Archive for September, 2019

September 26, 2019

History of the Pallet

DAK Equipment & Engineering specializes in helping warehouses maximize their efficiencies, processes, and space by offering the best warehouse consulting services. We’ll analyze the needs of your warehouse and its operations in order to design a plan to maximize your logistics and services. We also offer inventory surveys, slotty analysis, and facility layout and design. Wherever you are facing a challenge in your warehouse, our team can help.

Many people not in the warehouse business have no idea what goes on and just how integral warehouses have been to the development of global commerce. In a previous blog post, we took a look at the history of the warehouse itself. In this blog post, we’ll examine an integral component that helped propel warehouses to their importance today: the wooden pallet. Contact DAK Equipment & Engineering today!

What is a Wood Pallet?

A pallet is essentially some pieces of flat wood nailed together with strategically placed holes for transportation purposes that provide a place for goods to sit. Wood pallets are remarkably stable when goods are placed on top and equally as remarkable for their portability. They are also frequently used to display items for sale.

THE ORIGINATION OF THE IDEA OF THE PALLET

Ever since humans began transporting goods in mass quantity, they have needed a way to transport them to market. This began simply with a bag or other carrying device. However, as more goods were being produced, wheelbarrows and other bigger objects were needed, such as a cart.

The idea of moving heavy objects on flat pieces of wood has been around since ancient times. The ancient pyramids in Egypt used human power to pull up large stones from quarries on wooden logs and rollers and sometimes on pallet-like platforms.

However, the actual idea of the modern pallet is hard to trace back to one person. Historians know that in the last 1800s, goods were moved in American factories by wooden skids. However, it wasn’t until the advent of modern machinery and vehicles that the pallet that most warehouses know and love, including DAK Equipment & Engineering, appeared.

We can’t ignore the invention and impact that the invention of the lift truck did. Lift trucks could now make possible vertical stacking of loads, which have greatly improved the number of goods a warehouse could hold.

You can trace the development of wooden pallet from patent records. In 1924, the first patent was approved for a “Lift Truck Platform.” The important invention of the pallet is when the development of the bottom deck occurred somewhere between the early 1900s and before World War II. This eliminated the need for the truck driver to continually get in and out of the truck to adjust loads. In 1938, a patent for a pallet jack was filed. And in 1939, another one was filed that used steel stringers. However, it was glaringly obvious throughout World War II that something had to be done in order to more efficiently move goods.

World War II

Before World War II, you would have been hard pressed to find a pallet as we know it today in any warehouse. Some local warehouses made their own pallets, but there was nothing commercially available. Although the forklift had been invented in 1906, it was still relatively new and obscurely used. The US government started to study the problem, particularly in the Office of the Quartermaster General, who came to recommend the process of using forklifts and pallets together to move goods around warehouses, which DAK Equipment & Engineering works to maximize the use of as well with our clients.

Finally, right after World War II, patents were registered for the four-way pallet and a disposable pallet design. However, another problem arose when individuals would make their own pallets to their particular needs. Hence, when pallets were shipped, the arriving company may not be able to accommodate the pallets because they had been made to a wrong size. While pallets today still come in different sizes, they are standard sizes that can be lifted by any forklift. The idea of pallets and their usefulness spread like wildfire after World War II, and our modern warehouse system would not be the same without pallets.

Pallets Today

There are two main types of pallets in use today.

  1. Stringer pallets. Stringer pallets have three pieces of wood (known as a stringer), two on the sides and one in the middle, or some have two pieces in the middle for added support. However, they block entry from two directions.
  2. Block pallets. Block pallets are distinguishable by having blocks on their sides and in the middle. Also known as four-way pallets, these are more versatile because you can lay them however you choose, and a forklift can pick them up from any direction. They also are better than stringer pallets in terms of load capacity.

Find the best pallet rack systems available

Common Pallet Materials Used

  • Wooden pallets. The original pallet material, wood is still by far the most common material for pallets. They are strong, durable, and easy to repair. They adhere better (thanks to our pal, friction) to forklifts and other machinery than plastic or metal pallets. They can get damaged fairly easily, but are usually recycled into other usable materials.
  • Presswood pallets. Made from engineered wood, or presswood, presswood pallets are very light, strong, and easy to move. However, they are damaged easier than their original wood counterparts.
  • Plywood pallets. Popular for light to medium weight shipping needs, plywood pallets are more resistant to moisture than engineered wood, but they do require more care than traditional wooden pallets.
  • Metal pallets. Metal pallets are popular because they are considerably stronger than wooden pallets. These pallets stand the test of time, do not degrade, are not susceptible to pets or water, and last a long time. However, when damaged, they cannot be repaired easily, and they tend to increase the cost of shipping since they weigh more than wood. They are popular though in the food industry since wooden pallets can contain bacteria.
  • Plastic pallets. Plastic pallets have many benefits: stable, strong, safe, lightweight, resistant to water, can be cleaned, last a long time, and have no nails. However, the drawbacks are simple but major: difficult to repair and non-recyclable, not to mention expensive.
  • Corrugated board pallets. The newest addition to the pallet material, corrugated board pallets are lightweight, recyclable, and easy to customize to odd-shaped loads. However, they are not meant for repeat use and deteriorate rapidly in weather conditions.

Pallets have made their way into homes as well for a variety of uses, such as in the garden or in home shops for storage. Furthermore, there are playgrounds made of mulch from recycled wooden pallets. With the variety available today in pallets, DAK Equipment & Engineering notes that you can find a pallet for any of your warehouse needs.

