A lot is made about the new “shut-in economy” and how things are changing to delivery and shipped based goods. You are right on the frontlines of the movement. You need to be ready for the change over by being able to stock as you need to stock. If you have been using the shelving from places like Amazon or Costco then you might be noticing that you are running out of room on those shelves. If so then it is time to start thinking about switching over to industrial storage solutions. It is especially true if you work with a business like Amazon who demands that you deliver your product on a certain schedule to coincide with their “Prime membership” shipping. An eCommerce business that does this knows that losing their Prime shipping option can cause a loss of thousands of dollars every month or a day in some cases. A good way to avoid this is to have enough stock of the products that are on the Prime program. You put your products on pallet racks where you can store a large amount. A pallet rack can hold up to 2500 lbs of uniformly distributed weight per level. If you are able to stock vertically then you can see how this can help your business.
A major part of storing vertically is what kind of decking you select for your pallet rack. The most common type of decking for pallet racks is wire mesh decks. Standard versions of wire mesh decks can hold up to 2500 pounds of uniformly distributed weight per level. They also allow sprinklers to reach the bottom-most levels of your pallet rack. Honestly, this has a lot to do with how high you can place your products on shelves. There have been many e-commerce businesses that make the choice to use wood support bars as their decking choice. Unfortunately, wood support beams have two problems associated with them that affect how high you can store your product. The first problem is that they are made of wood which means that they are flammable. Wood support beams do not necessarily mean that you cannot get a permit for your rack however it is frowned upon by inspectors and agencies. Another issue with wood pallet supports is that they tend to get pushed together which makes it very difficult for water to pass through to the lower levels of the pallet rack. In fact, there have been times where certain e-commerce companies have not been allowed to stack as high as they could because of this issue. Granted, there is an interplay between how strong your sprinklers are, how those sprinklers are deployed through your building, and what type of decking you are using amongst other factors. If you intend to be a bigger business, have a lot of products, and service your customers then you need to think about your decking type, and your sprinkler situation, in order to stack as high as possible in your warehouse.
If you are a newer e-commerce business then you may not know that you need a pallet jack. A pallet jack is almost required for many distributors of a product who will ship their goods to your business. They, generally, send their product on pallet racks which means that it is very likely that any deliveries that you receive are going to be on pallets. Many of these delivery companies charge a fee for even touching their pallet jack to put your product into your building. The pallet jack fee for these delivery companies can range between $50-$200. If you are getting a lot of products that can add up over time. The best way to avoid this is to have your own pallet jack or forklift. Honestly, a pallet jack can be very handy in these situations because starting up a forklift and driving it over is not as simple as it seems to most businesses. It usually just makes sense to grab a pallet jack so that the product can be moved where it needs to go.
There are a few essential safety products that you will want in your business. You will get, usually, safety products with most of your pallet rack orders. The safety product we are talking about is a safety clip. A safety clip is a good product to help make sure that your rack level stays where it should be located. The problem would safety clips is that they can look like they are functioning properly but are not actually doing their job. A safety clip can be dislodged during the loading of product onto the shelf. They may also take damage, unintentionally, when stacking the rack levels. The problem is that it is not immediately obvious that they are dislodged or are damaged. Therefore, you could have a shelf full of products that come down on you or your employees. If you want to avoid this situation than getting a safety pin for your pallet rack is a good idea. You can double up the protection by using both on your pallet racks so that if one fails the other will not. Safety pins also last longer than safety clips and they have a lower incidence of failing than safety clips do.
If you have a forklift in your business then you will want column guards or RAMguards. The column guard or RAMguard is essential because it takes any accidental contacts that your forklift has with your pallet rack. Again, the situation you are trying to avoid is a rack-level full of product falling on you or your employees. If you look around the Internet then you can find many incidences of a forklift accidentally hitting a pallet rack. What follows is a decimation of a few rows of pallet racks and, in some cases, a person who gets hit by and buried with the product from those shelves. Column guards and RAMGuards help avoid the situation. They are designed to cover the most common areas of contact between a forklift and a pallet rack. If you wanted full coverage of your rack that you could do that by stacking them on top of each other so that all of the exposed space is covered by the column guard or RAMguard. Obviously, there is some cost associated with doing this but it might be the best idea for your business if you want to stop any possible loss due to contact between a pallet rack and a forklift.
You may want a modular office if your e-commerce business is big enough. A modular office is a good addition to almost any business because it can be moved around almost at will. The modular office is a highly versatile tool in a business because it can be many different things depending on what you need. If you need a break room than this modular office can be used for that purpose. If you just want your manager to be able to see your workers at all times then you can put them in this office in the warehouse. A modular office is not attached to the building which means that it can be moved anywhere it needs to go. A plus for your business. If you grow or move to another location then you can move this modular office to that location and re-designate it for whatever purpose that you see fit. Lastly, the fact that is not attached to the building means that it may have a less invasive permit process than adding to the building itself in most locations.
A second level of storage can be extremely useful for an e-commerce business. Unfortunately, it usually costs a lot and takes a long time to get this pushed through the permit process if you try to get it attached to the building. Luckily you can get a mezzanine work platform that will add the second level that you want without needing to attach it to the building. It is similar to the previous modular office in that because it is not attached to the building, it has a permit process that is not as expensive or as difficult because it is not attached to the building. Keep in mind that every location has different rules but it is true most areas require less permitting than adding attachments onto the existing building’s structures do. You can put more pallet rack on the mezzanine work platforms which is a good thing if you are an e-commerce business. Part of what you do is shipping individual pieces together. Therefore, it does not make sense to have a large boxful of product that is so high that a forklift has to get it for an employee. The employee would have to pick the product out of the box and then have the forklift put it back. The faster way to do this is to have a work platform in your business so that the employee can access the particular shelf they need without having to grab a forklift every time to finish an order.
Another thing that you may have to think about is how your warehouse is designed. The truth is that there are e-commerce businesses where warehouse design means a lot. It is especially true for businesses that need to follow first in – first out methods of inventory management. You can optimize the workflow of your warehouse for FIFO by making sure that your pallet racks and walking traffic/forklift traffic is well designated. You can also design the warehouse to get a product out the door as soon as possible. You can design your warehouse to become the optimal working environment for your business by getting a CAD warehouse layout. A layout will enable you to look at your business with different eyes and objectively as well. If you work with a company like us then you can garner our, or their experiences, with working with other companies like yours for tips and tricks that will allow you to be efficient.. </ P>
Pallet rack permits can be difficult for many companies to deal with. It is because you probably do not have any experience dealing with this type of permit process. If you are having problems with or are worried about the permit process then we can assist you. We talk to these offices every day. We understand what these permit giving agencies want and need from your business. We can help you through the process from beginning to end. If you want a shortcut to getting your pallet rack up in your business so you can get back to selling your product sooner then you can do that by working with a reputable company just like us.