Archive for March, 2017

March 12, 2017

How to Split Up Your Warehouse for Different Areas

Our warehouse consultants work with warehouses across the United States on optimizing their warehouse layouts. It’s an involved process that requires a lot of thought about factors such as what kind of inventory you have, how it’s moved through the warehouse, and what unique circumstances you might need to overcome to get the most out of your space. When planning out your warehouse, there are a number of areas that you’ll want to devote space to within your available square footage. While many warehouses will have specialty areas required due to their unique nature, by and large, most warehouses will be divided up into three main areas: the receiving area, the staging area, and the storage area. So how should you divide your warehouse up in order to meet the needs of each of these areas? Before we determine that, let’s take a closer look at what happens in each space.

The Three Main Areas of a Warehouse

Receiving Area

This is the areas where your items are going to come into the warehouse. It might include docks for deliveries and various supplies for breaking down pallets and counting items for accurate inventory intake.

Staging Area

The staging area can involve multiple areas that are used for a variety of functions. The staging area could be where packing takes place or where inspections are done for quality control.

Storage Area

This is where inventory is stored until it is needed. It will likely have pallet racking and other warehouse equipment that holds the inventory and keeps it safe until it’s ordered, sold, or moved to a new location.

How To Divide Up Your Warehouse Space

Your storage area is almost certainly going to take up the bulk of your warehouse space. After all, that’s the primary purpose of a warehouse: to store items until they are needed. You’ll want to ensure you are maximizing that space to its best ability, however, in order to get the most storage out of the least amount of space. Doing things like utilizing the overhead space with taller storage racks and mezzanines might be a smart addition to your warehouse.

The size of your staging area is going to be unique to the needs of your warehouse. If you have a lot of picking that happens in a short amount of time, then your staging area might need to be sizable to accommodate the activity. You’ll want to make sure the staging area is also large enough for all of your packing needs. A staging area that’s not big enough for everything you need to do can really slow down the production speed in your warehouse.

A lot of warehouses make the mistake of creating a receiving area that’s much too small. While it’s true that you can probably get away with this being the smallest area of your warehouse, don’t discount the importance of space here. Receiving is where you bring in products before they head to the storage area; you’ll be breaking down pallets, moving forklifts in and out, discarding cardboard, and counting inventory. If this space is too small, it becomes much easier to make mistakes or run the risk of accidents. Mistakes that happen in the receiving area are much more likely to cause a ripple effect of issues throughout the rest of the warehouse.

Need Help Maximizing Your Warehouse Space?

Are you worried that you aren’t using the space within your warehouse as efficiently as possible? Our warehouse consultants can help. We work with warehouses in Chicago, Milwaukee, and across the country on finding the right solutions for their space. Get in touch with a project manager today to get started!

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March 08, 2017

10 Things to Love About Our Prefab Offices

When it comes to warehouse equipment, there might not be anything more versatile than our prefab offices. These space can be set on the warehouse floor or on a warehouse mezzanine and used for a variety of purposes. We’ve seen clients use them as administrative space, offices for warehouse managers, storage for company documentation, and even as clean rooms or inspection spaces. Their versatility isn’t the only thing to love, though. Here are ten more things you’ll love about the prefab offices you purchase from DAK Equipment & Engineering!

