When planning a new warehouse, there's a huge amount of different factors that have to be considered - the type of items being stored, the available floor space and height in the building itself, and the correct storage system that will both maximise the use of the space available but also make it easy to access pallets.
Making the most efficient use of the available floor space in your warehouse is always important. However, when the density of storage increases, placing and removing unit loads when you need to typically takes more time.
There’s a number of storage options available that offer high density, but they vary in how easily the pallets can be accessed - depending on your operation and individual needs, the best option will be different. With the help of the Materials Handling Guide, we can look at a few options.
Most people in this industry will have heard of the 80/20 rule, or Pareto Principle, as it's sometimes known. It's a basic theory that claims that around 20 per cent of any process is responsible for 80 per cent of the results of that process.
In manufacturing, for example, it is said that around 20 per cent of the defects in a product are responsible for around 80 per cent of the problems. The rule can apply to sales as well — in this case, 80 per cent of sales often come from 20 per cent of customers.
Building a solid and efficient materials handling operation doesn't start with buying a truck — instead, the process should always begin with a careful analysis of your needs and current operation, so you can see what is being done right, and what needs to change.
Logistics simulation can help you achieve this, whether you're planning an entirely new warehouse, or just want to improve your current one. In this guide, we've collected some of the main benefits of simulation.
In an ideal world, all unit loads would held on standard pallets, in uniform weights and sizes, allowing for easy handling with all kinds of forklift. Unfortunately, that's not the real world - and in many warehouses, standard pallets are the exception.
Many types of goods - for example, pipes, construction materials or metal sheeting - are often quite long, and impossible to fit neatly onto a 1,200 by 800mm pallet. These loads can be difficult to get down warehouse aisles, even if they aren't particularly narrow.
Cantilever racking, as shown in the illustration above, solves the storage problem - this kind of racking is open-fronted, meaning there are no vertical bars to block the placement or removal of long goods.
But when you need to move these goods down an aisle, how do you get around the space problem? The simplest and most versatile solution is - with a multi-directional truck.
As anyone who's been responsible for costs in a warehouse knows, order picking is often the most expensive warehouse operation.
Loading and unloading naturally has associated costs, and stacking can be expensive - but neither come close to the cost of order picking.
As we know, one small part of a logistics operation can have knock-on effects in other areas - and by improving and optimising these areas, you can increase productivity and efficiency with relatively little effort.
Double-deep storage, drive-in racking, narrow aisles - the list of warehouse storage options is extensive, and continues to grow as the demands on the material handling and logistics industries grow and change.
Each system has its benefits and drawbacks, and certain methods of storage are more suited to some operations than others. There's a wealth of detailed information out there about the best warehouse racking and different storage systems, but to make things easier, we've collected the basics in a simple PDF guide.
The range of warehouse storage options available today is extensive, and the best choice of storage system for different kinds of items can depend on a large number of different factors.