Top tips for Data Cabling a Distribution Warehouse

1. Install your cabling before the racking goes in

I know you’ll be keen to get your racking in so you can bring in your stock. Even if you’re not ready with your hardware such as cameras and wi-fi it’s worth cabling in before the racking goes in as this can reduce you cabling costs up to 50%.

2. Your environment

What type of stock is going in your warehouse? How high is your racking? Are there any caged areas? You have to bear these questions in mind when planning where you want your data cabling. Environment has a huge impact on wireless signals, for example, if you have a large caged area to protect high-value stock you may find you may need to give this area it’s own dedicated outlets and WAP (Wireless Access Points) within the cage.

3. Broadband link to comms

Depending on what connectivity service you go for and the good will of the engineer who’s doing the installation, sometimes you can be left with your incoming connection 20-40 meters from your Comms Room. It happens because an engineer will install your connectivity at the first location they come to in your building. It’s a huge frustration but because the huge corporations have the monopoly on providing connections and there’s not much you can do about it. By installing a broadband link back to your Comms room when you’re carrying out your data cabling installation, if this problem should occur you’ve already got a link in place meaning you can be up and running straight away.

4. Directional WAPs

Did you know you can get directional WAPs?
We’re not talking about the traditionally WAPs which are Omnidirectional WAPs and you spread them evenly throughout your warehouse, with a directional WAP you might only need to have the WAPs on one wall of the warehouse. These directional WAPs then transmit their wireless signal in the direction they’re pointing as; great to go down isles or reaching that tricky location in the yard. There’s a huge cost savings to this approach as you only have to cable one wall of your warehouse, worth considering.

5. IP CCTV also runs on Data

Once you’ve got your stock in you’ll want to keep it safe and secure. Did you know IP CCTV run on data cables? That means you can cable for your Wi-Fi and IP CCTV at the same time so you don’t need to engage multiple suppliers and bringing down your costs. Again, it’s more cost effective to install these cables while the warehouse is empty even if your haven’t purchased your cameras yet..

6. Packing stations

Are you having a dedicated packing area for your team? Think about what might need data for: label printers, PCs and WAPs for wireless scanners.

7. Goods in

Will you have a goods in office/terminal with a phone? Where will deliveries be offloaded, because you may need wifi in that location if you’re planning on using wireless scanners, whether that’s inside or outside.

8. External Wi-Fi

Will you be using scanning devices outside in your yard, for example when offloading good or for stock kept outside? Don’t forget external Wi-Fi as you’ll need it to stay online when you work outside.

9. Don’t forget clock in!

Will your staff have a PC/terminal when they clock in? If so, check if it’s runs on Wi-Fi, if it doesn’t you’ll need to install cables for this.

10. Not too many WAPs

A common mistake we see is too many WAPS. This often floods your warehouse and can mean your wireless devices don’t handshake correctly when switching between WAPS. Wireless devices can then freeze, and productive and moral goes down for the end users. If you’re not sure how many you need, speak to a specialist where they can provide excellent advice based on your user case.

11. Resilience backup

What does downtime mean for your business? If it’s devastating you may want to allow for some resilience. From a hardware point of view this means UPS backup in the comms room and a secondary line for your connectivity. On the data cabling side if you have more than one comms cabinet you may want link them via different routes enabling you to stay online, should something fail.

12. Back up broadband connection

This is all about downtime means for your business, if your warehouse can’t operate without an internet connection, it’s worth having a backup connection. Should your primary fail, at least you can still operate.