Top 10 Things to Love About Prefab Offices

  1. Walls are 4″ thick.
    The thickness of the walls is great for a couple reasons. First, it creates a sturdy frame for the office so you won’t worry about it being flimsy or falling down around you. Second, that thickness is great for sound-proofing, which can be super important on a busy warehouse floor.
  2. Options for modular wiring.
    Modular wiring makes it incredibly easy to get the outlets and switches that you need where you need them. You’ll be able to snap together the wiring that you need in a matter of minutes.
  3. Aluminum frame system is corrosion resistant.
    The aluminum frame is great for its light-but-strong performance, but you’ll also love it because it’s resistant to corrosion. No need to worry if the frame of your prefab office gets wet or exposed to other substances.
  4. Plenty of colors to choose from.
    We offer pre-fab offices in a variety of great color options, including copper, Vermont gray, or Ultra Violet. It’s a great way to customize your warehouse space and even stay consistent with company branding.
  5. No need to patch it or paint it.
    You won’t need to spend time after the installation of your pre-fab office patching or painting it. Once it’s set up, it’s ready to use and you can move in immediately.
  6. Easy to keep clean.
    Both the frame, the ceiling, and the floor of our prefab offices are easy to keep clean. You can wipe them down with warm soapy water if they need it. These modular buildings stand up to the demands of the warehouse environment.
  7. Secure for privacy.
    A lot of our customers use their prefab office as an administrative workspace. That likely involves the keeping of sensitive paperwork. Thankfully, you can count on the prefab office to keep things secure and easily add additional security measures if it’s required.
  8. Easy to install yourself.
    Our prefab offices come with easy-to-follow instructions so you can quickly and easily install the prefab office yourself. No need to pay someone else to do it for you (although we can if you would rather leave it to the experts!).
  9. Can be used for tax savings.
    Your prefabricated office or modular building can be savings on your taxes as an asset. Talk to your accountant about how to claim the building on your business’s taxes.
  10. No downtime during installation.
    Our prefab offices don’t require you to shut down your warehouse during their installation. In fact, in most cases, work can continue around the new structure while it’s being installed. That eliminates any loss of productivity issues!

Ready to fall in love with your prefab office? We have exactly what you need along with all of our other warehouse equipment ready to ship to your location. Just give us a call or contact us through our website and talk to the DAK Equipment & Engineering team about what you need for your warehouse and we’ll get it out to you as soon as possible. Prepare to fall in love with your new prefab office for all of these reasons and more!

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March 04, 2017

The Dangers of Warehouse Overcrowding & How to Fix It

Preventing overcrowding in the warehouse environment is an on-going struggle for most warehouse managers. Our warehouse consultants are contacted by warehouses all across the United States every day who are seeking solutions to their overcrowding issues. It’s a common problem in the warehouse and one that causes all too many accidents each year. Overcrowding in the warehouse can lead to a variety of safety issues, such as:

 

  • Overloaded pallet racking. This can lead to racking collapse, which can cause damage to your inventory, downtime in your warehouse, and could even lead to injuries or worse for your workers.
  • Not enough floor space. Warehouses need to make the most out of every square foot of space, but that doesn’t mean you can use all of it for storage. Crowding on the floor can lead to more injuries and accidents from tripping hazards and line of sight issues.
  • More forklift accidents. When overcrowding begins to happen in a warehouse, there often isn’t enough room to safely maneuver a forklift. That means more accidents with workers as well as damage to your pallet racking.
  • Lost time and slow production. When accidents are frequent, stock is hard to get to, and forklifts can’t be used, it’s going to slow down your warehouse operations. Slowly productivity is a major hit to your bottom line.

That’s just the beginning of the issues you could be facing with overcrowding. So what can you do to prevent it or rectify it in your warehouse? Our warehouse consultants have some suggestions.

 

  • Create a smooth flow:  Ironing out how orders come into your warehouse, how they are picked, and how they go out the door can create a smoother order flow through your warehouse. This can increase productivity, sure, but it can help your congestion, too. By carefully planning out each area, you may be able to scale down some areas (picking) while scaling up other areas (receiving) that need it more.
  • Keep some locations open and available:  It’s not easy to do and you won’t be able to do it 100% of the time. However, if you can manage to keep 10% of your storage open, you’ll have a lot more wiggle room when big orders come in or you have a major push, for instance around the holidays. Think about how much more storage you’d need in order to achieve having 10% of it free, then look for solutions that help you achieve that. That might include putting in a mezzanine or changing the kind of storage racking you use.
  • Slot your most-ordered items:  Slotting your most frequently ordered items can help your pickers move orders out the door a lot faster. You’ll also know what items should be getting the most time, attention, and space in your warehouse. That leaves you with the items that aren’t big sellers; you may want to scale down inventory on those items to start relieving some overcrowding issues.
  • Rethink your warehouse layout:  Warehouses shouldn’t evolve naturally over time. They need to be carefully planned so you get the most out of every inch of space that you have. That might require you to occasionally rethink your warehouse layout or revisit it in order to optimize it. Working with experienced warehouse consultants on this task can help you get the most out of it.
  • Get the right storage:  If overcrowding is a consistent issue in your warehouse, the fault may lie with the kind of storage you are using. It might be worth looking at other racking systems to see if they can offer you more compact, higher-density storage solutions than the ones that you are currently using. The DAK Equipment & Engineering team can help you make the right storage racking choice.

 

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