A warehouse is a great place to store your merchandise. But in order to get the most benefit out of this storage space and run a profitable business, you need a suitable warehouse racking system to help stack inventory horizontally on multiple levels.
If you’re just establishing your warehouse or relocating to a new location, you need to ensure you invest in the right warehouse racking system. Wondering how you’ll be able to find the right one? No problem. This blog will guide you through the steps. But first, let’s discuss the basics.
What are the Benefits of a Warehouse Racking System?
A racking system comes with a boatload of benefits, such as:
- Helps organize merchandise
- Offers quick access to goods, thus improving inventory retrieval efficiency
- Facilitates better management of stock
- Improves the utilization of warehouse space
- Streamlines warehouse operations
- Enhances safety for employees and stored materials
So yes, warehouse racking systems are important. Generally speaking, they enable you to create more space in your warehouse and optimize storage space, thereby allowing you to increase production.
Now let’s look at the factors you should consider when investing in a racking system for your warehouse.
How to Choose the Right Warehouse Racking System
Be sure to consider the following points to implement the right racking system for your warehouse:
1. Understand Your Storage Needs
Every business is different. So before investing in a storage solution, determine the type of racking system you need for your merchandise. Consider aspects such as the volume and weight of different products, how much storage space is required, the movement or flow of the inventory, etc.
2. Allocate a Budget
A new racking system will cost big bucks. But as an important aspect of your business, you need to aim to invest in a racking solution that offers the best value at an affordable cost. The key is to pick a racking system that enables you to optimize the internal space of your warehouse.
3. Explore Different Warehouse Racking Systems
Once you understand the storage needs of your inventory, you need to access the different types of warehouse racking solutions already available in the market. Some popular options include pallet racking, rivet rack shelving, cantilever racks, mobile racking, drive-in racking, automated storage and retrieval systems, etc.
4. Assess the Warehouse Layout
An efficient racking system helps optimize the storage capacity of your facility by maximizing its vertical capacity and floor space. So it’s essential to consider the layout of your warehouse, as this will significantly influence the type of racking you can use. Aspects such as available floor space, the position of doors and windows, and the shape, size, and height of the facility will impact your decision.
To ensure you invest in a racking solution that incorporates the warehouse layout to maximize the functionality of the space and optimize workflows, you may need an expert to assess your warehouse’s capabilities.
5. Investigate the Durability of the Solution
A warehouse racking system costs a substantial amount of money, so you want to make sure it remains in good condition for years to come. As a long-term investment for your business, you need to make sure it can withstand high traffic, manage the heavy load of merchandise, and withstand the constant movement of inventory.
6. Consider Scalability
Racking systems are typically long-term warehouse solutions. Therefore, they must be able to meet the storage needs of your business as it grows. So make sure to pick a solution that is scalable in order to accommodate the increasing storage requirements in the future.
7. Pick a Versatile System
Just like scalability, versatility is an important aspect of long-term planning. Your business may expand and incorporate different types of goods. To ensure the racking system you choose allows for this, opt for a versatile solution that offers adjustability. In fact, it should enable you to alter the height of shelves and columns or allow you to add or remove portions of the system to accommodate changing products and warehousing needs.
8. Consider the Accessibility of Goods
Another crucial factor to consider when investing in a racking system is how frequently you need to access your merchandise depending on the type of products you store and the demand for your goods.
For instance, mobile racking is ideal for slow-moving inventory and limited floor space for racking. On the other hand, push-back racking is suitable for fast-moving stock. So select a racking system that supports the turnaround frequency of your stock.
9. Don’t Overlook Hidden Costs
Sometimes businesses estimate the cost of investing in a racking system based on the evident cost of hardware, structural materials, and labor costs at the time of installing a new system. However, there are additional costs that you need to keep in mind. For example, what other equipment (forklifts, machinery, etc.) will this new racking solution need to run efficiently and access inventory? Will your current employees need training, or will you need to hire trained professionals? How much will it cost to maintain or repair the new system? Will you need to hire a warehouse racking company to maintain the system regularly?
10. Maintenance Requirements
Every aspect of a running business needs regular maintenance, and your racking system is no different. Before investing in a racking solution, make sure to review how much maintenance a particular system requires, the availability of spare parts, the cost of repairs, how much downtime maintenance issues can take, etc. All these aspects will affect your business.
Over to You
A productive warehouse depends on two important aspects: a well-designed layout that optimizes the internal space and streamlines internal processes and an efficient racking system that makes storing and collecting inventory effortless. So taking the time to find the perfect racking system for your warehouse can help boost the bottom line of your business. Furthermore, it can drastically enhance efficiency, organization, and safety. And finally, remember to install a racking solution that meets your needs, aligns with your budget, and helps your business grow.