Case study

Is your warehouse ready for your next seasonal peak?

May 4, 2022 | Pallet Racking, Uncategorized

Easter is over and many warehouse facilities that felt the intensity over this particular busy period will be getting back to their normal operational processes. That is until the next peak season….

Seasonal demand can be especially challenging for the warehouse industry, which is why WSL advise our clients to consider these intensive periods when planning their warehouse space. The forecasting of expected inventory volume during peak seasons can lead to a very precise inventory storage and management system. As part of the forward planning process, this allows your warehouse to be peak season ready, however intense, however long and however regular.

Some peak seasons last much longer than others. Christmas for example will often see warehouse activity peak for months as businesses respond to intense demand in the run up to Christmas. Come January intense activity continues as the returns surge takes over. Early last year, our client who is a toy retailer began planning their new warehouse space with the Christmas peak season in consideration. Estimated forecasts of peak inventory volume were used to create a solution that would support both inventory and processes during the upcoming Christmas period as well as future peak periods. The 250,000 sq ft warehouse space was fitted with a VNA pallet racking system providing 30,000 pallet racking locations with a further 20,000 added later. There is enough capacity to support inventory needs all year round and the client uses the racks at the back to hold seasonal inventory as these are needed less often yet are still accessible.

New Pallet Racing Solution

What will be your ideal peak season solution?

VNA racking is just one option which perfectly matched the needs of this particular client, however every operation is different. Space dimensions differ, inventory levels and type differ and operational processes differ.There are a number of resourceful options available; it’s just a matter of assessing your space, current set-up, inventory characteristics and predicted peak season volumes.

You Could Adopt Deep Storage

Storing inventory tightly increases storage capacity within the same surface area. Deep storage is distinct as it is without operational aisle between the racks and instead,the entire space is dedicated to storage. This type of configuration is extremely useful during peak seasons because it allows you to store high volumes of the same SKU with little impact on space usage.  Lanes within the deep storage structure can be reserved for peak season products only whilst the rest of the structure is used for regular inventory. Compared to a standard racking system, storage capacity is significantly higher giving you the best use of space. Some deep storage options operate on the First-in-First-out basis (FIFO) which saves time and money by taking away the need to carry out manual stock rotation.  The first pallet to enter the deep running lane is the first to be picked on the opposing side.

Reconfiguration Could be More Effective

When demand peaks and you have pallets or boxes with nowhere to go, there is no need to assume you require a whole new system. Reconfiguration works are often more viable as existing structures can be realigned to support both standard and peak season activities. The type and extent of adjustments to your structures will depend on your needs and the abilities of your current set-up.  It could be that a shelving system may work well in conjunction with your existing pallet racking system or you’re perhaps a few more levels being addedto the height of your pallet racking system may be all that is required. Your structures may only need repositioning in order to improve warehouse layout to support directional flow. Whether large or small scale, carefully planned reconfiguration works can make a huge difference to your operation particularly at peak times.  A carefully planned change can be a very positive change which can only enhance productivity going forward.

Wide aisle racking with integrated carton live shelving

Multiply capabilities by multiplying floor space

You can multiply your usable floor space within the same surface area without the need to extend the building and this can be achieved through a mezzanine floor installation.This is a semi-permanent steel structure constructed within the four walls of the warehouse which has no affect on the external shell, therefore planning permission is not required before implementing the structure. The extra upper level can help maintain heightened productivity during peak seasons because it provides the room to house increased activities. A storage mezzanine floor can support inventory storage and could also incorporate production or office areas to help alleviate pressure on the ground floor, and the number of levels can go beyond one if space permits. This is an extremely cost-effective solution in comparison to an extension or relocation and is very possible, provided you have sufficient height space in your warehouse.

storage mezzanine with staircase and pallet gate

Discover Your Peak-Proof Solution

Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, Valentines, Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter when you find your warehouse is at it’s busiest, it doesn’t have to be stressful or chaotic. Since establishment in 1989, WSL has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience which enables our committed team to find the most effective and affordable solutions for your operation.

The WSL technical team have all the answers to any questions you may have, and you can ask these in person during a site survey which can be arranged at your convenience and at no cost to yourself.

To arrange your free site survey call WSL today on 0113 2045350 or email sales@wslmail.co.uk

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