Archive for June, 2017

June 15, 2017

Should You Buy New or Used Pallet Racks for Your Warehouse?

When it’s time to purchase new pallet racking for your warehouse, you’ll need to decide if you should buy new or used. Many warehouses sell off their old pallet racking when they purchase new systems, offsetting the cost of their new pallet racks and giving you an opportunity to buy warehouse equipment at a deeply discounted price. DAK Equipment often has both new and used pallet racking system in stock. But is used the right choice for your warehouse? Or would it be a better investment to go with new? Take time to research the pros and cons of both before you make a commitment to buy. We’ve listed out some of the pros and cons that you’ll want to consider.

New Pallet Racking

Pros

Buying a new system means you’ll be able to customize the system more easily to suit the needs of your warehouse. You can even customize the color of your racking, making a more cohesive look for your warehouse. Some pallet racking and other warehouse equipment come with a warranty when you purchase it new, putting your mind at ease about any issues with defective products. You won’t have to worry about matching an older system of racking when you start with new racking, too, making it easier to expand in the future.

Cons

You’ll pay more for your pallet racking up-front when you buy new. While it’s an investment in your warehouse, it’s also a massive blow to your budget when you have to invest in a lot of new pallet racking all at once. If for some reason you have to change systems in the future, that investment could feel like a waste of your money.

Used Pallet Racking

Pros

You’ll end up saving significantly over the cost of new pallet racking. That’s money that can go directly back into your bottom line. Purchasing used pallet racking is also the more environmentally friendly option for your warehouse; you’ll be placing less demand on resources for new pallet racking when you are recycling used racking. Very often, the used racking available for resale has only been lightly used, meaning you are getting almost-new racking at a fraction of the price.

Cons

It may be difficult to find a used system that’s compatible with your current system, making it more difficult to expand your storage when you need to do so. You may have to buy a lot more racking than you currently need just to ensure you have what you need for the future. If you don’t purchase from a trusted source, the quality of the used racking might come into question. You’ll want to make sure the racking is thoroughly inspected (or do it yourself). Saving money shouldn’t mean putting your warehouse in danger.

Should You Buy New or Used?

Ultimately, the question as to whether or not you should buy used pallet racking is up to the individual needs and budget of the warehouse. No matter what you choose, though, DAK Equipment can help. We take in great used pallet racking along with our selection of new racking, so we can supply your warehouse with everything that you need. Talk to a member of our team today. They can show you a selection of both new and used pallet racking that suits your needs and help you decide which one is better for your warehouse.

Talk to a member of our sales team today! You can reach us by giving us a call or contacting us through our website. We’ll get back to you right away to learn more about your racking needs so we can show you just what you need.

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June 10, 2017

The Benefits of Finishing and Starting Right for Warehouse Management

Our warehouse consultants recently wrote that no job should be considered done until the clean-up is finished. It was one of our tips for helping keep your warehouse clean. But this tip goes well beyond cleanliness when it comes to making your warehouse efficient. It should be an extension of a policy of finishing clean and starting clean each day. Putting this idea firmly into the process of your warehouse can eliminate a lot of wasted time and help your workforce become more efficient about getting their work done. So how does it work?

Finishing Clean

Set aside time at the end of each shift for tidying up. Most warehouses find that the last 30 minutes of the workday is the perfect time for getting this done. Your workforce is likely anxious to get off the clock anyway, so giving them something out-of-the-ordinary to do can help keep them focused and working. Encourage them to finish the day clean by doing things such as:

  • Sweeping the floor around their workstations
  • Emptying the trash cans and recycling bins
  • Restocking office and warehouse supplies
  • Finishing the processing of broken or damaged items
  • Setting out paperwork that will be needed for the next shift
  • Setting up anything they need for the next shift

This helps your team focus on looking for anything they might have missed and getting all those last minute items taken care of before they head out the door. It also sets up the next shift for success.

Starting Clean

When you finish the workday clean, you’ll have a clean start the next day or for the next shift. That’s because there are no miscellaneous bits to worry about and no loose ends to tie up. The next team starts with a clean slate of projects and knows exactly what needs to be done. They don’t have to sort through the mess left by the last team or on their last shift to get started. Instead, they can dive right in and get to work. This can be a huge increase in your productivity and eliminate that first thirty minutes of the shift that’s often spent just trying to figure out what needs to happen next.

