Chicago Industrial Shelves

January 03, 2019

4 New Year’s Resolutions To Make Regarding Your Warehouse and Pallet Racks

While there’s nothing technically special about New Year’s Day— it simply means that we’ve gone around the sun one more time — it does give us a chance to reflect on the previous year and what we might want to change in the new year. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your warehouse? Is anything going to change with your pallet racks in the coming year, or will everything look the same when 2020 rolls around? Here are some suggestions about what resolutions you might want to consider now that it’s January.

 

Keep It Clean

Warehouses tend to be busy places. Everyone always seems to be in a hurry, especially at the end of the day when inventory just has to be shipped out. Because of that, people often leave behind a mess. The most common is the cellophane wrapping that keeps boxes together on pallets, but sometimes it’s the boxes or the pallets themselves that just get left behind.

It can be easy to think “it’s not a big deal. Warehouses are pretty industrial, so a little mess isn’t a big deal.” The problem is that little messes can turn into big messes if you don’t enforce the idea of employees cleaning after themselves. One loose ball of cellophane in the corner can be joined by many others. That wrapping is then joined by broken-down boxes that people didn’t want to take to the baler, followed by un-broken down boxes in a heap. After that comes the discarded soda cups and broken box cutters. Before you know it, the trash corner has become the trash aisle, and nothing’s coming down from or going up onto your pallet rack system until it’s all cleaned up.

Of course, even small trash piles can cause problems. In most cases, a forklift driver is going to see if he can drive around it instead of getting out of their seat and moving the trash that’s in the way. As they’re trying to navigate the messy aisle, they are much more likely to get too close to the pallet rack shelving itself, and that can cause a big, big problem if there’s a collapse. Instead of inviting such a calamity, make a resolution to insist that everything is cleaned up by the end of the day.

And speaking of collapsing storage racking…

 

Consider Additional Safety Gear

Not every pallet rack has the protection it needs. The initial buyer might not have had the good sense to purchase it in the first place, or, if you bought it used, the safety gear might not have transferred with it.

This year, resolve to make sure all of your pallet racks — and the warehouse itself — have the proper safety gear. Pallet rack protection includes end-of-aisle and in-aisle protectors to help prevent collapse and to sacrifice themselves to the forklifts in order to save the industrial racking itself. If you need netting or mesh to keep tippy and precarious pallets from crashing to the floor, we can help with that too.

When it comes to the warehouse, take a look around to see if there are any areas that are under-guarded. Will you suffer a catastrophic loss if a forklift hits the sprinkler system? Consider getting sprinkler head guard cages. Are pedestrians in your warehouse almost getting hit by the forklifts? Designate walking areas with guard rails, especially outside any modular office that people might step out of before looking both ways. If you’ve had some close calls at the loading docks, keep your employees safe by installing loading dock gates.

If you’re the warehouse manager, it falls to you to make sure that the right safety equipment is in place to protect your employees and the inventory. Of course, one of the important resolutions you can make is to…

 

Get Pallet Rack Inspection Performed

Pallet racks are made from huge, heavy, strong pieces of metal that are meant to hold up to a specific load and withstand a certain amount of punishment. Unfortunately, they’re also huge, heavy, strong pieces of metal that can fall and kill a warehouse worker.

There are many reasons that industrial pallet racking might need to be inspected to make sure it’s withstanding the damage it might be subjected to. Sometimes too much weight was put on it, or an earthquake caused it to warp. But by far the most common reason that they can fail is due to hits from forklifts. Even the best forklift operators have hit industrial shelves at least once, and many of them will fail to tell you that it happened.

Since there’s probably damage you don’t know about, it’s important to get yearly racking inspection performed on your pallet racks by trained experts. This will not only protect the racking system itself but will also protect your inventory. Most important of all, it will protect your employees.

 

Rethink Your Pallet Racks

How are your pallet racks working out for you? If they’re absolutely perfect in every way, you can skip this section. But most warehouse managers aren’t happy with the way that every shelf is working. Maybe it’s all wire racking and the warehouse could really use some drive-in pallet racking. Or perhaps the focus of the company has pivoted and a few standard racks could go away in lieu of pallet flow racks and some conveyor systems.

