The best way to save on racking costs is to concentrate on the racking design. We are not referring to the actual deign of the racking at the factory but more the racking design within the warehouse. In general the biggest costs involved with warehousing is generally the operating staff and the warehouse space itself followed normally by the materials handling equipment and finally the racking yet the racking defines what you can store within the warehouse.
Coming up with the right racking design requires a number of questions to be addressed :
- What are the physical dimensions of the pallets to be stored?
- Which way is it best to handle the pallets? If the pallets come in and go out being handled on the short side then it is false economy to twist them around and handle them on the long side.
- What are the physical dimensions of the warehouse.
- What Marshalling area is required?
- What about picking and interfaces with pedestrians and health and safety implications.
- What type of materials handling equipment do you currently have and what is available on the market.
- What number of SKU’s do you have?
These are just the main issues to consider when looking at racking design but a more in depth analysis can be undertaken with potential suppliers of both racking and materials handling equipment although it should be noted that everyone has vested interests. Some material handling specialists specialise in certain types of fork lift trucks so they then to recommend a racking design to suit their favoured trucks.
Our advise is to call in an “independent” racking supplier i.e. one not tied to any one manufacturer thus allowing them to recommend the racking design most suited to your needs.