Warehouse optimization is fundamental to a successful storage or distribution business. Warehouse managers must constantly strive to ensure their infrastructure, equipment, and product management systems enable productivity and efficiency throughout the entire warehouse.
Whether expanding, downsizing, or redesigning your storage space, moving to a new warehouse is a major step for businesses. The sheer size of pallet rack systems and shelving units makes transporting equipment challenging. Safely moving all inventory is also time-consuming.
When moving to a new warehouse, it’s essential to reassess the layout, internal processes, and inventory management systems to ensure a smooth transition. Planning is necessary to assess potential logistical issues. Before setting the wheels in motion on a warehouse move, here are ten tips for a successful complete warehouse relocation:
Analyze Existing Warehouse Layout
Before committing to a move, business owners should analyze the current facility. This helps create a basis for designing a new and efficient layout.
An analysis of the entire operation should inform future designs and decision-making for the new facility. The size of the warehouse, effectiveness, condition of equipment, and current inventory management system are some of the most critical areas of focus.
Pay close attention to storage efficiency, product visibility, usable floor space, aisle floor space, and picking, packing, and shipping areas. Look for opportunities to improve these aspects. For example, if loading bay congestion consistently delays daily operations, you may need to add another or increase its size in your new warehouse.
While busy operations are positive from a business sense, a crowded facility can be overwhelming, diminishing operator productivity. Take the time to assess the layout and then develop realistic solutions.
Design a Company Specific Layout
Your warehouse facility should be carefully designed to cater to your specific needs. Relocating equipment and inventory without proper planning is a recipe for failure. Liaise with the warehousing professionals at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. to ensure your new layout is designed for custom applications.
Depending on the type of goods you handle, the number of available staff, and your internal processes, you may have different storage needs. Essential design aspects to consider include:
- Increasing usable floor space
- Improving access to materials
- Improving product visibility
- Reducing travel time
- Minimizing product handling
The warehouse layout should align with your business model and organizational goals. Ensure aisle positioning, floor tracks, loading and retrieval bays, and access points follow a logical sequence. This helps increase operator productivity, streamline internal processes, and maximize efficiency.
A well-designed warehouse contributes to cost savings and boosts profitability in the long-term.
Consider Vertical Space
Consider building upwards with pallet shelf storage systems if you’re moving to a larger warehouse with more vertical space. Vertical storage is perhaps the most effective way to use the full square footage of warehouses and distribution centers. It increases the storage capacity of your facility and creates more horizontal space for wide aisle racking.
High-density storage racks not only create an organized and efficient facility but can also improve warehouse safety. Several bulk storage options enable vertical stacking. Whether you plan to add to your current racking system or invest in new equipment, choose suitable racks according to product selectivity, product size, plus the weight and shape of items.
Selective racking is a cost-effective and versatile storage option that enables vertical storage. It is one of the most popular pallet racking styles as it offers a high degree of accessibility.
While more densified storage options are available, selective racking provides seamless access to palletized loads from forklifts. It is also one of the cheapest systems in terms of cost per pallet.
Our galvanized steel selective racks allow you to take full advantage of the available vertical space in your facility. They are an excellent option for bulk storage facilities, supporting weights of up to 30,580 pounds.
A galvanized steel and powder-coated finish ensure these racks are suitable for cold storage facilities. Consider adding a cold storage section if your facility frequently handles perishable items, such as food and beverages.
Anticipate Further Growth
One of the main reasons for moving to a new warehouse is to create more space. To avoid relocating again in a few years, anticipate potential growth for the future. While it’s not a good idea to overinvest in a facility, it may be beneficial to choose a site with space for your business to grow.
Warehouse management must optimize the available space using a basic floor plan, strategic racking and shelving selection, and efficient picking and retrieving systems. If you plan on expanding your storage system in the future, we provide a range of add-on units, extra shelving, beams, and frames.
Our Unirak pallet racking systems are highly customizable. We stock matching beams, frames, and accessories, allowing you to expand your system gradually, in line with business growth.
Unirak frames are covered in a hi-gloss powder-coated finish, offering excellent visibility and damage resistance. Unirak manufactures high-quality equipment that complies with RMI safety guidelines, ensuring long-term durability. Their tear drop style facilitates easy assembly and reconfiguration whenever you wish to expand.
