It’s no secret that there is a growing demand for an increase in efficiency and organizational structure in today’s modern warehouse storage system. It can often feel overwhelming at first and you may not be sure where exactly to start. Your warehouse storage system is likely already functioning at a decent level, and it’s always tempting to take the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. However, optimizing efficiency in a warehouse storage system can reap plenty of benefits that will last your company for years.
Warehouse Storage Systems: Start from the Ground Up
There are a few major questions that must be addressed prior to beginning to optimize your warehouse storage system. It certainly isn’t an easy or simple task to complete, but the end result of a fully optimized warehouse is worth the time, effort and energy needed to have an efficient and smooth warehouse storage system. It’s important to keep in mind that proper planning before starting the project will inevitably prevent poor performance and outcome down the road. Planning is the first step and a great deal of time and effort should go into the planning phase of the project.
Initial Project Considerations
Some of the initial considerations for this project include (but aren’t limited to):
- What are the pain points of the current systems (backlogs, slowdowns, damage to product, etc.)?
- How can you get the best utilization from the existing warehouse space while reducing the pain points identified?
- How can the warehouse optimization project be done in the most efficient and timely manner to have the lowest impact on the business?
- What will you do with the current inventory and equipment during the warehouse optimization project>
Basic Questions Regarding your Warehouse Space
After you have worked with your team on the initial project considerations, you can move forward to the more granular questions you will want to discuss. Some of these include:
- Determining the specific number of SKUs that your warehouse is storing and will need to store for future growth
- What usable space in your current warehouse can you utilize that are not currently (or not efficiently) using
- What is the process you would like your team to go through when storing and shipping your products
- What is your overarching goal for the updating warehouse system
- Detailing where the different products, packaging and containers should be stored on your warehouse system
- Determining the height, weight, and size of the items you store to help create a layout of the warehouse
Why Choose a Pallet Rack System?
A pallet rack system is known for its preference by companies throughout the globe due to the large variety of sizing capability. A standard, selective pallet racking system is made up of three main components: upright frames, shelving cross beams and wire decks installed above the cross beams to expand the volume of available surface area. There are also a wide variety of accessories that can be added to the pallet rack structure according to your company’s specific needs. These accessories are designed to increase safety measures and to tailor the system to your company’s specific needs.
The general layout of a pallet racking system may seem pretty basic. However, during the engineering process, the installation of each layer requires attention-to-detail, structural know-how, and a great deal of capacity and performance testing. There are six standard types of racking systems that you may consider for your warehouse:
- Selective Pallet Rack
- Drive-In Pallet Rack
- Pallet Flow Rack
- Cantilever Rack
- Push-Back Pallet Rack
- Carton Flow Rack
Focus on Safety
During the process of putting a pallet rack system into place, safety and capacity testing should be one of your main focuses. Not only is safety highly important to your company, but there are also many regulations that need to be followed. Safety checks should be integral to your process. Checking for any damage to the pallet rack system should be done regularly. The system should also be checked regularly for rust, splintering wood or general wear and tear.
Finalizing the Warehouse Storage System Project
Some companies may be able to put the ideal plan together themselves. Other companies may need help developing and implementing a great system. No matter what stage you might be in, feel free to reach out to a professional warehouse design specialist like Stein Service & Supply. We are experts at designing, implementing, and installing pallet racking systems. We will review your existing space, help determine your current pain points, review your needs and goals for the project, and start the process of designing your new warehouse storage system.