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April 15, 2019

Why You Should Get Professional Installation With Your Pallet Rack System

Once you decide on which pallet rack system you need — whether it’s our proprietary K3 Werks racks or one of the many fine pallet rack manufacturers we offer — there’s another very important step that you can’t forget about: installation. After all, pallet racks that arrive at your doorstep aren’t at all useful until they’re erected, so it’s very important that you choose the right pallet rack installation experts.

At DAK Equipment & Engineering, we’re not just about selling you the industrial shelving that you need. In fact, we’re there for you both before and after the sale, ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your warehouse. Whether you have standard pallet racks, push-back racking, pallet flow racks, or some combination, we’re here to help.

So, why trust DAK when it comes to pallet rack installation?

We Know the Racking Hardware

First of all, there’s no one in the Midwest who knows industrial shelving and racking better than us. For over twenty years we have been serving the midwest by providing pallet rack systems that endure. We’ve seen a lot happen in that time — especially around steel prices — and have seen shelving systems come and go.

When you choose DAK, you’ll be working with a company that has seen it all. We’ve worked with small warehouses in the middle of the city and huge warehouses at the edge of small towns. DAK has provided simple pallet racks and complex industrial conveyor systems to companies of every size. Because we’ve provided such a variety of equipment, we’re sure to be able to work with you to determine exactly what you need. In fact, we might be able to come up with solutions you’ve never heard of, racking that might save you money and space.

Equipment Is Only As Good As the Installation

When you’re spending so much money on industrial pallet racks, you want them to last. Unfortunately, even the best pallet racking can cause problems if it’s not installed properly. Racking that is put up wrong can twist and bend in ways it shouldn’t, potentially causing collapse. Here’s what you need to protect:

  • The Racks Themselves – DAK might have good prices on storage racking systems, but they’re still not cheap! If a pallet rack twists and bends, it might not be repairable you and could be out the cost of new racking.
  • Your Inventory – You’re purchasing industrial storage racks for a reason, and the most common reason is to store inventory. If a rack collapses, you could lose many thousands of dollars in inventory.
  • Your Warehouse Equipment – It’s not just the racks and the inventory you have to worry about, but any equipment that’s under them at the time. This includes conveyor systems, material handling systems, forklifts, and any modular offices or mezzanines that might be connected or standing nearby.
  • Employee Dangers – Of course, the cost of racking and inventory is nothing compared to the dangers employees are put in. When you invest in proper pallet rack installation, you’ll be doing the right thing by ensuring your employees have a safe place to work.

Find the best pallet rack systems available

Include A Warehouse Strategy Plan

When you work with DAK Equipment & Engineering, you’re not just buying pallet racks from a wholesale supplier. You’re getting experts in the field who can help your company with every step of your industrial shelving situation.

“Every step” includes helping you with your warehouse strategy planning. While warehouses might seem like simple parts of the supply chain, they’re much more complex and have more options than most people realize. When you work with our warehouse strategy planners, you’ll be introduced to the latest and greatest options in warehouse organization and optimization. We can help you make the most of your space, no matter how big or how small. Read more about strategic planning for your warehouse right here.

Moving Is Just As Important

It’s not just new pallet racks that we install. Sometimes we will take care of the dismantlement and relocation of industrial racking systems. As we discussed in this blog, there are a few reasons why a company might decide to move their storage racking.

  • Redesign – Having a warehouse strategy plan is incredibly important when it comes to improving the efficiency of your space. Getting a more efficient warehouse layout design can prevent the need to build additional warehouses.
  • Moving – Sometimes the pallet racks are fine but the warehouse is falling down around it. Perhaps the building is old or flooded, and the racks have to be moved to a new location.
  • Getting a New Floor – Whether the floor is cracked and crumbling or it just needs a new coat of epoxy in order to make spills easier to clean up, we can dismantle the pallet racks, store them, and then reassemble them as needed.
  • Replacement – Of course, sometimes the moving being done is “out the door.” If your old racks are still in good working order as you replace them, we can help you sell them and install the new ones as well.

Don’t Forget the Pallet Rack Inspections

Once you have us install your pallet racks in your warehouse, it’s important to have them inspected often. This can help prevent them from suffering catastrophic collapse.

Why do industrial pallet racks need to be inspected? Sometimes it’s due to earthquakes, and other times because the pallet rack itself had a flaw. But the most common reason that pallet racks fail is due to forklifts hitting them. Unfortunately, not every forklift hit gets reported, and if the damage is left unreported it can get worse and worse under the weight of the inventory. Our expert preventive maintenance inspectors can make sure that any problems with the racking is addressed and repaired — or replaced — quickly.

Ready To Get Professional Pallet Rack Installation?

DAK Equipment & Engineering is here for you every step of the way when you’re looking for any type of warehouse racking. We can offer you options you may never have considered, help you plan your warehouse around them, install them, and inspect them after the fact. If you’re ready for one-stop rack system shopping, contact us today!