If your pallet racks are making your warehouse more efficient, maybe 2019 is the year to get the racking solutions you really need. Remember, time is money, and if the current pallet racks are slowing you down then it could be much more cost effective to replace them with new ones.

 

Resolve To Improve Your Warehouse

Here at DAK Equipment and Engineering, our articles are all about making your warehouse a safer and more efficient place to work. There’s no better time than the New Year to make it happen, so we hope you’ll give us a call if you need new racking, pallet racking, or improved warehouse layout design. We hope to work with you soon!

 

 

 

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July 05, 2018

How Warehouse Optimization and Pallet Rack Shelving Can Help Optimize Multiple Warehouses

 

Here at DAK Equipment and Engineering, we supply pallet racking systems and other types of industrial storage racks to a huge variety of businesses. Some are businesses that have been around for decades and are replacing old, worn out storage racking. Others are up-and-comers in the retail field, growing and growing as their product takes off. Either way, we’re here to help them with their warehouse optimization, whether they have one or a dozen.

As businesses grow from back room to storage unit to small warehouse to large warehouse to multiple warehouses, their needs for pallet rack systems change as well. Each change brings with it challenges, but it also brings the opportunity to make everything much more efficient. Let’s take a look at some steps that can be taken to optimize spaces, especially when multiple warehouses are involved.

 

Reset Your Inventory and Purge

When your business is growing, it can be tempting to just focus on growth. But growth is often kept in check by “ghosts” of the past, the things that are keeping a company down. This could be a person who’s tied to the past and just can’t accept change, or maybe it’s an idea that worked well when the company was small but now is keeping growth in check. Another aspect of a business that should be addressed is inventory that just keeps getting in the way every time you turn around.

When growing from one warehouse into two (or more), it can be tempting to think “we have all this extra space, let’s keep everything!” But that inventory isn’t just taking up space; it might also be a tax liability. Moving it along, even at a loss, could end up being the right choice in the long run. It’s certainly going to take some weight off your warehouse supervisor’s mind, and once it’s gone they’ll never have to worry about moving it around ever again.

 

Implement The New Inventory System

The time before expansion into another warehouse can be an excellent time to implement a new inventory system. That’s because now is the time you’ll have the least amount of inventory, and waiting until after the new warehouse is up and running just means more and more inventory under the old system. And the more inventory you have, the less likely you are to ever get around to implement a better system.

There’s no doubt that it takes planning to get a new warehouse management system up and running. But implementing while the new warehouse is being built ensures that the new inventory will match what you already have.

 

Standardize Sizes and Systems

Pallet racking systems are getting better all the time. There are more options than ever, from wire decking to drive-in pallet racks to cantilever storage racks, and they’re more robust and safe than ever before. At DAK, we have the most innovative systems around.

You already know you can work with you old pallet rack system, but is it really as efficient as it could be? If you’re getting a better system in the new warehouse, now might be the time to consider swapping out your old pallet rack systems to match the new ones you’ll have installed. Standardizing ensures that everything will work well together.

But wait, what about your old storage racking? There’s actually quite a market for used racking systems, and we can help you sell it via The Used Rack Warehouse.

 

You Might Not Even Need The New Warehouse

Look, we’re interested in selling you dozens of new pallet racks for your next warehouse. But sometimes we actually prevent that with another service we offer: warehouse layout optimization.

Warehouse optimization means making the most of your existing warehouse space. Most warehouses have an incredible amount of wasted space, and we’re in the business of space optimization that allows some businesses to cancel that new warehouse construction. It might mean utilizing existing industrial shelves more efficiently, or it could be replacing the current pallet rack system with one that’s exponentially more efficient. Either way, it could prevent the need for an additional warehouse.

 

Contact DAK Today!

Whether you need brand new pallet racks or are curious just how much space you can squeeze out of your current warehouse, DAK Equipment and Engineering is there to help you make the most of your warehouse(s). Contact our warehouse consultants today!

 

 

 

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March 28, 2018

When Your Warehouse Should Consider Upgrading Its Pallet Rack System

We get it. Deciding to upgrade the pallet rack system in your warehouse is a big step to take. Industrial shelves and racking are imperative to a business, but they’re not exactly cheap. And while there’s no doubt that we offer affordable options, it’s usually a purchase that has to be budgeted for and planned well in advance.

