The racking system in your warehouse will have a major impact on your entire distribution centre and will influence the way the entire process is conducted. Before selecting a warehouse racking system, you should always keep in mind your unique operating requirements and any other physical restraints that might influence the system later on. Here are a few guidelines to successfully choose a racking system for your warehouse:
Consider storage density and selectivity
Analyse storage volume by stock-keeping units (SKU) and determine if deep-lane storage is an options worth considering. This would maximise cube utilisation and even enable you to improve your pallet flow. However, if there are products that you need to access at any given time, deep-lane storage will only cause delays, so you need to try a different storage system.
Consider the way you manage your inventory and your picking profiles
If you primarily manage your inventory using the FIFO system (First in, First Out) you should go for pallet flow racks. Furthermore, think of the picking profiles that you generally use. Do you usually work with pallets, cases or pieces, because the answer to this question will influence the rack you choose and its configuration.
Don’t forget about the forklift access
The forklift is a vital part of any warehouse, so you need to make sure that your racking system follows the right regulations in the field by adding at least 6 inches to the right angle stacking aisle and thus reducing the damage rate of both your products and the racks. It might not seem like much, but this measure will make your warehouse a safer workspace and it will increase your productivity considerably.
Remember to check rack decking
Pallets are rarely the same and certain variations are normal. This is why you can prevent problems that are usually associated with inconsistent pallet types by making sure you have additional raking components such as pallet supports and decking. This way you will have the certainty that the driver of the forklift and the products are always safe and the chances of a work related accident are lowered to a minimum.
Don’t guess your capacity
You should not be doing any guesswork when it comes to the potential weight of a heavy pallet. Weigh your heaviest pallet and imagine what it would be like to place it in any of your storage locations. This will help you to build your racking accordingly and avoid having to improvise later on. You will obtain a more flexible storage space and you will not have to deal with any storage issues in the future.
These are just a few guidelines that you should follow when choosing a warehouse racking system. Since the overall investment is pretty significant, it is worth taking some time to understand all the details and create a system that anticipates your needs perfectly. As always choosing the right racking manufacturer is crucial, so do your research properly and choose someone who can provide you high quality products in an effective period of time.