Case study

How to make a smart pallet racking investment with a limited budget

Has your pallet racking system seen better days? Is the growth speed of your business creating a need for additional pallet racking? Or maybe your current system is unsuited to your changed inventory needs? A much needed pallet racking investment can often be put on the back burner due to concerns over costs. If this sounds familiar don’t be discouraged. Instead, discover budget-friendly ways to increase pallet racking efficiency and add long term value!

Adopt a bespoke solution

Pallet racking may be a dearly investment, after all it is a significant feature with an essential role to play in the warehouse; however a bespoke solution rather than a default application can seriously drive down costs and provide long term value.

A pallet racking solution that has been custom designed and built will:

Save space and in turn save money – Every space is individual so whatever the shape or size of your warehouse, a bespoke solution will target all usable space making it work for you. Space is a huge cost in itself and perfectly operable space can often be overlooked when areas such as height space is not considered for use. Wasted space still incurs running costs such as electricity and heating with no return so a bespoke solution that utilises the full cubic area will certainly result in financial gains.

Using an accurate floor plan like the one below will help you visualise your space and see how it can be configured for maximisation.

Warehouse racking and layour plan example

 

Support inventory needs to reduce costsA pallet racking system without effective inventory support can incur huge costs in terms of products going to waste, becoming damaged or lost. Adopting a bespoke solution using the right type of pallet racking system will not only reduce unnecessary costs, but will increase profitability through strengthened productivity. Pallet racking systems vary in capabilities and configurations and a bespoke solution will result in both space utilization and inventory support. For example, perishable items can be supported by a system that works on the First-in First-out (FIFO) basis like the pallet live racking system. The assisted stock rotation function reduces the cost in both time and money of manual stock rotation. Pallet live is a compact structure offering deep lane storage, taking away the need for numerous access aisles so whilst supporting your inventory needs, pallet live is space efficient. Push back pallet racking is of a similar configuration, offering an even higher storage capacity and although it doesn’t offer assisted stock rotation, its perfect SKU’s of high volume. Compact storage is extremely popular in chilled or frozen areas because high capacity storage within a limited footprint can drive down energy consumption resulting in lowered costs and carbon footprint.

The chart bellow highlights the various pallet racking types available and their capabilities.

Pallet racking types easy read chart

 

Stay within the set budget – A bespoke pallet racking solution is customized to your space, processes and inventory whatever your budget. A trusted and reputable designer will always work to find the most viable yet affordable solution for your operation.

 

Weigh up the pros and cons of pre-owned pallet racking

If money is a little tight, used pallet racking is certainly the least expensive option when it comes to the initial investment. That being said is the recycling approach the most economical when it comes to pallet racking? It can be, if it lasts and doesn’t incur further expenses later down the line. To be sure whether pre-owned pallet racking is right for you, it’s important to consider:

The history of used pallet racking

With second hand pallet racking that was installed and used elsewhere, there’s a degree of increased risk and very little chance of any guarantee so the more you know about its previous ownership the better. The difficulty is that the entire history of the pallet racking system is often unobtainable, however if possible, it would be beneficial establish:

  • The age of the pallet racking structure
  • Whether all components are original or if any been replaced.
  • The number of previous owners
  • Whether it has any service and maintenance documentation

The safety of your used pallet racking

As mentioned above, limited knowledge on the pallet racking system’s history can make safety assurance a concern. Installing an unsafe pallet racking system could have devastating consequences with substantial costs to the business in terms of money and reputation. To reduce risk as much as possible it’s advisable to ensure the structure is inspected by a reputable and experienced rack inspector prior to purchase so you can become aware of any weaknesses or faults. This will add to costs further, however the rack inspection report will give more clarity on how safe the structure is and although risk won’t be completely eliminated it will be reduced.

Will used pallet racking coincide with your current systems?

Configuration wise, a second hand pallet racking system, is similar to purchasing a default system so before purchase it’s crucial to ensure the system will support your inventory and provide maximum storage capacity at the same time.  Learn about the pallet racking type, how it works and its storage potential. Without this research, a second hand system could halter your operation rather than improve it, resulting in even more costs.

Are you happy to forfeit quality assurance?

A new pallet racking system is supplied with quality assurance from the manufacturer with a minimum of twelve months guarantee. Unfortunately the same assurances don’t apply when purchasing a pre-owned system. If the pallet racking system was to fail in some way, financial assistance would be unavailable leaving you to pay the cost of replacements and repairs.

 

Choose affordable pallet racking improvements instead

Revise your current racking structures and consider whether you really need to replace your entire pallet racking system. A little reconfiguration can make huge improvements to your operation. This could include an extension to your existing pallet racking structure or the integration of other storage systems to work alongside your current pallet racking system. If floor space is a concern, perhaps there’s enough height space to create taller racks? Narrow aisle racking for example consists of taller racks to utilise height space whilst making better use of floor space with narrowed down aisles so more rows can be fitted. Although a specialist slim, high reaching fork lift truck is needed, the return on this investment will be seen through the heightened productivity. If you’re current wide aisle racking system has reached capacity with both floor and height space at their limit, the wide aisle racking can be reconfigured to create a double deep racking system. Placing the standard rows of pallet racking structures back to back reduces aisle numbers and more storage is created instead. You could be looking to introduce shelving but not sure where it could fit without compromising on space. Like pallet racking, Warehouse shelving can be configured to suit your needs and this includes integration with other storage systems. Shelving can even be fitted within the bottom bay of the pallet racking system for example, so there might not even be a need to use any additional floor space at all.

Cold Storage pallet racking

 

Eliminate unnecessary costs through regular pallet racking inspections

Once you’re new pallet racking solutions are in place, further savings can be made through periodic rack inspections. The cost of maintaining a safe, secure pallet racking structure is far less than the cost of an injured party and business reputation should a preventable accident occur. An annual rack inspection carried out by a reputable, certified rack inspector will give you assurance that your pallet racking system is stable, safe and secure and can be used without risk. The inspector will assess every part of the structure thoroughly and will make you aware of any urgent or advisory action that should be taken all of which will be documented in your detailed rack inspection report.

 

Your quality pallet racking solution is doable and affordable with WSL

Whatever your budget, quality is never compromised at WSL. Whilst keeping the balance between the two we use our advanced knowledge and experience to create highly effective solutions that will maximise space and make savings on operational costs.

balancing quality and budget diagram

The full cubic area can be utilised through a bespoke solution carefully drawn up by a highly experienced and knowledgeable WSL Design Technician. Our process begins during a free site survey where your space can be thoroughly assessed and your requirements can be discussed in person. Within your budget, we can create a solution that supports your inventory, makes full use of your space and streamlines your processes. Whether it’s a new system or a few reconfigurations our goal is to ensure a solution that meets your exact needs and save you money at the same time. We can even inspect your racking and storage structures on an annual basis to ensure safety is maintained throughout its life cycle.

Call our team today on 0113 2045350 email sales@wslmail.co.uk and receive a tailored service with a positive outcome.

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