Warehouse Consultants

November 14, 2018

Green Warehouses: Why You Should Make Your Warehouse Environmentally Friendly

Since the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire in 1969, (and also the 12 times it caught fire previous to that date) there has been a great interest in environmentalism. In fact, the first Earth Day occurred the next year, and anyone who’s paying attention knows that it’s a good idea to do what they can to be a good steward of our resources during our short time on the planet. But that’s far from the only reason you should consider doing whatever you can to make your next warehouse a green warehouse…or retrofit your current one to make it more energy efficient.

The fact is, the reason to make your warehouse green goes well beyond protecting our rivers from catching on fire. So, the question remains…

 

Why Create a Green Warehouse?

The good thing about creating an environmentally friendly warehouse is that there’s not just one good reason to do so. Here are four very good reasons to consider switching major and minor components in a warehouse to ones that will save energy.

 

You’ll Experience Cost Savings

The number one reason that a warehouse chooses to go green has nothing to do with the earth and everything to do with the bottom line. While building an energy-efficient building such as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building might cost a little more at the beginning of a project, it ends up easily paying for itself with ease.

We’re not just talking about small savings, either. A little investment now can end up paying for itself exponentially. Even small investments now can reap huge benefits in the future. In some cases, the energy efficient decisions can pay for themselves in under a year.

 

It Can Improve Employee Health

When most people think about a warehouse being greener, they think about energy-saving measure. But a greener building can also be better for employee health. At first this might seem counterintuitive: A building that is more energy efficient means that it’s less likely to let certain chemicals out, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Doesn’t that mean that the employees will be trapped inside with them? The solution is simple: use materials that don’t use VOCs. This means a more energy-efficient building and it means that fewer employees will be going home with headaches…or worse.

Okay, so let’s say that you aren’t a people person and really don’t care about how your employees are feeling. Maybe you’re more concerned about them getting their work done. Well, the fact is that an employee who’s feeling good is more likely to show up for work. They’re not only going to feel better about being there, but they’re also less likely to call in sick. Once again, having a green warehouse is a win-win situation.

Public Perception

You’ve probably noticed that many LEED-certified buildings have a plaque in the most prominent place possible, whether it’s on the inside or outside of a building. Not only are many business owners proud to tell their employees about their devotion to energy conservation, but they’re also interested in telling the public. It’s simply good PR to let people know that a space is energy efficient, because the bulk of the population understands the importance of doing so.

Such good PR can go well beyond having a plaque at the building. A company’s devotion to environmental protection can also be a marketing bragging point, whether it’s on the website, at job fairs, or on flyers. It can also be huge in business-to-business transactions, because companies want to work with other companies who have a positive public environmental image.

 

It’s Earth-Friendly

When we say earth-friendly, we’re not talking about the soil-covered rock that we’re floating through space on. The earth has survived much bigger problems than humanity and recovers every time..

When we say earth-friendly, we’re talking about the way in which we want to leave the planet for our children, grandchildren, and beyond. Being more responsible with the energy you use in your warehouse can play a tiny part in making sure that your descendants don’t have to deal with decade-long droughts, water wars, and constant category 5 hurricanes.

 

DAK Is Ready To Make You More Efficient

Now that we’ve taken a look at why you might decide to invest in a green warehouse, you’re probably wondering how you might make your warehouse — whether you’re building from scratch or retrofitting your old one — more energy efficient. That’s what we’ll be discussing in our next blog. If you can’t wait to find out, we’d love to talk with you about your green warehouse aspirations. Read more about it right here, then contact us to start talking about how you can save money and look better in the public eye by going green. When you think about it, there’s really no reason not to do so. DAK Equipment and Engineering is ready to help you get the most from your warehouse, so get in touch with us right here.

 

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November 06, 2018

The Importance Of Signage As Part of Warehouse Optimization

When most people think about warehouse optimization, they think about the way that the pallet racks are assembled in order to make the absolute most of the space. While warehouse layout optimization is a huge part of making a warehouse more efficient, it’s not the only way that you can make sure that people are moving about it effectively and safely.