Because industrial shelving units are so important, you need to stay on top of their maintenance and the amount of space they’re providing you in your warehouse. But when is the proper time to start investigating the next step in warehouse optimization? Here are a few situations that might occur that can let you know it’s time to consider an upgrade in your industrial shelving units.

 

Inspections Are Not Going Well

We recently discussed the reasons that you should have your warehouse systems periodically inspected, whether you have static pallet rack shelving or complex material handling systems. While it can be pretty obvious when conveyor belts are in need of repair, it’s just as important that you have your storage racking inspected by a professional to ensure that your employees and your stock is kept safe. Industrial storage racks are under a lot of pressure from the products they hold, and they’re also the part of a warehouse most-commonly hit by forklifts.

If you’ve had an inspector’s report come back with less-than-stellar reviews of your pallet system, it might be a good time to consider replacing the racks that are in the worst shape. If the report says that 80-percent of your racks are in good shape, you’ll still want to consider replacing the 20-percent that have failed inspections.

 

They Require More and More Repair

Because of forklift damage and the force of gravity, industrial warehouse shelving can reach the end of its usable life. Some will suffer more wear and tear than others, such as the corner units that are most likely to get clipped by moving warehouse equipment.

In many cases, it’s a good idea to get these shelving units repaired. We can repair sections of it for half the cost and in about a third of the time as a full replacement. But there comes a time when repairs are happening too often and getting in the way of productivity. At that point, it might be a better idea to simply replace the entire pallet rack and start from scratch.

 

You’re Running Out of Space

This is perhaps the most obvious answer to the question “when should I purchase new industrial shelving units for the warehouse?” But the options you have might surprise you:

  • When You Have Extra Room In Your Current Warehouse – Sometimes a warehouse is only partially filled with pallet racks. Perhaps the company decided to expand the number of pallets as business grew, starting with a few pallet rack shelves and expanding as necessary. We can help fill out that space with additional racks and make the most of the space.
  • When You Don’t Know You Have Extra Room In Your Warehouse – Many times there is extra space in a warehouse that’s going unused. Sometimes that space is simply vertical; taller storage racking can lead to more space being used. Other times the unused space is found on each shelf if the standard pallets aren’t filling the space efficiently. That’s where warehouse layout optimization comes in, which includes space-saving measures and slotting analysis. We can take a look at your current racks and suggest the most efficient way of using the space, finding you industrial storage racks that are so space-saving that you might be able to avoid the costs of building an additional warehouse.
  • When You Are Building a New Warehouse – Of course, there are times when a warehouse has reached its peak capacity and building another is inevitable. When that happens, be sure to get it off to a good start with a survey or your proposed space. We’ll propose a warehouse layout design that makes the best use of warehouse space and the traffic that it sees.

Your Productivity Is Slowing Down

Warehouse industrial shelving units can play a bigger part in the productivity of your business than you might think. Inefficient design of the units can make them slower to stock, or closed off portions of it can make getting a single pallet a 20-minute job as pallets crammed in front of the one you want to access have to be moved and restacked.

Additionally, poor warehouse layout design can prevent efficient use of forklifts and other loading equipment. If your business is ramping up and you’re moving more product, that’s great!…until your forklift operators start getting in each other’s way and warehouse employees on foot are put in greater danger.

This is the link to click on if your efficiency is going down and tempers start to run high in the warehouse. It details the many ways that Dak Equipment and Engineering can make your warehouse much more efficient than it currently is.

 

Buy Before The Prices Go Up

As we discussed in this article, steel prices are up considerably since the first of the year. And with recent tariffs that have been imposed on steel imports from China and Japan, it looks like prices are going to keep going up for the foreseeable future.

So when the subject comes up that we posed in the title of this article —”When Your Warehouse Should Consider Upgrading Its Pallet Rack System” — the best suggestion might simply be right now. Waiting much longer to upgrade or expand your warehouse storage solutions could lead to a situation in which you’re getting the same product for more money; why not avoid the price increase altogether and get ahead of the curve?

 

Let’s Start the Conversation

If you know that new pallet rack shelving is in your future, we’d love to talk with you about it. We can deliver and assemble the most efficient industrial shelving units out there to help your business run as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to get the conversation started.

 

 

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