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Automotive warehouse: an essential gear

 An automotive warehouse needs to be a versatile in many ways as compared to regular warehouses. This article tells the story of special provisions they have to offer and why they are so desirable for specific purposes
 It is known that a warehouse is a place to store goods until they are required for their use or sale. These stored goods can include any raw materials, packing materials, spare parts, components, or finished goods. Warehouses are built to protect the products from sunlight, rain, snow, wind, dust, moisture and pests.
Simply, a warehouse as understood generally is a very large area that provides space for optimum storage of different kinds of material. However, there are different types of warehouses and automotive warehouse, being one of them, seems to be different from others and multitasking amongst all.
It’s differentAutomotive warehouse find itself certainly different from regular one. Regular warehouses generally have 2 or 3 different types of products, but automotive parts warehouses can have unlimited different types of products.
“Automotive warehouses are required to hold a wide range of components, while storing everything safely, efficiently and easily reachable,” points out Jitender Virmani, Director, Ajooni Storage Systems.
However, at the same time there are some key issues for such warehouses as well. Such as available space is rarely sufficient to satisfy demand, or bulky items consume storage capacity but needed to be stocked. Commenting on the same Mr Virmani describes some more of them: •  Manual operations need good accessibility to fast and slow moving parts•  High number of product lines to cover current and old models causing wide stock variation•  Stock needs to be stored carefully to avoid damaging packing and remain in a saleable condition•  Ability to handle regular incoming parts deliveries without significantly reducing available storage space•  Maintaining control over stocking profiles to ensure obsolete stock is minimised.
Mr Saravanan, Vice President, Sri City Private Limited, explains the working of automotive warehouses with an example highlighting on the way that differs these warehouses from regular ones. Mr Saravanan says, “Automotive warehouses could receive supplies from multiple suppliers. The warehouse then picks up materials as per the list from the factory and then consolidates and ships as one lot to the factory.” For example, if a factory is producing 50 cars per day, the warehouse will send materials only for 50 cars and keep the balance in the warehouse. The warehouse therefore becomes an extended store for the factory but outside the factory premises.
However, it is observed that in the case of imported items, components could be stored in a bonded warehouse and no duty is payable for such goods. As and when the goods move to the factory, duty is payable. Therefore cash for duty payments can be deferred based on actual need of such goods.
Special provisionsFor any automotive warehouse, to function itself well and in healthier manner, obviously the storage area must be fully optimised and tailored to suit operation and layout of the building. Keeping this in mind, Ajooni Storage Systems offer the suitable solutions.“Our shelving range has a number of possibilities which can be tailored to meet even the most unusual storage requirements. Equipped with our specially designed automotive accessories, we are able to meet the daily challenges faced in automotive warehouses,” says Mr Virmani.
The option to combine shelving with a mezzanine floor or offer a multi-tier solution can maximise the height of storage area. For larger scale automotive situations, Ajooni Pallet racking might be more appropriate. “Small parts or odd shaped and bulky items like exhaust pipes are also the challenges Ajooni Storage Systems solve for the automotive industry on a regular basis,” adds Mr Virmani.
Usually the warehouses are fully computerised with tracking for storage and issue. This saves a lot of time and enhances efficiency also by offering faster operation.
Mr Saravanan says, “At the time of issue the pick list is computer generated and the person has to go the mentioned rack and take the goods and dispatch. All goods are bar coded. Racks are up to 6-7 metres high for economic storage and easy retrieval.  Such warehouses use forklifts to transport goods.”
Bunch of benefitsAutomated warehouses definitely offer some benefits which make them suitable as per requirement of storage. These warehouses store goods systematically and all transactions for receipt or issue are captured on a computer. Identification and retrieval is fast and efficient.
“Automotive warehouses need not be in the factory premises and can be far away provided there is a transport system to ship goods regularly to the factory,” comments Mr Saravanan. “Moreover, perennial inventory system is possible in automotive warehouses. Quality inspection can be done at the warehouse and problems identified well before they are used in production. Further, production runs smoothly since only when all materials are available, materials are issued for the day.”
No chance of mix-ups or wrong materials being used because the warehouse issues only those materials that are required and others are kept back at the warehouse. Bonded warehouses can phase out duty payments and reduce pressure on cash flow. A third party warehouse can operate for 2 to 3 different companies at the same time and reduce costs by economies of scale. Non moving and slow moving goods can easily be identified and tracked. Then after, some effective action could be taken to use this material or dispose it off.
Mr Virmani also considers automotive warehouse very beneficial in many aspects due to the number of advantages it offers. He says, “Automated warehousing applied to part or entire distribution centre operation can provide a wide variety of benefits including space savings, lower building costs, improved productivity, more efficient material flow, less people, safer operations, reductions in inventory, increased reliability, reduced running costs, better ROI and lowest lifecycle cost.”
Automated warehousing provides the maximum thinkable usage of accessible floor space and building height. In many cases, this allows companies to increase storage capacity by up to 400 per cent compared to conventional forklift operations.
“Where space is limited, switching to an Ajooni automated warehousing solution can free up additional space for other activities,”  comments Mr Virmani.
ConclusionIn all, automotive warehouses are proving to be a good option on account of their fast and efficient operation. Also offering an increased productivity and reliability make them more desirable for automotive industry.
Quality inspection can be done at the warehouse and problems identified well before they are used in production.
Mr Saravanan, Vice President, Sri City Pvt. Ltd.
Automotive warehouses are required to hold a wide range of components, while storing everything safely, efficiently and easily reachable.
Jitender Virmani, Director, Ajooni Storage Systems.

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