Specialists in the development and deployment of supply chain solutions for emerging markets.

Warehouse Development

OverviewCase Study

Warehousing is a ‘Cinderella’ function in much of Asia.

The value of good design is underestimated, as is the establishing of sound procedures and the development of staff capabilities.  Business managers often perceive that the more inventory they can stuff into a warehouse, the better the asset is being utilised.  The cost of poor service often goes unrecognised.

Our contention is that time and money spent on ‘getting it right’ usually delivers a substantial return on investment – even if this is not as tangible as, transport cost savings.

Furthermore, a good warehouse design requires more than an architect, as it should take into account:

  • Estimation of storage capacity required
  • Estimation of throughput volumes
  • Comprehension of operational activities to be undertaken
  • Scaling of the facility
  • Design (with considered trade-offs) to achieve optimum:
    • Investment cost (building and equipment)
    • Operational process control
    • Operational cost effectiveness
    • Integration with source and destination points
    • Potential for automation
    • Security
    • Safety
    • Flexibility
    • Work environment
  • Build cost estimation
  • Operational cost estimation (outline only)
  • Build and commissioning schedule
  • Financial justification

The Automation ‘Tipping Point’
Historically, warehouse automation in developing markets has been viable only under special circumstances. However it is now a viable option due to uncertain labour availability and rising labour costs combined with competitively-priced automation equipment (such as German technology assembled in China).
Implementing automation can be costly. The challenge is to ensure that clients’ objectives are used to drive the complex process of automation – from conception, designing, building, connecting to operating the automated warehouse.


A global leader in cosmetics.


The client needed to upgrade their capabilities by building a new distribution centre on a relatively small plot of land.


LCA worked closely with the client to develop an innovative design using state-of-the-art technology that:

  • Maximised utilisation of available area
  • Reduced carbon footprint by minimising air-conditioned chamber volumes and use of powered equipment
  • Excellent product protection and identification through transfer to totes upon receipt
  • Straightforward and accurate operational processes, aligned with preselected WMS to enable productive usage
  • Accurate stock control and order picking (better process control and ergonomic layout design)
  • High staff productivity
  • Secure site layout with controlled staff movement
  • Safe, ergonomic operations within a hospitable work environment