Signage is a big part of any warehouse. And it’s not just about ensuring that everyone knows where each pallet is — it can sometimes be a legal requirement that you don’t want to ignore. Let’s take a look at how signage can be a big part of your warehouse design and how it can also keep your employees safe and happy.

 

Pallet Identification

Knowing where everything is in a warehouse is the only way to make sure that you can find exactly what you need at a moment’s notice. And even if you know where a particular pallet is, you still need to relay that information to someone who will actually go out and get it with a forklift.

Pallet identification signs should be large enough for anyone to see from a reasonable distance, because it’s important to remember that not everyone’s eyesight is 20/20. They should be in an easy-to-read font and readable from an angle (because that’s the way that most of them will be viewed). Rows and columns should both be easily readable, because there will always be a new employee who has no idea where even the most commonly used pallet is on their first day.

 

Directional Signage

Some types of signs won’t be on the pallets but are equally helpful in helping employees navigate a warehouse. Right-of-way signs are an important part, as are signs that let forklift operators know which direction the flow goes in order to keep them out of the way of other forklifts.

Of course, there are also basic directional signs to deal with. Everyone needs to know where the bathrooms are, as well which way the in-warehouse modular offices are. Good directional signs can simply help with warehouse efficiency.

Safety Signage

There are so many good reasons to keep your employees safe. First of all, it’s simply the right thing to do, and you don’t want to lose a friend due to the lack of workplace signs around the warehouse. But it’s also important for your business, because you don’t want to lose an experienced employee. You also don’t want to have to deal with a lawsuit, and you certainly don’t want OSHA breathing down your neck because you forgot to put up the right safety signage.

Here are some of the most important signs you need to be sure to keep around your warehouse, whether they’re on your pallet racks or not.

  • Exit Signs – These are a no-brainer and are certainly a legal requirement. Make sure you have your exit signs properly wired and batteried in order to ensure they can be seen no matter the environment.
  • Balers – OSHA is definitely going to require proper signage on your cardboard balers, as well as any other heavy machinery that has the ability to seriously hurt an employee. Always make sure to keep the safety signage on these pieces of equipment clean and easily visible.
  • Speed LimitsIt can get pretty crazy in warehouses, especially when there’s a shipping deadline or when a major shopping holiday is coming up. Forklifts have the ability to go fast, much faster than they should go in a warehouse. Keeping the safe speed limit posted is a good way to remind employees of how they should drive.
  • No Pedestrians Sometimes there are areas that should simply be off-limits to pedestrians when there are forklifts are around. While guardrails can be a good way to delineate exactly where pedestrians are welcome (and protect them from materials handling systems as well), signs can also remind warehouse employees where they shouldn’t go. These areas will be even more important as warehouses start adopting robots into the workforce.
  • Loading Dock and Mezzanine Deck Drop-offsNearly every warehouse has some sort of drop-off that has to be avoided. The most common are fall dangers at loading docks, but mezzanine levels and multi-level pick-and-pack racks can also be dangerous places if proper signage isn’t posted. (Of course, properly installed and inspected gate locking mechanisms are another important aspect of this.)
  • Industrial Conveyor SystemsConveyor systems can be an excellent way of making your business more efficient. But whenever you introduce a mechanical system near people’s hands, there will be a danger. Proper signage can be a constant reminder of pinch hazards.
  • Business-Specific RemindersSometimes you might have to have custom signs made that are specific to your particular business. Perhaps you have quality control station that shouldn’t be touched by anyone but trained personnel. A sign made specifically to address this safety concern and keep untrained people away from it is a must.

 

Make Your Warehouse As Easy To Navigate As Possible

The longer you’re in a warehouse, the more you get accustomed to where everything is. But it’s always important to remember that employee turnover means that there will often be someone new in the warehouse, someone who might not know where B13 is or even where the bathroom is! Be sure to make it easier on them and keep them safe with proper signage.