 

 

 

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April 02, 2019

5 Big Mistakes That Warehouses End Up Making

You won’t be surprised to know that, as one of Illinois’ and Wisconsin’s largest suppliers of warehouse racking systems, we’ve been in a lot of warehouses and performed quite a lot of consultation regarding the best possible layouts for facilities. And since we spend so much time with warehouse managers, we also hear them talking about the problems they have to deal with. Sometimes we can fix these problems with the right industrial racking system, and other times they just need to vent about the problems they’re having!

Today we’re going to talk about some of the most common problems affecting warehouses, those mistakes that keep getting made again and again. Read on to find out more, then be sure to contact DAK Equipment and Engineering to find out if we can fix them for you.

 

Mistake 1: Sticking With Paper

There’s a very good reason that all of the most efficient warehouses have completely — or nearly completely — done away with paper. Yes, taking inventory on paper documents had its time, but that’s when there wasn’t an alternative. Many warehouse managers became wary of early computerized warehouse inventory systems, and they had good reason to with the unreliable computers of the time. Even though the time of unreliable warehouse inventory systems has passed, the fear remains. Every warehouse should be keeping track of the inventory electronically, even if it’s not the fanciest system with robots and drones.

Can DAK Help?: DAK has our finger on the pulse of warehouse planning. While we might not make the software to improve the efficiency of your warehouse, we do needs assessment and operational analysis that can help you make the right decisions and improve warehouse operations.

 

Mistake 2: Letting The Warehouse Get Messy

Just letting the place get messy can lead to a surprising drop in efficiency. If a forklift operator has to get off the seat in order to move some discarded shrinkwrap out of the way, or if the morning shift has to clear away the empty boxes of the night shift, it’s going to lead to production slowdown (not to mention fostering negative “us vs. them” feelings between the shifts). It’s also a good idea to keep the dust and dirt under control so that the warehouse isn’t leading to lung problems in employees.

Can DAK Help?: The mesh nature of our wire decking allows dust and dirt from above to fall to the ground below, where it’s easier to sweep away. During our design of your warehouse, we can make sure to include cleaning stations and proper space for storage/organization. We’ve also provided this article that details the biggest cleaning problems around the warehouse and how to address them.

 

 

Mistake 3: Failure To Optimize Warehouse Layout

If you brought a typical person into a warehouse and showed them the industrial shelves and racks, they probably wouldn’t be terribly impressed. To them, it’s just a bunch of interlocking steel pieces holding boxes. But in truth, the layout of a warehouse is (or at least should be) thought through intensely so that the most is being made of the space. Failure to do so can lead to inefficient traffic flow and slowed productivity.

Some of the optimization can be improved by simply putting the right inventory in the right place. Slow moving inventory can be regulated to the back corner (or sold at cost in order to make room for something that will sell). The biggest sellers should have the shortest path from truck to pallet rack to picking/packing stations, or to carton flow racks directly. Switching to a warehouse inventory software can also help you recognize patterns and traffic flow so that you can optimize the location of your inventory.

Can DAK Help?: This is a subject that’s near and dear to us, as it’s one of our primary services here at DAK. We are experts at warehouse planning and strategy, ensuring that every aspect of the warehouse — from pallet racks to industrial lockers to conveyor systems — all work together to optimize traffic patterns and make your warehouse as efficient as possible.

 

Mistake 4: Skipping Physical Inventory

There are a few reasons why a warehouse manager might want to skip inventory. It’s possible they think that it’s simply a waste of time, and that the amount of time it takes to do inventory can’t justify the few discrepancies that are found. Other times they’re simply afraid of the problems they might find and how that might reflect poorly on them.

Doing physical inventory is vitally important to warehouses. Inventory can identify a host of problems, from employee theft to software problems to improper employee logging techniques. Not having the inventory you think you have on stock can be embarrassing, especially if you’ve already sold it to a customer and have nothing to deliver.

Can DAK Help?: While we don’t perform inventory for warehouses, DAK offers an inventory survey service. Once your inventory is in order, we can take a look at your inventory and the way it is organized. This includes the turnover rate from inbound shipping to customer shipping, as well as how your inventory is distributed throughout the warehouse. Click that link to find out more about this invaluable service.

 

Mistake 5: Keeping Inventory That Doesn’t Move

If you have had professional warehouse space optimization performed and you still don’t feel you have enough space, you might think it’s time to build a new warehouse…and you might be right. If that’s the best next step for your business, then DAK will be there to provide your next pallet rack system.

But too many warehouse managers ignore an easy option: inventory reduction. Yes, we know that what-to-keep and what-to-get-rid-of is seldom up to anyone working in the warehouse, but they can be the catalyst for moving unneeded stuff along. Making a list of product that’s been wallowing in the warehouse for too long is the first step to convincing the decision makers that inventory sold at a loss will at least make room for inventory that will actually sell.

Can DAK Help?:  If you absolutely must keep the inventory but haven’t had warehouse layout optimization performed, DAK can certainly find you some more space. And if the decision is made to build a new warehouse, we’d be happy to outfit it with any needed pallet racks and conveyor systems.

