We get it. Deciding to upgrade the pallet rack system in your warehouse is a big step to take. Industrial shelves and racking are imperative to a business, but they’re not exactly cheap. And while there’s no doubt that we offer affordable options, it’s usually a purchase that has to be budgeted for and planned well in advance.
Because industrial shelving units are so important, you need to stay on top of their maintenance and the amount of space they’re providing you in your warehouse. But when is the proper time to start investigating the next step in warehouse optimization? Here are a few situations that might occur that can let you know it’s time to consider an upgrade in your industrial shelving units.
Inspections Are Not Going Well
We recently discussed the reasons that you should have your warehouse systems periodically inspected, whether you have static pallet rack shelving or complex material handling systems. While it can be pretty obvious when conveyor belts are in need of repair, it’s just as important that you have your storage racking inspected by a professional to ensure that your employees and your stock is kept safe. Industrial storage racks are under a lot of pressure from the products they hold, and they’re also the part of a warehouse most-commonly hit by forklifts.
If you’ve had an inspector’s report come back with less-than-stellar reviews of your pallet system, it might be a good time to consider replacing the racks that are in the worst shape. If the report says that 80-percent of your racks are in good shape, you’ll still want to consider replacing the 20-percent that have failed inspections.
They Require More and More Repair
Because of forklift damage and the force of gravity, industrial warehouse shelving can reach the end of its usable life. Some will suffer more wear and tear than others, such as the corner units that are most likely to get clipped by moving warehouse equipment.
In many cases, it’s a good idea to get these shelving units repaired. We can repair sections of it for half the cost and in about a third of the time as a full replacement. But there comes a time when repairs are happening too often and getting in the way of productivity. At that point, it might be a better idea to simply replace the entire pallet rack and start from scratch.
You’re Running Out of Space
This is perhaps the most obvious answer to the question “when should I purchase new industrial shelving units for the warehouse?” But the options you have might surprise you:
- When You Have Extra Room In Your Current Warehouse – Sometimes a warehouse is only partially filled with pallet racks. Perhaps the company decided to expand the number of pallets as business grew, starting with a few pallet rack shelves and expanding as necessary. We can help fill out that space with additional racks and make the most of the space.
- When You Don’t Know You Have Extra Room In Your Warehouse – Many times there is extra space in a warehouse that’s going unused. Sometimes that space is simply vertical; taller storage racking can lead to more space being used. Other times the unused space is found on each shelf if the standard pallets aren’t filling the space efficiently. That’s where warehouse layout optimization comes in, which includes space-saving measures and slotting analysis. We can take a look at your current racks and suggest the most efficient way of using the space, finding you industrial storage racks that are so space-saving that you might be able to avoid the costs of building an additional warehouse.
- When You Are Building a New Warehouse – Of course, there are times when a warehouse has reached its peak capacity and building another is inevitable. When that happens, be sure to get it off to a good start with a survey or your proposed space. We’ll propose a warehouse layout design that makes the best use of warehouse space and the traffic that it sees.
Your Productivity Is Slowing Down
Warehouse industrial shelving units can play a bigger part in the productivity of your business than you might think. Inefficient design of the units can make them slower to stock, or closed off portions of it can make getting a single pallet a 20-minute job as pallets crammed in front of the one you want to access have to be moved and restacked.
Additionally, poor warehouse layout design can prevent efficient use of forklifts and other loading equipment. If your business is ramping up and you’re moving more product, that’s great!…until your forklift operators start getting in each other’s way and warehouse employees on foot are put in greater danger.
This is the link to click on if your efficiency is going down and tempers start to run high in the warehouse. It details the many ways that Dak Equipment and Engineering can make your warehouse much more efficient than it currently is.
Buy Before The Prices Go Up
As we discussed in this article, steel prices are up considerably since the first of the year. And with recent tariffs that have been imposed on steel imports from China and Japan, it looks like prices are going to keep going up for the foreseeable future.
So when the subject comes up that we posed in the title of this article —”When Your Warehouse Should Consider Upgrading Its Pallet Rack System” — the best suggestion might simply be right now. Waiting much longer to upgrade or expand your warehouse storage solutions could lead to a situation in which you’re getting the same product for more money; why not avoid the price increase altogether and get ahead of the curve?
Let’s Start the Conversation
If you know that new pallet rack shelving is in your future, we’d love to talk with you about it. We can deliver and assemble the most efficient industrial shelving units out there to help your business run as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to get the conversation started.