Selecting suitable pallet racking for your warehouse is a multifaceted process with several compelling aspects to consider. Choosing the wrong kind of racking may adversely affect your warehouse’s productivity – or even lead to an expensive re-fit within a short timeframe.
However, if sourced in line with your business needs and existing facilities, your warehouse can be fitted out with a highly effective racking solution. This can be designed and installed by a warehouse solution provider to complement the effective flow processes upon which a productive warehouse thrives.
With warehouse pallet racking being a necessary investment for companies with a large stock inventory, there is intense competition among warehouse solutions providers to deliver pallet racking systems that maximise both space and logistics efficiency cost-effectively.
Collaborating with an experienced, reputable warehouse solution provider on your racking project can save you time and money. This provider will use their expertise to install a solution that meets your needs in the shortest time available and with the minimum of disruption to your existing operations.
With this in mind, here are our ten factors to consider when investing in pallet racking:
Starting with the financial aspects of your new racking system, as with every considered purchase, the lowest price does not always equate to the best value. If racking is purchased primarily because of its low cost, then these savings could soon be lost if the racking, for example, can’t be adapted to carry a set of pallets of a non-standard size.
Always invest in the expertise of an experienced warehouse solution provider who can install a pallet racking system specifically optimised to meet the needs and facilities of your warehouse.
As with any major capital project, it is vital that you brief your warehouse solution provider, clearly specifying the job that your pallet racking is expected to do, based on the type of goods that will be stored on it.
Extra functions such as adjustable or double-deep racking can also be discussed at the provider sourcing stage.
The size, shape and height of your warehouse, as well as the positioning of doors and windows, will determine the type of racking you need.
However, an in-depth analysis of your warehouse’s capabilities by an expert warehouse solution provider can potentially result in improving your warehouse’s layout and functionality, and enhancing its flow processes so that they work even more effectively.
A well-designed warehouse racking solution will maximise the vertical dimensions of your warehouse and capitalise upon any possibilities to exploit its floor space.
Racking systems such as high bay racking can dramatically increase your vertical storage capacity at a cost-effective rate by reaching heights of up to 40 metres, potentially doubling the capacity offered by some other forms of racking.
It is prudent to consider the additional cost of a racking crane for access to the higher levels if you do choose to implement this type of system.
The frequency of stock turnaround may mean that your pallet racking needs to be high access, whereas less frequently moving stock could be stored on push back racking. The access you need to your racked products depends on the type of goods, the rate of stock rotation and movement, and your operational systems for dispatch.
Planning access to warehouse goods is fundamental to warehouse design and may seem an obvious step, but cases where the alignment of the type of racking with access requirements has not been considered sufficiently are surprisingly frequent.
Safety is a paramount consideration with pallet racking. That’s why annual pallet racking inspections are a mandatory requirement right across the industry.
Knowing that your racking is manufactured to a high standard and then expertly installed and assembled in accordance with stringent guidelines for loading and positioning will offer you peace of mind that your warehouse staff are protected.
Your business needs may currently include or grow to need a versatile racking system that can be configured for different uses and pallet sizes.
Whether this is from adjusting existing shelf height to adding or removing different forms of racking to your overall solution, knowing that your racking system can easily adapt to changes in your stock profiles or to developments in your industry can be a reassuring.
Some systems can be adjusted more easily than others, so it is worth considering this when selecting your racking and sourcing your warehouse solution provider.
Combining your existing facilities with the installation of new racking in a new warehouse – or expanding the racking portfolio of your existing warehouse – is essential in continuing the productivity of your logistics operations.
This means carefully considering factors such as what forklift trucks you own or plan to buy, and ensuring that these are compatible with any racking systems that your warehouse will have.
Another consideration is lighting – if an existing or previous racking system was designed to work specifically with the current lighting system, it is sensible to ensure that any new racking plans either incorporates alternate lighting systems.
These are just a couple of ways in which an experienced warehouse solution provider can advise you regarding successfully dovetailing your existing facilities and new racking.
Durability of the racking may be a very important factor in busy warehouse environments, or in conditions of extreme weather variation.
Before deciding on the best pallet racking system option for your business, consider the longevity of your solution. In other words, how long after installation will it remain in place for.
Consult with your business managers about what plans exist for expansion and sales growth, and how warehouse capacity and functionality are currently able to accommodate these – or what changes will be necessary down the line.
Consideration of these requirements at this stage will help to ensure that your investment in pallet racking grows with your business and is scalable.
The availability of spare parts and components such as beams and braces that can be delivered quickly and cost effectively can be key to the continuing operation of your warehouse.
Similarly, the availability of suitably qualified experts to attend site and make any necessary repairs to your pallet racking may prove pivotal in keeping your warehouse operations going.
For all these reasons, it’s always sensible to invest in your pallet racking wisely – and to use the services of experienced experts and suppliers.
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