Other Ways to Keep the Flow Going

Both of these tips are simple ways to keep the flow going in your warehouse. It can help eliminate the dip in productivity that you often experience at the beginning and end of every shift. Starting clean and finishing clean aren’t the only way to help with the shift change, though. Here are some more tips:

  • Overlap start and stop times. Have managers come in about 30 minutes before the end of the other shift so they can get a run down on the day. That way when the other shift ends, they will be up to speed and ready to get going.
  • Keep a communication notebook. This can be a quick way to jot down notes about reordering or other issues on the warehouse floor that people should be aware of. This isn’t for inventory or human resources issues; instead, it can be for notes about equipment or letting the new team know why there is a box half-filled in the corner.
  • Set a good example. Don’t start your own work day by sipping a cup of coffee and surveying the warehouse floor for 30 minutes. When you clock on, get right to work. That example will show your team what you expect of them, too.

Of course, these aren’t the only ways to increase the productivity of your warehouse. Our warehouse consultants know that it’s often the layout and design of a warehouse that can make or break it’s productivity. If you are concerned about the efficiency of your warehouse and your workers, it’s time to look at warehouse optimization with the help of the best consultants in the business. DAK Equipment & Engineering has been hard at work making warehouses in the United States more efficient and more profitable for decades. We’re ready to help you, too. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about all of our warehouse optimization options including layout, design, automation, and planning. Give us a call or contact us through our website to get started today!

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June 05, 2017

How Your Warehouse Type Affects Your Warehouse Equipment Needs

There are a lot of different types of warehouses and each of them has unique needs when it comes to warehouse equipment. As a warehouse manager, it’s important to know what kind of equipment your warehouse needs in order to run most efficiently. There are no one-size-fits-all warehouse equipment solutions, and tailoring your equipment to your needs can result in greater efficientcy and lower costs. Make sure you understand the different types of warehouses and the common storage solutions that work best.

Types of Warehouses

Manufacturing Warehouses

Manufacturing Warehouses deal with raw materials, work-in-progress, or finished goods. They store materials needed to create products, though the product may not actually be made on site at the warehouse. These warehouses may include storage of damaged or returned goods. They are owned by suppliers, distributors, and some retailers. The biggest challenge these warehouses face when it comes to storage is that they may have a significant number of SKUs, little rotation of inventory, and the items they are storing can be quite small.

Distribution Centers

Distribution centers are primarily used as very temporary storage for goods. Once the items have been through the manufacturing process and before they hit the store shelves, they may spend some time at a local distribution center. These warehouses usually work to supply local stores with the items they need for their shelves. Large companies like Wal-Mart have distribution centers across the United States which feed into a number of local stores.

Automated Warehouses

Automated warehouses are ones that are largely run and managed through an automated process. This is a relatively new type of warehouse, but one that you’ll see more and more in the coming years. That’s because they are less expensive to run (fewer labor costs) and are more efficient with lower error rates. Companies like Amazon are known for their innovations with automated warehouses.

Climate-Controlled Warehouses

These warehouses are specialty types that are used for storage of items such as food, plants, and some medicines. Climate controlled warehouses face the challenge of keeping their climate at the required levels while balancing efficient storage. Most climate-controlled warehouses are relatively small, as larger spaces cost more to run.

What Warehouse Equipment Do They Need?

Even within these warehouses categories, it’s tough to give a universal answer as to their storage needs. That’s because every warehouse is unique and deserves a unique solution to their storage challenges. However, there are some general guidelines we can provide about which storage type works best for which warehouse.

  • Automated Storage Systems. Obviously, this is going to be the solution for an automated warehouse. They’ll depend on mechanical arms to pick orders, conveyors to send the boxes through packaging, and may even load the trucks automatically.
  • Pallet Racking. This is a storage solution that can work for almost any kind of warehouse. That’s why it’s the most popular form of warehouse storage in the world. If you aren’t sure which type of storage solution is right for you, this is a good place to start.
  • Block Stacking. This is going to be the easiest method of storage since it requires no warehouse equipment at all, but it’s also the least efficient. The best use for this kind of storage is for very temporary storage or for something like cargo containers, which are all the same size and don’t need to be rotated through frequently.
  • Drive in Storage. This is ideal for climate-controlled warehouses, especially for food storage. Drive-in storage allows an operator to drive a forklift into the racking to retrieve items.
  • Pallet Flow. These are great for warehouses that need high-density storage but also need access to all of their products at all times. That might include distribution centers, but manufacturing warehouses for sure.
  • Push Back Storage. This is the standard for cold storage. They are more versatile than drive-in pallet racking because they can accommodate cartons of different sizes.

So what kind of warehouse are you running? And do you have the right warehouse equipment for the job? If you aren’t sure or know it’s time for a change, get in touch with the DAK Equipent & Engineering team. We’ll make sure you have everything you need for a more efficient warehouse!

 

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