Determining the correct type of pallet racking for your business is a critical part of your material handling storage solution. It’s essential to select a pallet racking system that will help you efficiently store your goods by not wasting time, space, or labor.
We’re diving into considerations to help you identify questions to ask before moving forward with pallet racking for your business.
Racks are Not One-Size-Fits-All
There are several questions businesses need to ask themselves when considering pallet racking solutions. These include the size, weight, and expiration dates of the products being stored, the height and square footage of the facility or warehouse, how the product is accessed (such as LIFO versus FIFO), and how many pallet positions are needed. The type of pallet racking required is very specific based on company operations. It’s essential to know the size of the loads and the exact weight of the products, along with how often you are accessing them.
Why is it Essential to Pick the Right Size and Suitable Capacity for Loads?
It could be very dangerous if the pallet racks are not an adequate size and capacity for the product type, including the seismic considerations that affect rack sizing and design. It’s equally important that you look to prevent pallets from falling if not correctly placed on the load beams, usually through wire decks or front-back members.
Why is it Important to Properly Utilize the Storage Space by Going Higher and Denser?
Your most expensive non-human asset in the four walls of your warehouse is your product. The goal is to optimally utilize the space you have by going as high vertically as possible and storing in rack configurations that maximize density but take turnover and access into consideration for each SKU type. There is a considerable difference between items that are picked daily versus stored as overstock.
What Do You Need to Know About Storage Systems?
The storage system you pick should be based on what the product is, how often it’s accessed, how frequently it’s picked, and the turns. If you choose the wrong storage system, it will waste time, assets, and money because it decreases productivity. The goal is to do less with more by selecting the correct type of pallet racking.
Why is Material Movement Important?
Think through what you are storing, the selectivity (i.e., do you need access to every item), the flow of operations such as where the dock doors are, where the product is being stored, and where and how far you are moving the product. The key to material handling is storing the right products correctly in the right flow and the correct storage mediums. This increases efficiency and gets the team in and out as quickly as possible with the least number of touches.
For example, in your kitchen at home, you don’t put the mixer that you use once a year on your counter – you put the coffee pot that you use daily there. The same mindset should be applied to material handling.
Why is SKU Velocity a Critical Consideration?
A lot of the time, people think about storing their goods categorically. The way you should be storing products is based on SKU velocity. Think about a store with a popular type of beverage that needs to be restocked constantly. They should not put the unpopular, slow-moving, diet version of the beverage in the next lane over. Top movers should be stored all together, so they are accessible if you need them all at once versus putting fastest next to the non-fastest. The less you use the product, the further and higher you should store it in your facility, whereas the things you go through quickly need to be the most accessible.
Adjust your warehouse as your SKU velocity changes (whether seasonally or with subsequent product launches) while considering the full breadth of what your company is doing long-term, such as a growth plan or a plan to move facilities.
What are Other Common Mistakes When it Comes to Pallet Racking?
Sometimes customers make the mistake of trying to save money by purchasing used racks. Used racks can be an obstacle because you don’t know what you are getting in terms of quality or damage. Typically, you are buying sight unseen without a warranty or seismic considerations. While customers may save money initially by taking this approach, it can cost them more in the long run.
Seek a Local Material Handling and Pallet Racking Expert
Choosing an incorrect storage system can be a very costly error for your business operations, which is why it’s vital to seek professional help. Abel Womack has extensive industry knowledge regarding pallet racking, the above considerations, and complete solutions for all your storage needs.
Do you need more information on pallet racking and other material handling solutions? Please contact our specialists today.