HOW DAK EQUIPMENT & ENGINEERING CAN HELP YOUR WAREHOUSE PLANNING

DAK Equipment & Engineering has taken pallets to the next level of service by offering pallet rack and storage solutions for your warehouse. By using our selective pallet racking, you can reach new heights in your warehouse (literally) by customizing your pallet racks by height, depth, bay length, and capacity. You can invest in our K3 Werks systems and pallet racking system to store more inventory, expand your operations, and rotate stock more easily.

DAK Equipment & Engineering helps companies all over the United States develops warehouse solutions to increase efficiencies, processes, and help automate their warehouse. Our professional warehouse consultants excel at saving space, reducing costs, and improving communication within the warehouse. From helping to implement warehouse order picking priorities to making your space more maneuverable for forklifts, DAK Equipment & Engineering can help you formulate and implement a plan to get you to where you want to be in the future. By partnering with us, your warehouse distribution and logistics can run smoothly every day of the year. Contact us today to get started!

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September 09, 2019

Want to Increase Warehouse Profits? Read This…

When you start a small business, you are usually just looking to survive. However, once everything is up and running, you want to do more than just survive — you want to thrive. DAK Equipment & Engineering can help your small business, whether it’s shipping and receiving, a hardware store, or a clothing store, thrive by offering you solutions for your warehouse that will improve your warehouse operations and optimize your warehouse logistics to eliminate wasted time. Keep reading below for tips on how to increase warehouse profits, and then contact us today to get started!

TIPS TO INCREASE WAREHOUSE PROFITS

Hire a warehouse consultant.

Sometimes you just need an outside perspective, especially if you are the business owner who is so close to the business, it’s hard to see it. DAK Equipment & Engineering has over 20 years of looking for inefficiencies in warehouses. We’ve innovated some of the best equipment and implemented ideas that have transformed warehouse operations, as our client testimonials indicate. We are experts in warehouse planning and design and can help you, whether you are looking to expand, you’re moving into a new building, or you just want your current warehouse to run in tip-top order. When you partner with us, we’ll first run an audit to see what you are doing now. Then we’ll form a strategy and plan and then collaborate to make your warehouse run how you envision.

Consider requiring appointments for delivery.

We’ve all been there when 10 people show up wanting to drop off goods. It usually degenerates into a chaotic mess, costing way too much time, as frantic searches for paperwork ensues and tempers flare. We here at DAK Equipment & Engineering understand that deliveries don’t always run on time. From the car accident on the freeway to the snow storm that blew in out of nowhere, shipping and receiving of goods can vary. However, one way to help prevent goods from just sitting around in your warehouse unopened and unprocessed is to schedule delivery appointments. This spreads out the deliveries, gives you time to process what has just arrived, and time to prepare for the next one.

DAK Equipment & Engineering recommends either blanket assigning vendors windows or assign recurring vendors the same window each day or week as needed. If you share a loading dock with another company, this is absolutely critical or you will constantly be running into each other. Furthermore, your staff should be trained on having the paperwork ready as well to speed up loading and unloading times. This should keep surprise deliveries down to a minimum

Implement ABC analysis for inventory items.

ABC analysis involves assigning items a letter, either A, B, or C, based on their importance in the supply chain. A items are sold the most and thus only account for 10-20% of the inventory since it’s frequently being sold. C items are sold the least and make up about half of the inventory items. B items fall in the middle. A items are recommended to be under tighter controls and monitoring since they generate the largest revenue. They should be tightly monitored, even with lock and key. The supplies of A items should be checked more frequently as well in order to keep sufficient supply on hand for orders. DAK Equipment & Engineering recognizes this may not be efficient for every business, depending on the number of products you offer, but it is worth investigating, especially if you are finding yourself constantly running out of your most popular items.

Picking order analysis.

In our last blog post, we talked about examining how you organize items on the shelves of your warehouse. Here, it’s important to analyze your picking order, or how you pull an item off the shelf for delivery. There are many types of warehouse picking orders you can implement as part of your warehouse logistics strategy (which DAK Equipment & Engineering can help you with), but suffice it to say for now that picking order affects how fast you fulfill customer orders, the accuracy of the order, and the time it takes for your staff to do so. We want to emphasize that improvements in your picking order methodology can drastically affect your supply chain productivity.

Money talks.

Warehouse operations are not easy. It takes a lot of manpower to run a warehouse successfully, even if you’ve invested in a good amount of warehouse automation. From fulfilling orders, unpacking products, picking and packing goods for reshipment, and fielding customer questions, your staff is busy. Offering incentives to encourage better workflow could go a long way to increasing your productivity, which increases your profits. Plus, creating goodwill amongst your employees by rewarding them on top of their pay is just good business sense. Your employee retention rate will increase, as will employee happiness in the workplace.

WHY DAK EQUIPMENT & ENGINEERING

DAK Equipment & Engineering is the best in the business when it comes to warehouse logistics, design, and operations. We offer warehouse consulting services in order to maximize your warehouse workings so you can continue to invest and grow. For over 20 years, we’ve been providing not only warehouse logistics design and services and racking inspection services, but we’ve also led the way in warehouse equipment needs, such as offering pallet flow racks, drive in pallet racking, double deep pallet racks, wire decks, and our very own K3 Werks for your warehouse storage needs. Contact us today to get started!

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