Any industry with a warehouse that holds products will run into a variety of warehouse management problems. Some of those problems can have significant repercussions when left unfixed. When warehouse equipment isn’t utilized properly, or at all, or when items sitting on the shelves are difficult to access or even find, it can lead to poor customer service, lost sales, and more. So how can these problems be fixed, or better yet, avoided completely?
The warehouse equipment experts at DAK Equipment provide a variety of solutions to the many warehouse issues that could arise. With the highest quality pallet racks, pick modules, conveyor systems, and dozens of storage solutions, we have the equipment and design knowledge to ensure that your warehouse is as efficient as possible. If any of the problems below sound familiar, don’t hesitate to reach out to the DAK Equipment team for a warehouse design consultation.
7 Challenges in Designing & Implementing Warehouse Equipment
Inefficient Warehouse Layout
Depending on the goods your business sells, there may be items that are larger than others, heavier, or just awkwardly shaped. One of the biggest challenges that business owners face when designing and installing warehouse equipment is selecting the right equipment that will make it easier and more efficient to access their products. The first thing a contractor must do is zone an entire space and put special consideration toward what products will be stored in the space and how to organize them in an efficient manner.
- Increase Maneuverability: When the space is organized efficiently, employees will be able to maneuver safely. Picking a larger product with a forklift requires enough space to move around without hitting, and potentially damaging, other products. There should never be sharp corners or bends and there should be one-way traffic only when necessary in order to prevent accidents and collisions.
- Easier Access: Heavy items should be stored in an area with extra duty shelving or pallet racks that can safely hold the items. Lighter weight products should also be stored in an area where the items can be accessed easily.
- Heating and Cooling Needs: If there are products that need refrigeration or other heating and cooling needs, they can be stored separately, increasing the energy-efficiency of the space.
Not Designating an Area For Specific Tasks
Regardless of the industry your business is in, there are most likely several tasks going on at the same time throughout the warehouse. Designing and creating a proper space for each task will help increase safety as well as production. Create a closed room made with prefabricated modular walls for a foreman’s office, breakroom, or management offices. Install industrial lockers to give employees a safe space to put their personal belongings or equipment. If your warehouse holds heavy machinery or high-value electronics, install wire partitions to create a space that can be locked. There are a variety of warehouse equipment solutions to create a space dedicated for specific tasks.
Designing With Safety in Mind
A warehouse is for storage, right? So a business owner simply needs to fit as many items into a certain space as possible, right? Sure, a well-designed warehouse will store products in a space-saving way. However, the space should never be designed without safety as a priority. A warehouse should never have poor quality or cheap pallet racks or pallets that put the wellbeing of the employees at risk. When a warehouse isn’t designed with safety in mind, and when warehouse equipment is used that doesn’t have the right specifications and grades, it will increase the risk of accidents and could decrease employee productivity.
Planning For Future Growth
It’s not always easy or possible to predict how much or how quickly your business will grow, but it’s always a good idea to plan ahead between three and five years when designing a warehouse. Planning ahead will allow you to avoid expanding and restructuring your warehouse when you have outgrown the initial space. You can also plan for temporary storage, work stations, and overstock storage to prevent problems that occur due to growth.
Utilizing the Right Material Handling Equipment in the Right Space
Whether it’s deciding between push back racking and drive-in pallet racking, or between a conveyor system or static shelving, warehouse equipment needs to be chosen and installed with a purpose. When a conveyor system is installed rather than shelving, for example, it can potentially cause employees to waste time waiting for the conveyor, rather than simply going to the shelf and picking the item by hand. If your warehouse isn’t being designed with a purpose, it can lead to a loss of productivity.
Understanding Your Inventory
Having a thorough understanding of your inventory and how quickly or slowly it moves will help dictate how to design the warehouse and what to do with new inventory that is delivered. If a product has already been sold, it doesn’t need to be put in storage when it arrives at your warehouse. If a product turns slowly, there needs to be an efficient storage solution to help your warehouse save space. As you’re selecting warehouse equipment for your storage needs, think about what products will be stored and how the equipment will be used.
The Picking Route
How quickly and efficiently items can be picked, packed, and shipped has a close tie to how productive your warehouse is. When there is an inefficient pick route, it can impact pick rates, supply chain cycle times, and can impact labor costs. Simply designing your facility for horizontal picking rather than vertical, and creating zones for more popular SKUs can increase efficiency and productivity. There is a real strategy and technique behind designing warehouse equipment, and it’s all meant to make employees’ work easier and to help your business save money.
Designing and installing a warehouse is so much more than simply putting up some pallet racks and a conveyor system and calling it a day. In order for your warehouse to be as efficient and productive as possible, it takes forethought and a thorough understanding of what will work best for your specific industry and business.
When you work with DAK Equipment for your warehouse equipment, design, and installation needs, you can be confident that you’re working with a knowledgeable and passionate team. We will begin by completing a needs assessment in order to determine what solutions are best for your business. By offering a variety of material handling racking systems, wire partitions, cantilever racks, conveyor systems, and more, you can experience a more efficient, productive, and safer warehouse. DAK Equipment also has our own proprietary line of high-quality distribution center equipment — K3 Werks. Located in Elmhurst, IL, DAK Equipment is your number one choice for material handling and warehouse equipment needs. Contact us today to get started.