Behind every successful product, is a well-managed warehouse. The strength of your facility’s structure can have a large effect on how profitable it becomes. Pallet racks are a key element in making sure your products stay well organized, helping to avoid loss of inventory and providing a safe and clean work environment. By maximizing your use of space, it allows your warehouse to become more efficient, which in turn can boost profits.
The first step is making the blueprint. After all, you can’t just throw up shelves anywhere and call it a day. Designing the right organizational system is crucial in making sure workers can keep an accurate product count as well as deliver it quickly. The blueprint should disclose exactly how much floor space you have to work with, as well as the areas that will see the most traffic, like the loading docks and shipment area.
The best way to plan your pallet racks layout is to draw it without including any awkward columns, drainage pipes, intrusive lighting, heaters, or other obstructions. Also, try and keep safety regulations on the back burner during the first draft. After you have found what works best with the area you have, then you can make adjustments along the way for any blockages you encounter.
Solving the Puzzle
Once you have the basic outline of your warehouse in hand, you can visit the next level of planning. Mapping out the actual square footage and determining what type and how many pallet racks you will need. Take care to leave enough room between the isle if they require forklift access. Try to be as exact as you can because the shelving is large and heavy, making it difficult to adjust once they are in place. The amount of space for each row will depend on what kind of shelving you need. Each type caters to a specific kind of product. For example, a cantilever rack is used mainly for long pipe and lumber storage, and the standard wire deck pallet racks are for storing large boxes, or of course, wrapped pallets.
When deciding how to position your rows try to avoid,
- Placing them in short lines scattered throughout the facility. Longer bouts of shelving is a better use of space.
- Only lining them up against all of the outer walls. Open layouts are nice for homes but less efficient when it comes to warehouse storage.
- Any “L” shaped systems because they are too difficult to maneuver, especially with a forklift.
Floor space isn’t the only area you have to work with. In fact, not exactly sky, but your roof is the limit when you think upward in terms of storage. You can multiply the amount of space you have available by the height of your warehouse if you make good use of your vertical space. What is contained in your inventory will determine whether using more vertical storage space is right for you.
Whatever your warehouse or distribution center needs, a good pallet racking strategy can help improve the overall effectiveness of your business. It can feel a bit terrifying, especially if you are just getting started. Professional racking companies can assist you in finding the best solution to fit your space.