Online ordering makes life easy for consumers. It’s become a way to simplify and streamline shopping without leaving the couch. Although it’s made modern life easier, this new style of shopping has changed the way warehouses operate. It’s not a bad thing, but it certainly poses new challenges.
Companies like Amazon have spoiled us with one day shipping and now other retailers feel the pressure to deliver next day. To do this they must conquer the last mile, which refers to having fulfillment centers closer to the customer. Now instead of building a million square foot warehouse in the Midwest a retailer will build 50 20,000 square foot warehouses all across the country.
Some of the biggest questions warehouse operators are asking include: How can we maintain efficiency in this new landscape? What can we do to maximize our current infrastructure? What products should we invest in for the future?
Many warehouses are outfitted to store and move large orders. Picking individual orders can be extremely time consuming and tedious. It’s been a learning process for everyone, but we have found that a solid combination of the right racking system and the right products will help to maximize your operation’s efficiency.
Because you’ll be looking for individual items, you want a system that allows for quick and easy access. Ideally, your racking or shelving system allows for maximum selectivity and access from the aisle. You also want a system that makes it easy to move totes, crates and boxes quickly and easily. Carton flow rack systems are the ideal solution because they maximize efficiency.
Span track carton flow with full width rollers will help you maximize your efficiency with single-pick orders. They can be configured for use with your existing system, which translates to huge savings. You’re able to easily relocate the track, which also equals huge savings.
Span-track carton flow provides easy and quick access to inventory. You need something that will be able to keep up with the changing landscape, and you can trust the span-track carton flow will stand up to the job. You can expect to use the track for a long time to come — it’s designed for daily use.
Staggered wheel carton flow has many great features, but perhaps the best is flexibility. This flow can store a variety of boxes, totes, cases and crates, so you don’t have to buy multiple systems.
These are commonly used on bottom shelves and work well with carts or order pickers. The ergonomic design makes single order retrieval much less tedious because it keeps the flow moving smoothly and efficiently. You can expect this flow to stand up to daily abuse.
Carton flow cells with span track lanes comes as a whole system, complete with two uprights, eight beams, 12 span flow tracks and 24 hanger hooks. This is a great system if you’re starting from scratch. The system works seamlessly to provide you with maximum efficiency.
Carton flow cells with staggered plastic wheel flow beds come with everything you need – including the shelving and the flow. These units make it easy to move inventory quickly because there are no fixed lanes. The design gives you more freedom to store non-uniform bins, totes, cases or crates.
This design takes the stress off personnel because they don’t have to strain or lean to access inventory. You can expect an excellent work flow with carton flow roller tracks.
You need products that will enhance your racking system. You don’t have to revamp your entire warehouse; updating a few products will make a huge difference in your efficiency.
Open metal steel shelving provides a clear visual of your inventory, so you can quickly grab what you need. The open design gives you great selectivity, which helps to improve efficiency.
Metal steel shelving is a great addition if you’re looking to increase your organization. As you can see in the photo, all the inventory is clearly visible, so you don’t have to spend valuable time moving other inventory or searching for what you need.
Narrow aisle pallet rack systems are great because they make it easy to access inventory. They also increase efficiency because they help to create good flow and easy movement. The wire guided system allows the driver to pick products while driving down the aisle — talk about a time-saver!
The guide rail system keeps everything moving quickly and securely. This is especially important with narrow aisle pallet rack systems because it keeps the forklift on track and helps to prevent accidents. New methods bring up new safety concerns. It’s important to take every precaution. Order pickers make it easy to store and transport small orders.
Your employees will thank you for purchasing aluminum order picker carts. They’re lightweight, half the weight of steel order picking carts which allows you to store more product on the cart when order picker is at fully extended height. Despite the lightweight design, they are durable and long lasting. This cart is an efficient way to move many single-item orders at once without having to make multiple trips.
You’ll find yourself using the aluminum roll cart for transporting and storing materials all around the warehouse. This addition will pay for itself many times over!
The stock picker truck maneuvers seamlessly and is great for narrow aisles. One of the best things about the stock picker is how versatile it is. The built-in step ladder makes accessing multi-level shelving a breeze.
Wire roll carts are easily one of most valuable pieces of equipment in a warehouse. They are lightweight enough to move easily while also being durable enough for daily rough use. You’re able to transport multiple single-item orders in one trip. Another great feature about wire roll carts is that you’ll find dozens of uses for these across the warehouse.
Rolling ladders make order picking easy. You’re able to use the full capacity of your warehouse because you’re able to reach orders on high shelves. Think about how much space would go unused if you weren’t able to store things up high. We highly recommend adding rolling ladders to your warehouse fleet. They’re durable, easy to move and increase safety in the workplace.
Brad McNamee is President of Warehouse Rack & Shelf LLC.