 

Ready To Become More Efficient?

Avoiding mistakes is one of the easiest ways to become more efficient, and the professionals at DAK Equipment and Engineering are ready to provide the services that will make your warehouse run as smoothly as possible. Click those links above to see how we’ll be your partners in warehouse efficiency.

 

 

 

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March 30, 2019

Simple Tips From Warehouse Optimization Consultants

Whether you’re building a new warehouse or retrofitting an old one, you don’t want to let the opportunity pass you by when it comes to warehouse optimization. After all, there’s never a better time to increase your amount of usable space than when the warehouse is empty and you can start from scratch.

Some warehouse managers don’t spend enough time planning out their warehouse space when they begin the process. After all, they might move into a new warehouse and have more than enough space, with half of it going to pallet racks and the other half used for picking and packing or modular offices. But when the pallet racks aren’t optimized from the beginning, it doesn’t leave enough room for growth in the future. While those racks can be removed and relocated, it just makes more sense to make sure the storage racking are in the right place from the get-go to accommodate expansion in the future.

Until you contact us, we don’t know what the dimensions of your warehouse are or what other types of functions it has to perform. This article isn’t so much about telling you how to arrange your warehouse as it is to prepare you for some of the suggestions we might make when you meet with our warehouse optimization consultants. Some of these suggestions might seem counter-intuitive, but they are very helpful in many warehouse spaces. Here are a few things we might be talking with you about when you’re interested in warehouse space optimization.

 

The Most Obvious Layout Might Not Be The Best

One of the primary reasons to contact warehouse optimization consultants is due to one simple fact: The most obvious layout might not be the best. Whether the space is simple or complex, what might seem like the best layout seldom is.

Even looking at the blueprints isn’t enough for most people. Overhead views are nice, but just because the racking will fit doesn’t mean that it’s taking the traffic patterns into account. It’s important to consider everything your warehouse does — from receiving to storage to delivery to picking stations to shipping — to ensure that it’s all as efficient as possible. The software we use ensures that we’re helping you get the most storage out of your warehouse while also keeping necessary activity flowing as efficiently as possible.

Avoid Racking Against the Walls

Most of us have been taught from an early age that storage goes up against the wall; you only have to look to home bookcases to see where this idea comes from. Keeping items against the walls ensures that they won’t fall over, and that they’re less likely to be tripped over. When was the last time you saw a home bookcase out in the middle of the floor (unless it was a rotating bookcase, of course).

But “up against the wall” isn’t always the best options when it comes to pallet racks. This layout creates single-deep storage, and the inventory can only be reached from one side. Walls can be used for other purposes in a warehouse, while most pallet racks are better out on the floor where they can be accessed from both sides. (For a good example of this, think about bulk stores like Costco. While there might be a huge number of industrial shelving units out in the middle of the store, the walls are often used for freezers, meat stations, kiosks, or oversize-item storage.)

 

Keep Your Pallet Racks Oriented in One Direction

In a traditional rectangular warehouse, it’s nearly always more efficient to have all of the pallet racks going in the same direction. In nearly every case, this allows for more efficient traffic patterns for forklifts.

Are there exceptions to this? Certainly, especially if your warehouse is of an odd shape. Some warehouses have had additions constructed over the years, and the flow of traffic might simply make more sense when moving into this different space. It’s also possible that having a variety of shelving units — pallet racks and push-back racking and cantilever racking and carton flow racks — could dictate the need for a change of direction.

And speaking of the direction to orient racking systems…

 

Don’t Orient Racks Along Shorter Walls

This might sound strange, but it’s true: Orienting the rows along the shorter perimeter wastes space. In fact, we have maps and diagrams and math to back us up on this. While it might not be a lot of space that it wastes, this lost space can be a big deal when you have to decide whether or not to build a new warehouse. Laying out the rows along the length of your warehouse just makes more space sense in most situations.

 

Safety First

One of the main reasons to hire warehouse optimization consultants is to ensure the safety of your employees. Yes, you want your warehouse to be as efficient as possible, but sometimes doing what’s best for the inventory might not be what’s best for forklift drivers and pedestrians.

Most warehouses don’t experience the same traffic conditions at all times. Sometimes forklift traffic dominates, other times it’s foot traffic. If you design you pallet rack layout around the traffic of a Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. but haven’t considered the rush times of Friday at 3:30, you might run into trouble…literally.

 

What’s the Most Efficient Pallet Layout?

Like we said at the beginning of this article, we won’t know what’s best for your warehouse until you contact us and tell us what space you’re interested in redesigning. Sometimes the rules above have to be broken in order to accommodate the space. For instance, there will be instances where a rack against the wall makes some sense, or entrance points might dictate that rows should be parallel to the shorter walls.

The only way to really make sure you’re making the best of your facility layout is to contact the warehouse optimization consultants at DAK Equipment and Engineering. We look forward to helping you get the most from your facility.

 

 

 

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