Over the last two decades, the beverage industry has continued to grow and change. Brand growth and consumer-driven demand for new products have caused beverage distribution centers to rethink their approach to warehouse storage and materials handling to accommodate an ever-increasing range of specialty drinks and craft brews.
The industry boom means that warehouse managers need to contend with more complex storage needs including finding additional warehouse space, storing non-uniform items, responding to a high stock turnover rate, and optimizing their cold storage system.
Beverage distribution centers need flexible warehousing solutions that allow them to improve storage density, reduce labor costs, and increase productivity. Here are some of the best storage and handling solutions for your beverage warehouse.
Carton and Pallet Flow Racks
For high-turnover and quick order fulfillment, a carton or pallet flow rack system is the ideal way to maximize your storage space, optimize picking, and protect your employees. The high-density FIFO units are designed for inventory to be loaded from the back and moved down heavy-duty gravity-operated rollers to the front of the system where they can be picked at ergonomic stations.
Full-width carton flow racks have only one SKU per lane, which means less travel time and better labor efficiency. It also allows you to store multiple lanes of cartons for better product visibility. Carton flow racks from Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., are created to be customizable to your space with adjustable lane widths and rack lengths.
Mobile Shelving and Racking
Many beverage varieties need to be stored at cold temperatures, however, cold storage facilities are costly to operate due to the added energy, safety, and labor needs. To keep your distribution center running profitably, you need to maximize your floor space.
Mobile pallet racking systems are the perfect high-density storage solution to make the most of your square footage. The pallet racks run on automated tracks that are controlled by a central unit. They can be configured as double pallet racks to take advantage of a high-turnover rate.
Mobile shelving can be a great solution for cold storage in point of sale areas of distribution centers. They are easy to maneuver by staff and can be densely stacked side-by-side to free up floor space.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., our mobile shelving units are constructed from heavy-gauge stainless steel to withstand the extreme cold of the cool room and are easy to clean for better hygiene and compliance with food safety standards.
Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS)
Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) have revolutionized warehousing operations in the beverage industry. They increase supply chain velocity, allow for better use of labor, minimize picking errors, and offer better energy efficiency.
An AS/RS allows you to create high-density storage in refrigerated areas. By fitting more inventory into your cool room you can save on energy consumption. Best of all, the AS/RS can be easily integrated into your current storage system for a cost-efficient way to streamline your operation and optimize your warehouse space.
Warehouse Execution System
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES) can be implemented to streamline the order fulfillment process by increasing throughput, reducing costs, and tracking inventory more effectively.
The WES combines the most functional features of previous Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Warehouse Control Software (WCS) to give managers a system that traces and manages inventory while optimizing storage and provides a real-time view of Key Performance Indicators as well as materials handling equipment and labor status.
For a beverage warehouse and distribution center, a WES can help staff manage the continual influx of SKUs. By integrating a WES with an AS/RS, you have complete control over your inventory which allows you not only to track fast-moving products but also slower-moving inventory or beverages that have seasonal popularity.
The right storage for your beverage warehouse should be flexible and adaptable to your space to accommodate the growing number of SKUs. You can improve materials handling, throughput, and order fulfillment by implementing an automated storage system with integrated software.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we have over 40 years of experience designing, assembling, and installing storage solutions across a wide range of industries. Contact our customer service representatives at (800)-589-7225 to learn more about how our shelving, racking, and automated storage and retrieval systems can help you optimize your beverage warehouse operation.