Designing or redesigning your warehouse is a big project, and it should be done right the first time. Ensuring optimal productivity and efficiency is key as is achieving the greatest storage density possible and the smoothest flow of products.
But without the right shelving or equipment, that goal can be difficult to achieve. There are many kinds of racking systems, from heavy-duty stainless-steel shelving systems to steel shelving to cantilever racks to roll-out racks. It is crucial your warehouse shelving and rack system is designed to effectively and efficiently store your products.
Here are some things to think about when optimizing your warehouse.
The choice of material for your shelving or racks is a critical one. You must ensure the racks you choose can support the products you want to put on them without the racks collapsing and damaging the product or injuring people.
Also, consider the durability of the material. Heavy-duty stainless-steel shelving is a solid choice when it comes to sustainability. They can withstand the daily wear and tear that comes with warehouse work. They also won’t rust which is a bonus for humid locations.
Different types of product are better suited to being on certain types of shelving. For example, packing and distribution warehouses may benefit from automated pallet racking systems, where the picking and store system is entirely computer controlled. This increases efficiency and saves space on the warehouse floor because the automated system requires less space than traditional forklifts. It also reduces storage and picking errors.
Traditional storage warehouses should base their shelving type on the kind, size, and weight of the products they store. For example, bulky items or long items like lumber or pipes can be awkward to store on traditional warehouse racks. If you are going to be storing products like these, consider using cantilever racks instead of traditional racks. Long or bulky items sit more easily on cantilever racks, and the open front allows for efficiency when loading or unloading goods.
The shelf life of your products
How long particular products or sets of products are likely to sit on your shelves before they move is also a factor in determining the right design and shelving for your warehouse.
For products that will move quickly and whose shelf life is short, a selective pallet racking system is ideal. It is a “first-in-first-out” system and allows you to have access to most if not all your pallets of product at any one time. FIFO systems are also great for storing products with an expiration date that require rapid stock rotation.
For products that have a longer shelf life, a drive-in and drive-through racking system may be more appropriate. With this system, there are no picking aisles, and therefore selectivity is reduced. This is not an issue, however, if you are storing large amounts of the same product, products with long life-spans or products that do not move very quickly off the warehouse floor.
The layout and design of your warehouse and the shelving you use can help you reclaim floor space for more efficient operation. Going vertical can maximize your space and make better use of the square footage you have available. For example, pallet racking is safer and more secure than stacking pallets on the floor. Our team of professionals at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. can help you create and build custom mobile storage solutions so that you can optimize your warehouse space.