Unless you look carefully at the logistics of your operation and assess what best suits your needs, you could find that your investment proves to be a waste of time and money.
Indeed, if you invest in the wrong type of pallet racking for your business, it could have a detrimental effect, by slowing down or hampering the smooth-running of your warehouse.
Getting the storage solution right and investing in the correct pallet racking can make the difference between a seamless and efficient warehouse operation and one that works against your business workflow. Experts in warehouse storage solutions can assess which pallet racking best suits each environment.
Here are ten key things to consider before you take that all-important step and invest in pallet racking.
1. What is your budget?
This should be the first step with any business decision. It is essential to allocate sufficient funds to your pallet racking investment. You should also bear in mind that the cheapest is not necessarily the best option. Low cost racking may not be versatile and adaptable enough to expand and change, as your operational needs changes. You may soon find yourself having to start again with a new solution, so losing your original saving.
2. What does the racking need to do?
There are many different types of pallet racking, to serve multiple functions. Therefore, it is essential to first define your purpose and pick a solution that meets your needs. What do you want your racking to do? What type of goods will be stored? How often will you need to access the goods? All this information needs to be gathered and collated before any solution is proposed.
3. What is the floor plan and layout of your warehouse?
Warehouses come in many shapes and sizes, with varying footprint. It is important to map the area, with accurate dimensions, as well as access points, doors and windows clearly marked.
At this stage, it is advisable to call on the services of a warehouse solution specialist, as they will be able to assess not only the best type of racking to use, but how best to fit the warehouse to maximise workflow and functionality.
4. How high is your warehouse?
Don’t restrict yourself to looking at the floorplan, but taking into account the vertical space.
Warehouse solution specialists always think and work in 3D – that is, they look at both the floor plan and the height, and they then devise a racking system which makes the best use of all the space available.
In some cases, by making full use of the height of a warehouse – even up to 40metres – you could double your storage capacity. However, do factor in other associated costs, such as a warehouse crane and lifting equipment.
5. What access do you need?
If you store goods that need to be accessed frequently, you must factor this in when selecting your pallet racking solution. If you need occasional access you may find a different solution suits you better than if you need frequent access.
It is not uncommon, in our experience, to come across businesses which struggle with their storage because they fail to take account of how frequently they need to access the stock.
6. Think about safety
In any working environment health and safety is an important consideration, and none more so than in warehousing. Warehouses can be busy and potentially dangerous places, with people, vehicles and large goods and items all being moved around simultaneously.
It is important to ensure not only that the pallet racking you choose is of a high standard but that it is correctly installed. Thereafter, ensure annual safety checks on your pallet racking are carried out, so safety standards are maintained.
7. Look to the future
When selecting pallet racking don’t focus only on your needs of today but look at your future needs and your planned business development. If your business is likely to change, then you will want to invest in warehouse storage that has the versatility to grow and change alongside. You might want to consider versatile racking, which can accommodate different sizes of product and cater for different uses.
Without this foresight, you could find yourself investing in one type of pallet racking, only to find you need to change it again in a few years’ time. Versatility and adjustability are key.
8. What storage do you already have?
We have talked so far about new pallet racking but it is just as important to consider what you already have in terms of storage. You may have storage that is fit for purpose, and be able to invest in extra storage to complement it.
Look, too, at what else is in your warehouse. What vehicles, such as forklifts, do you own or plan to buy? Any racking must be able to accommodate these.
You may also need to change or adjust your lighting so that it works harmoniously with your new storage.
9. How hard-wearing should your racking be?
Different warehouses have different requirements and so need different storage solutions in terms of durability. If your racking needs to withstand extremes of climate– such as sub-zero temperatures – it needs to be robust enough to cope.
And how long-lasting does the storage need to be? Are you planning on keeping it for years or is its purpose more short-term? Does the racking need to be scalable or fixed? Your answers will dictate your choice of pallet racking.
10. Looking after your storage
Once installed, you will need to be able to maintain your storage. This means, it is advisable to select storage where spare parts are readily available, and where there are experts e to call on to carry out any necessary maintenance or repairs. In other words, whoever provides your storage needs to be able to offer excellent ongoing support and maintenance. Otherwise, again, you could end up with a poor investment.
We hope this has answered some questions about what to consider before investing in pallet racking. If you would like more information and to talk to our expert team please get in touch with us today.