Case study

Over 30,000 new pallet racking locations! There’s a toy for everyone on the nice list this Christmas!

Advanced planning has always been our client’s forte and as a very prominent and trusted toy retailer, this gives them a clear advantage, particularly during peak seasons. Early Christmas preparations that ensure readiness prior to the big rush enable the business to keep ahead of ever changing economic and logistical pressures year after year.

The loss of high street retailers in the same industry has been significant over recent years and this was further compounded by the pandemic, however our client availed itself of this and has instead acquired additional stores and a greater online presence for which demand is fast growing. The great shift in customer expectations combined with the economical downturn was enough for the retailer to get its tinsel in a tangle, but instead they began outlining their Christmas 2021 preparations as early as September 2020.

The need to prepare

A dynamic performance would be needed if the retailer was to meet heightened demands and exceed customer expectations solidly during both peak and challenging times; therefore future-orientated plans were essential. Christmas 2021 was set to be both challenging and demanding with economical recovery forecast to be very limited for 2021, whilst Christmas still being of great importance for children whom the company serves as consumers.

To strengthen the company’s position it was necessary to build up stocks in advance, however their existing warehouse space was already jam-packed. A large building extension was one option however this was eliminated after much consideration due to the time, costs and disruption involved. Another option was a mezzanine floor installation but the need for a platform with a significant weight load bearing and concrete flooring to accommodate a vast amount of pallet racking and fork lift truck movement, meant this option was quickly ruled out as cost prohibitive.

Planning the new space

New warehouse space just short of 250,000 sq ft located close to the clients existing distribution hub was acquired, giving our client an exceptional opportunity to operate in line with their tremendous continual growth. The plan for the new warehouse space was to maximize its storage potential with a pallet racking solution that has streamlining and future proof potential.  This meant a solution was required that would incorporate the greatest possible number of pallets racking locations all with direct access and the potential to add more at a later date.

The variations between each facility when running a multiple warehouse operation can often result in the need for different storage solutions in each unit. Across its several warehouses the retailer was very well accustomed to both double deep racking and Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) racking each working well for the individual facility they were designed for. Considering the planned operation for this particular warehouse and its generous height space, VNA racking would certainly offer more viability and there to design the solution in line with the client’s specific requirements was WSL’s Design Technician Tim Smith. Having worked with the client on similar projects previously it was our proven track record for timely, cost effective solutions that enabled the retailer’s confidence in WSL’s in relation to their new project.

 

empty warehouse

The design that keeps on giving

The existing relationship between WSL and the retailer meant that Tim already had a very good understanding of the business operations and was familiar with their processes. An onsite visit in person allowed Tim to assess the space allowing him to produce a bespoke VNA racking design that would match the exact needs of the client.

The design produced would create over 30,000 new pallet racking locations across thirty-six rows and up to eight levels high with the potential to add 20,000 more at a later date.

Warehouse racking design in progress

A project in the midst of complexity yet was unaffected

Keen to have the system in place and the warehouse operating at full potential ahead of the busy peak period, time-scales were a factor. The steel shortage was a real concern across the industry, posing many challenges throughout, however the client’s aspiration to open the warehouse in August meant the supply chain situation couldn’t be a problem for WSL

Luckily our strong supplier relationships and commitment to providing an exceptional service every time meant WSL was able to source all components and parts without delay and the project could begin without supply chain complications.

On site, the super-efficiency of our Project Manager and fit-out team meant the pallet racking solution which was installed to SEMA guidelines with Covid19 measures in place was completed a week earlier than anticipated. The installation process was managed and overseen by Project Manager Oliver, whose experience in managing similar large scale projects enables him to spot potential problems and eliminate them before they occur, ensuring  efficiency at every stage.

 

The racking installation

Taking a colossal lead

It’s now September and the warehouse is perfectly functional and fully stocked with those all important Christmas lines. Planning ahead has brought our client enormous advantage as the escalation in supply chain issues has lead to the urgency of buying in advance for Christmas with many retailers fearing shelves will be bare and unavailability will soar as the rush takes hold.

New pallet Racking System Ready to Use

Preparation is key – planning with WSL is promising

For our client who is now in a stronger position in the face of challenges ahead, taking those early steps was a sound decision.

Take your early steps to planning your warehouse operation, however far in advance they are. With WSL at the helm of your project whose expertise stretches across our 32 years of existence and a team whose combined experiences exceed one hundred years, your project will be effective and efficient with a prosperous outlook. Our designs are based entirely on the needs of each individual project and its budget.

We have the abilities within our network to ensure material is effectively sourced, ensuring everything is in place prior to your project starting.  The productiveness of our fit-out team and Project Managers will see a very professional and time effective project build.

Call our team today on 0113 2045350 to discuss your warehouse storage plans so you can be readily equipped to face your future challenges.

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