When you go with DAK Equipment and Engineering, we’ll make sure that the industrial pallet racks are properly installed — and labeled — in order to make your warehouse as efficient as possible. Contact us today to get the most out of your warehouse.

 

 

 

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September 03, 2018

3 Reasons To Call a Pro For Warehouse Optimization

If you check online, there’s lots of information about warehouse optimization. There’s “Top 10 Warehouse Space Optimization Tips” and “Top 50 Ways To Improve Your Small Warehouse Optimization.” There’s even a page on Pinterest about warehouse optimization. Pinterest!

Of course, that information is online and has to be taken with a grain of salt. (Pinterest might be a way to get ideas for organizing a garage, but we wouldn’t trust it millions of dollars of inventory.) The problem with so much of that information is that different articles contradict each other. Plus those are all just general warehouse management and organization tips; they might not work in your specific space. (That’s one reason we so seldom give generalized warehouse layout optimization advice.)

If you’ve already taken all the advice the internet has to offer and only improved your warehouse organization an insignificant amount, it might be time to call in a pallet rack organization expert. What can we offer that others can?

 

We Know The Racking Systems

We work in new pallet racking systems. We work in used racking equipment as well. We deal with warehouse solutions every day, from general wire racks to push back racking to drive in racking and everything in between. We’ve put new racks into old warehouses and used racks into new warehouses.

We say this for one simple reason: we know industrial pallet racks and shelving systems. We can identify what you have and what the best upgrades are if needed, ones that can save you space and time. Since we deal with pallet racks and other warehouse optimization all the time, we know about options that you might have never even heard about. Of course, we can also tell you how moving your racks could improve the efficiency of your warehouse even if you don’t upgrade.

 

We’ve Seen What Works (and What Doesn’t)

As we mentioned above, it can be nearly impossible to make suggestions to warehouse layout without actually seeing the property and working with blueprints (or working with measurements). Most people online will make suggestions based on what worked for their warehouse, and the chances it will work for yours are pretty small.

Because we’ve worked with so many warehouses in order to make sure they’re as efficient as possible, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t in just about every type of space imaginable. We know how different systems integrate well together and which ones just get in each other’s way. If you suggest something that we’ve seen work in another place, we can verify that it’s a good idea for you. If we’ve seen that fail in another location, we can tell you why it won’t work…all because we’ve seen it with our own eyes due to the experience we bring to the table.

We Know The Questions To Ask

One of the biggest reasons that people push back against professional warehouse organization is because they believe they know their space better than anyone. They know the workings of the warehouse and have worked hard to make it run as efficiently as possible.

And you know what? In many ways, they’re right. Working in a warehouse every day certainly gives someone a feeling about how things run most efficiently. But because of the first two reasons we talked about up above, warehouse managers are often not aware that there are other excellent options available to them.

When you bring us in as your warehouse optimization experts, we’re not just going to try to force everything on you. We need information from the people (like you) who work in the warehouse every day, and we know the question to ask about the ways that things are working efficiently and the way in which they are not. By asking these questions, it can bring to light problems that no one has seen before. “Why is <blank> done in this way? Is there a reason for it?” If there is a good reason, then we can incorporate it into our warehouse space optimization suggestions. If not, we’ll see if it can be changed or eliminated.

 

Let’s Get You Optimized

We don’t have to tell you that every warehouse is different. At first it might seem like getting the most from you industrial racking system would be easy by simply looking at others in your industry. But slight variances in square footage and door placement in warehouses can make a big difference when it comes to proper storage racking placement. That doesn’t even take into account the type of forklift you’re using, the material handling system you will need, and any other specialty structures you have in your warehouse such as module offices.

We know how important it is to keep control of your warehouse, and we’re not going to wrest the control from you. When you hire expert warehouse optimization experts, we’ll work with you to ensure that you’re making the most of your space. To get the process started or to ask questions, contact us today!

 

 

 

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