Consult Current Safety Standards
New warehouses can pose various safety issues, from trip hazards to forklift accidents. Before transitioning to a new facility, consult OSHA’s current warehouse safety standards to ensure the premises meets them. If necessary, schedule safety training for staff, such as forklift operator certification training or warehouse operator certification training courses.
Implement effective safety protocols for equipment retrieval, hazardous material handling, lifting techniques, and machine use. We supply a variety of useful warehouse safety equipment that can help secure your pallet racking and protect your inventory and staff.
If you need a cost-effective way to improve the safety of your storage equipment, consider installing column protectors. We stock protectors in a variety of shapes and sizes, protecting your racks from collisions with forklifts and machine handling equipment.
Our protectors require no tools for assembly. They are installed and secured using nylon fasteners for long-term durability. The bright yellow finish ensures they are easy to see, helping guide forklift operators.
Before reconfiguring your pallet racking and commercial shelving, it’s essential to inspect it for signs of damage. Storage components experience wear and tear over time and often absorb significant impacts from forklifts and machinery. Accumulated damage can compromise the structural integrity of a unit, increasing the likelihood of a rack collapse.
When carrying out a rack inspection, look out for the following:
- Beam deflection (evidence of sagging or bowing)
- Obvious signs of damage (e.g., dents, scratches, or cracks)
- Compromised baseplates, braces, and supporting parts
- Rusted components
While rack inspections are essential for all storage systems, they are crucial for facilities that handle heavier products. Bulky items can significantly strain equipment, creating a safety hazard.
Consider Mobile Shelving Solutions
Mobile racking and shelving are space-efficient storage options that can help facilitate a smooth transition to a new warehouse. Movable racking can reduce unused aisle space, increasing the storage capacity of your warehouse.
Modern mobile racks are available in light and heavy-duty varieties, ensuring they can support a wide variety of goods, from office supplies to automotive equipment. A mobilized storage system is a complete storage solution with multiple benefits. It may also be used to transport goods around a facility, reducing travel time between bays.
Mobile carriages are an excellent supplemental storage option to accompany static racking in a growing facility. We carry a variety of mobile shelving solutions, from high-density storage options to minimal impact, floor-level cabinets.
Our 4-shelf mobile units can help create a more balanced storage facility. Each unit is equipped with braking casters, ensuring it can also be used as temporary static shelving. The carts have an overall load capacity of 1,200 pounds, distributed evenly over the shelves. With a durable, bright zinc plated finish, these units can be used for cooler storage applications.
The rise of technology in storage facilities has seen an increase in automated racking solutions. Automatic storage systems vary significantly, from fully-automated machinery to semi-automated equipment. Moving facilities provide warehouse managers with the opportunity to automate specific processes.
Pallet flow racking is a semi-automated system that uses inclined floor rails and conveyors to transport inventory from loading bays to picking stations. This type of mobilized storage system reduces travel time and warehouse congestion. It is an excellent storage option for high-demand items in busy warehouses.
However, pallet flow systems are designed for small, lightweight goods. They may not be suitable for bulkier items, like building materials or machinery.
Upgrade Pallet Racking
Pallet racking lays the foundation for your new warehouse. It may be worth upgrading your entire system when moving to a new facility. High-quality storage racks are typically manufactured using deluxe steel that can last for several decades. We stock a broad range of industrial steel racking and shelving for a variety of industries.
Some of the most popular warehouse racking systems we offer include:
- Cantilever racking (bulk storage racks for large, awkward shaped, and heavy-duty items)
- Deep lane pallet storage (high-density storage option)
- Drive-in and drive-through racking (compact storage solution)
- Pallet flow racking equipment
Proper installation of pallet racking is a crucial step. Professionally installing your equipment ensures it is assembled correctly and safe to use. This minimizes the risk of a rack collapse, helping prevent employee injuries and product damage.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we are more than an equipment provider. We also provide professional installation services. Our factory-trained and fully insured crews work quickly and efficiently to ensure minimal business disruption during your transition.
Create a Smooth Warehouse Transition With Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc.
Transitioning to a new warehouse can be stressful and daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. can help facilitate a smooth crossover, regardless of your storage requirements. We stock a variety of new and used equipment, from entire racking systems to replacement parts and accessories.
We also provide several helpful warehouse relocation services. Our team can help you plan, design, and integrate your new system, ensuring a straightforward process.
Using state-of-the-art computer-aided design (CAD) technology, we can provide a number of design layouts for your new facility. Our in-house fabrication department can manufacture and modify equipment to help meet your specific storage needs.