. or a Frozen area having Zones for Ice Cream, Frozen Meals, etc.
Alternatively, your Zones can be labeled to reflect their physical location, an example being the Chips area having zones like Top Shelf, Row 1, Row 2, and so on.
When creating Area Zones, if you do enter a Code on the creation page, it is recommended that you enter an easily-identifiable code. Best practices would dictate that the code of the Area Zone be a shortened version of the Area and Zone names combined, or just the Zone name.
In the case of auditing, this method will have you auditing more total Area Zones, but with less product per audit.
The second area this might affect is the prekit sequence, in which case it may be useful to plot on paper how your warehouse is laid out, and identify in what order to prekit things so as to move most efficiently. Once you’ve plotted the best order to prekit your Area Zones, you can go to Warehouse > Prekit Sequence and order the Area Zones accordingly. For more information on the Prekit Sequence page and how to use it, please see this article.