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Warehouse/Distribution Center Layout and Material Handling (Online/Self-paced)

Special Note

Online courses are offered through Georgia Tech Professional Education using the Canvas Learning Management System platform. The interface is primarily point-and-click, and can be learned by anyone capable of using a web browser. There is no software to distribute, and no experience with HTML or other technical knowledge required.

Please note that this course qualifies for our Georgia AI Manufacturing (GA-AIM) program discount for Georgia residents. Please see below Course Fees section for details.

Course Description

This “how-to” course teaches Systematic Layout Planning (SLP). It greatly expands the depth of coverage on warehousing methods, especially material handling with sessions on topics such as detail rail layout and installation planning. It includes added coverage on site location and selection, warehouse relocation, and installation. Equal attention is given to planning new or rearranging existing facilities, including analysis of order-picking, storage, and material handling methods.

You will learn by doing. Over 100 pages of worksheets and exercises and a dozen case problems assure your mastery of the material. Checklists and Excel™ Working Forms prepare you for immediate application.

This course provides essential learning for those who are short on space, storing new or different items, performing new functions, or simply looking for productivity improvements.  

Georgia Tech offers an in-person, hands-on course (Warehouse/Distribution Center Layout) that covers many of these topics. However, this online version is for those who want access to expanded coverage of these topics, plus additional content in material handling not covered in the in-person course.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for managers of warehousing, distribution and logistics; warehouse supervisors and team leaders; industrial engineers and systems analysts; planning teams for new or expanded facilities; leaders of supply chain and lean initiatives; and material handling engineers and equipment suppliers.

How You Will Benefit

  • Improve material flow, throughput, and performance.
  • Reduce handling costs in storage and order picking.
  • Improve space utilization.
  • Provide for flexibility, adaptability, and volume growth.
  • Get earlier agreement on plans and changes while saving time.
  • Boost management’s confidence and get faster approvals for your plans.

What Is Covered

  • The phases and steps of Systematic Layout Planning (SLP)

  • Choices and conditions for order-picking and storage

  • Choices and conditions for material handling methods

  • How to identify, agree and assure that your most important relationships are honored in your layout plan

  • Short- and long-term space estimating and how to resolve space shortages

  • Block and detailed layout plans and how to agree on the best

  • Project planning and management

  • Factors to consider and evaluate for warehouse site location and selection

  • Relocation and installation planning

Course Topics

Module 1 – Systematic Layout Planning (SLP
  • Fundamentals of Systematic Layout Planning (SLP)
  • New facility layout; Relationship Charting & Diagramming
  • Overview of the Full SLP Method: Phases; Fundamentals; Procedures and Conventions; Key documents and Outputs
  • Key Input Data for Layout Planning: P Q R S T
Module 2 – Order Picking and Storage
  • Order-Picking & Storage (Less than Unit Load)
  • Unit Load Storage Methods
  • Automated Storage & Retrieval
  • Case Problem: Storage Methods Selection
  • Case Problem: Integration of Storage and Picking Methods
Module 3 – Material Handling and Integration
  • Material Handling Methods
  • Supplemental Reading: Automatic Guided Vehicles
  • Supplemental Reading: Conveying
  • Supplemental Reading: Sortation
  • Case Problem: Material Handling Methods
  • Integration of Storage and Handling Methods
  • Case Problem: Integration of Storage and Handling Methods
  • Case Problem: Storage Methods and Ergonomics
Module 4 – Flow and Other Relationships
  • Types of Layouts & Definition of Activity-Areas
  • Case Exercise: Flow of Materials Analysis
  • Flow of Materials Analysis in SLP
  • Supplemental Reading: Mag Count
  • Combining Flow & Other Relationships
  • Diagramming Activity Relationships
Module 5 – Space Requirements and Block Layout
  • How to Determine Space Required
  • Space Relationship Diagrams
  • How to Develop Layout Plans
  • Case Exercise in Block Layout: Existing facility rearrangement
  • How to Compare Material Handling Effort
  • How to Evaluate and Select the Best Layout Plan
Module 6 – Detailed Area Layouts
  • Department, Small Area and Workplace Layouts Using SLP
  • Rack and shelf Area Layouts
  • Receiving, Shipping & Dock Area Layouts
  • Supplemental Reading: Truck Docks
Module 7 – Project Planning and Management
  • Site Location and Selection
  • Supplemental Reading: Network Analysis
  • Layout and Equipment Installation
  • Case Problem: Using SLP to plan an expansion
  • Case Problem: Using SLP to evaluate a proposed plan
  • Case Problem: Using SLP to re-plan when needs change
  • Project Planning & Management Using SLP

Course Materials

Required (student must provide)

  • A computer with speakers and high-speed internet connectivity to access online content. Please visit to ensure the computer you will be using meets the minimum technical requirements.
  • The ability to view and print Portable Document Files (PDF).
  • Microsoft PowerPoint is needed for one short exercise.
  • Microsoft Excel is needed to open one checklist provided and the Working Forms referenced throughout the course.
  • Microsoft Visio is needed if you wish to complete two layout planning exercises in electronic form. If you do not have or are not permitted to load Visio, both exercises can be completed with pencil on printed PDFs.

Provided (student will receive)

  • Access to online course content and optional reading materials until the course end date.
  • A die-cut template ruler and set of colored pencils will be mailed by the instructor to you at the address that is listed in your GTPE account. You will need these for the initial layout exercise and for subsequent exercises not completed using Microsoft Visio.*

*Please note that it may take several weeks to receive these supplies, especially if you are outside of the United States.

Course Prerequisite and Related Certificate Information

No prerequisites. This course is part of the Distribution Operations Analysis & Design (DOAD) Certificate.

Course CEUs

This course provides for 3.30 continuing education units (CEUs).

Course Instructors

Course Times

  • The course is comprised of 33 hours of instruction, structured around 33 sessions within 7 modules.
  • Please note the course end date when registering for the course via the Georgia Tech Professional Education website.
  • After you complete all sessions and pass the final assessment, you can apply for a course certificate.
  • You have the flexibility of taking the course on your own time and pace. Start and stop as often as you like, allowing you to set the schedule.

Course Fees

Standard: $2,500.00, Certificate: $2,075.00 (cost of each course when signing up for and paying for a multi-course certificate program).

Register and pay for all required courses in a Supply Chain & Logistics certificate and receive a discount of 17% off per course. Enter coupon code SCL-Cert at checkout.

All residents of the State of Georgia are eligible for a 50% discount while funds last thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. Use of this discount is subject to verification of GA residency. Enter coupon code SCL-GAAIM at checkout.

If you have 3 or more participants from your organization, please contact us for volume discounts. Review coupon instructions for more information.

Discounts cannot be combined. For questions, call 404-894-2343 or send us an email prior to registration.


Special Note: Although the current online course session(s) indicate a start date that may have passed, students can enroll at any time. The online course(s) are self-paced offering flexibility, so you can fit the course work into your schedule. However, it is recommended that you register by the registration close date indicated in the section details, to allow for enough time to complete the course.

ISyE location map

Georgia Tech Supply Chain and
Logistics Institute
H. Milton Stewart School of
Industrial & Systems Engineering
765 Ferst Drive, NW, Suite 228
Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: 404.894.2343