The warehouse contains four major elements:
- Layout - Layout is the physical set up of the warehouse. It can include racking, aisle width, height, and size of the various spaces. Computers can determine what will fit in any given space based on cubic inch size, weight, and special handling issues.
- Material handling - Material handling includes fork lifts, conveyors, use of pick to light or voice, and other hardware that may need to interface to the ERP system for management of robotics that will help with product movement.
- Product movement (put away, pick, pack, ship) - Product movement can make use of handheld devices to tell humans where to put or find product. It traces specific items as to where it is in every step of the process. Bar codes and RFID tags may need to be read or managed.
- Product location - Product location can be fixed by the distributor or assigned based on velocity and other factors to make handling most efficient. With random inventory locations, it can be changed at every receipt of product.