Boom Room. Sometimes being lean simply means being simple.

On a tour of the home improvement company distribution center, I observed a simple, and generally low-cost solutions to improving warehouse performance and safety.

Many warehouses have flammable type products requiring special handling and storage in a controlled environment. Generally, the area will have an early suppression fast response (ESFR) system and will be easily containable with fast closing doors at access points. While the concept of this area is not new, it was the first time ever hearing the area called a ‘Boom Room’. With a name like Boom Room, it certainly gets your attention and sticks in your memory, which after all, is large part in keeping employees safe.

Your workforce can manage keeping the flammable product in this protected space by memory, but most warehouses should have technology in place to ensure all product is put-away following rules-based decision support. This ‘direct putaway’ capability will help you with additional warehouse best practice including:

Keeping product in the golden zone to improve pick labor productivity and worker ergonomics.

Using varied bin sizing, optimizing density, velocity, and accessibility, improving cube utilization, etc.

Implementing a warehouse within a warehouse.

Next month we will discuss additional reasons you should consider system directed putaway strategies in your operations.

For more information on how WMS Software can transform your business, download our “Business Case Development” whitepaper here.


Chris Barnes is the Supply Chain Doctor and part of the APICS Coach network. He holds a B.S., Industrial Engineering with an Economics Minor, from Bradley University, and an MBA with emphasis on Industrial Psychology with Honors from the University of West Florida. He is one of the few people in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS.