Archive for 2018

August 30, 2018

Beyond Pallet Racking: More Warehouse Efficiency Solutions

Once you have your pallet racking in place in your new or remodeled warehouse, it’s going to feel good. Whether you’re selling standard wire deck or double-deep pallet racking, cantilever racking or pallet flow racks, it’s exciting to step back after it’s installed and imagine the increased efficiencies that come with top-notch warehouse optimization and installation. Being able to access what you need more quickly is going to save you hassle and money.

But once the bulk of the industrial warehouse racking is installed, your warehouse isn’t necessarily finished. There are still ways to make it even better, to keep everything organized and ensure that what you have stays in place. Here are some of the options you might want to consider that go beyond traditional storage racking.

 

Stanley Vidmar Cabinets

There’s a reason that people buy Stanley Vidmar cabinets: they hold up amazingly well. These are the cabinets of professionals, holding tools and equipment that every warehouse needs. They’re built for the industrial world, and it’s hard to find fault with them because they’re designed and built so well. If you’ve ever purchased a Stanley Vidmar cabinet, whether it was made before 1966 (when Stanley acquired the Vidmar company) or after, you’re probably still using it without it ever having given you a single problem.

There’s also a reason that people buy used Stanley Vidmar cabinets: they’re quite expensive when new! A business that’s done with them doesn’t sell them because they’re tired of them or because they’re no good; businesses sell them because they’re downsizing or going out of business. The fact is, these things outlast most businesses! We can get you both new and used Stanley Vidmar cabinets, and if you’re looking for used then you should click this link to see if we have any in stock. (Even if you don’t see any, contact us so that we can let you know when some come in.)

 

Industrial Conveyor Systems

Having inventory in a warehouse is one thing. Getting it out to who wants and needs it is something very different.

Whether it’s a standard picking-and-packing station with non-motorized rollers or a completely automated system that move packages throughout the warehouse, conveyor systems can reduce your operational costs, reduce manpower, increase your shipping capacity, and even help ensure the accuracy of orders.

Before the pallet racking is even in, make sure you work with a warehouse layout optimization expert to make sure you’re making the most of the space and that the industrial conveyor system is in the most efficient place in your warehouse. As we discussed in this article, the most obvious placement isn’t always the most efficient, so pulling in an expert will probably save you money many times over.

Industrial Lockers

Employees like a place to keep their stuff, especially since most of them don’t have a desk in which to keep their snacks, oatmeal packets, spare chapstick, and jackets. Lockers are an excellent way to give employees a place to keep something and make sure it’s secure; this is even more important than ever if you have banned cell phones from your warehouse floor.

We talk a lot about the workings of warehouses, but we’re also supplying many other industries with lockers. There are lockers involved in just about every type of work, it’s just that you don’t see them because they’re behind closed doors. Gymnasiums are a common client, as are police and fire departments. But we also supply lockers to grocery stores, hospitals, apartment buildings, EMT’s stations, and more.

 

Wire Partitions

We recently wrote an entire article about the benefits of wire partitions in a warehouse, so we’d like to encourage you to go and read that entire article. If you don’t have time to do so now, click on it and bookmark it for later. If you don’t have time for that, we’ll break it down for you.

Wire partitions are essentially cages that keep things in or out that can either be built against the wall or freestanding in the middle of the warehouse. In today’s technologically-advanced warehouses, these enclosures are used to protect the robots from escaping and people from stepping on robots. And speaking of robots, wire partitions can also prevent unauthorized employees from walking into an area that has assembly robots in action, which could be very dangerous to a human.

Wire partitions are also an excellent way to protect things that most employees simply don’t have a right messing with. A warehouse cage can protect fuseboxes, computers, tools, and expensive products that aren’t out in the normal warehouse.

 

Prefabricated Offices

We talk about prefabricated offices, aka modular offices, a lot. They’re incredibly versatile and can solve so many problems that show up in a warehouse. Prefabricated offices are buildings-within-buildings. They are closed off from the rest of the warehouse in order to give a level or privacy to those working within. They can be built in a much shorter amount of time than a stand-alone exterior building, and they can be moved (and even sold) if necessary.

Modular offices can serve many purposes in a warehouse. The most obvious is an office that can keep managers and other desk staff close to the warehouse actions while still being separated from it. They also make excellent break rooms, providing a way for workers to get away from some of the noise associated with a warehouse. They can also be used as clean rooms, quality assurance rooms, and shipping/receiving rooms. You can also have prefab office units customized to cover multiple tasks, such as a break room on one side, a clean room on the other, and quality assurance kiosk attached to the outer wall.

 

We Can Finish Your Warehouse!

A warehouse isn’t just one thing. While its primary reason for existing is to store inventory, the need for shipping, receiving, employee comfort, and storage of warehouse necessities can’t be ignored. At DAK Equipment and Engineering, we’re here to help you make the most of your space, no matter if your warehouse is storing books, soda, or furniture. Contact us today and talk to our warehouse optimization experts.

 

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August 18, 2018

5 Reasons You Might Need To Replace Your Pallet Racking

Pallet racking is not fragile. You know very well that it can hold up to a lot, considering the warehouse conditions it has to withstand and the amount of weight it needs to hold up to for months or years at a time.

But just because something is tough doesn’t mean it will last forever or that it won’t need to be replaced for some reason. Just because pallet racks met the old needs of your business doesn’t mean that it will meet tomorrow’s needs. Today we’re going to take a look at the most common reasons a warehouse might have to replace their industrial pallet racking.

 

Damage

The most obvious reason that a company would have to replace their industrial shelves is due to damage. A warehouse can be a hectic place, with heavy equipment moving heavy pallets. Whether because a driver is trying to work too fast or is negligent in some way, pallet racking gets damaged all the time.

If your pallet racking is relatively new, there shouldn’t be any problems getting a new piece that has been damaged. On the other hand, if our warehouse pallet inspectors determine that it can’t be repaired, we’ll give you your options on replacement.

 

Time

Think of a person who is aging. Even if they haven’t experienced any particular injury during their lifetime, their knees will still hurt and their skin will still sag.

Time and entropy make fools of us all, and it’s no different when it comes to the pallet racking we use. Even if a forklift never hits a storage rack, the amount of weight that stays on it day after day is going to stretch the molecules of the steel, causing it to bend. This isn’t going to happen to new pallet racks, of course, but the older they get the more likely it is they’ll cause trouble. This is especially true if the items on them are extremely heavy. (A pallet rack inspection is always a good idea to make sure that your inventory, and especially your employees, are kept safe.)

 

New Loading Equipment

Pallet racks and loading equipment evolve together. As forklifts and other types of lifters are able to reach higher and require less clearance, pallet racks can also get higher. If you’ve recently upgraded your warehouse loading equipment and it’s able to do more than the old equipment was able to, new pallet racks can help you to increase the amount of vertical space you’ll be able to use. Speaking of which…

Higher Shelving

Sometimes a warehouse will get new equipment that lets them reach higher than ever before, and that means new pallet racking that will allow them to make the most of the vertical space. Space that was once just wasted air suddenly becomes very usable, which can significantly increase the amount of space when new pallet racking is installed by a warehouse optimization expert. Just imagine having one additional space on top of every industrial rack you have. It’s enticing, isn’t it?

 

Business Pivot

Sometimes a business doesn’t end up doing what they started out doing. Nintendo started as a playing card company. 3M started as a mining company. It was good for business, so they pivoted and grew.

When a business pivots, their warehouse needs will most likely change too. If a company has been selling small items and moves to much larger items, their warehouse needs are going to change. Did Nintendo’s needs change when they switched from playing cards to video game consoles? 3M’s certainly did when they moved from loose piles of grit to finished sandpaper. The size, shape, and weight of the items coming in and going out of a warehouse can certainly affect the type of pallet racking needed.

It’s not just the products that change; sometimes it’s the sales channels. A company that only sold bulk might change their business model and now sell directly to consumers. That means space now has to be found for industrial conveyor systems and material handling systems, which often means securing the advice of a warehouse space optimization expert.

 

Contact DAK Today!

If you choose to replace the pallet racking in your warehouse due to a company pivot or simply because your current racking wasn’t installed to meet your needs, the cost of doing so might intimidate you. Don’t worry too much, because the cost of new racking can be offset by selling the old pallet racks. There’s a good market for used shelving, and we can help you move it along with The Used Rack Warehouse.

Thanks to improved design, pallet racks are simply getting better and better. They can hold more and hold up to more than ever before. No matter why you’re interested in new pallet racking — whether yours is damaged, is getting old, or simply doesn’t suit the needs of your current business model — our experts are here to help with new rack options and expert warehouse layout optimization. Contact us to find out exactly what we can do for you.

 

 

 

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August 10, 2018

5 Big Mistakes People Make With Warehouse Optimization

Depending on where your warehouse is located, warehouse space could be insanely expensive or surprisingly cheap. One in the middle of a big city is going to cost you even if it’s a small space, while one down a country road could get you all the space you need and then some. But in both cases, you want to make the most of warehouse optimization so that you’re not having to build or lease another warehouse anytime soon. Making the most of warehouse space optimization means saving time and money in the long run.

So if it’s important to make the most of warehouse layout optimization, what can go wrong? Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes people make when it comes to warehouse optimization.

Problem: Not Making the Most of Vertical Space

The idea of “big open space with pallet racks” that is the common warehouse has been around for a long time. But while the big open space hasn’t changed much, the pallet rack shelving that goes inside them certainly has.

If you’re in an old warehouse with old pallet racks, it’s very possible that the industrial pallet racks were built under old standards. Maybe they were built with forklifts in mind that couldn’t reach as high as the forklifts of today. Perhaps they were assembled with the previous tenants in mind instead, and the space simply isn’t as efficient for you because of it.

If you have a feeling that your warehouse is less efficient because of the wasted space at the top of the storage racking, give one of our warehouse optimization consultants a call. Instead of tripping over pallets left out in the open or getting rid of perfectly good old stock just to make room for the new stuff, our experts can find more space than you can probably imagine.

Problem: Not Studying Sales and Trends

Inefficiencies can plague a warehouse. Sometimes it’s because of the arrangements of the pallet racks themselves. But just as common is the placement of the pallets. Far too many warehouses will put their inventory in the wrong place, causing wasted time for both those who are pulling pallets and those who are waiting for them.

At first you might think that “the inventory we need most often should be closest to the picking-and-packing area.” But if you put your best seller next to the second-best seller, forklifts can get in each other’s way trying to pull them both at the same time. Of course, offloading directly from the loading dock and onto the nearest pallet racks can also be a problem if those racks are far away from picking-and-packing or if a forklift retrieving them could get in the way of the next truck offload.

The most efficient pallet placement probably isn’t where you’d think. You can avoid traffic jams if you know the back roads, even if you have to drive a longer distance. Similarly, a warehouse space optimizer can study your pallet rack placement and materials handling system and create a more efficient workspace.

Problem: Stuck In The Past

Another problem that many warehouses suffer from is that they’re stuck in the past and refuse to make use of the technological advances available to them. The physical nature of a warehouse makes some people believe that there’s no need for technology, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes it’s a warehouse manager not willing to make the change, and they only use old computers or actual paper to keep track of everything. Sticking with a paper process and not trusting electronic tracking can slow everything down and is a surefire way to lose track of inventory.

The fact is, modern warehouse rely on technology to keep track of everything that’s being stored there. The most advanced are technologies such as NFC (near-field communication) and RFID (radio-frequency identification), but there are less expensive options that can help a warehouse manager know exactly where everything is and ensure that someone who’s pulling a pallet is getting what they think they’re getting.

We’re not saying that every warehouse needs a multi-million dollar scanning and tracking system like Amazon uses, but there are certainly simple upgrades — such as barcodes that can be scanned with regular cell phones — that are affordable to everyone.

Problem: The Warehouse Is Messy

In a recent article, we detailed why it’s so important to keep a warehouse clean. Some of the reasons include keeping employees more comfortable and making the warehouse safer. But there’s another point we made that very important to business: efficiency.

No matter where you work, messiness is going to make things more inefficient. If you cook, the dirty dishes are going to get in the way. (Dirty pots and pans also mean that you have to take time to clean them before you can use them.) If you use your table saw as a storage space, you’re going to have to clean it off before you can use it.

But this is a blog about warehouse optimization. How can a messy warehouse mean that you’re being inefficient? Well, trash can literally get in the way. If there is a pile of 2x4s in front of an empty pallet rack space, no one’s going to use it. If one of the empty spots has been unofficially-designated as “used pallet wrap area,” you’ve lost even more space. Overfilled pallets can have inventory fall out of the space and take up extra spaces.

The problem, of course, is that no one is taking responsibility for all of these areas. If you’re a warehouse manager, it’s time to fix that. Either set up cleaning schedules for the small stuff or dictate big stuff to someone and retrieve those pallet rack spaces. Or just do it yourself and make everyone else feel bad about not already taking the responsibility!

Problem: Keeping Outdated Inventory

There’s a time and a place to keep old inventory. If your warehouse is currently half full and you might still sell it, then keeping it only makes sense. If the inventory is seasonal, you’ll probably keep it around until the right season rolls around (but get it out of your way, as we discussed in the second point above).

But if you’re keeping inventory around just because you haven’t gotten around to it, now is the time. Inventory that’s not going to sell isn’t just taking up space, but it’s also preventing you from selling it a loss (which you could claim as a tax write off).

Space that’s being used for something worthless might be the saddest for or warehouse de-optimization. Take care of it if you can.

Contact Our Warehouse Optimization Experts!

If you’re thinking of building another warehouse, STOP and get a warehouse optimization consultation. The experts at DAK Equipment and Engineering can draw up plans that might just allow you to skip the new build and save millions. Click here to learn more!

 

 

 

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