Tag: Warehouse Solutions (page 1 of 3)

Innovative ideas to make your warehouse more efficient

Most businesses are always looking to be more efficient, but never more so than in the present day. A variety of difficult business conditions mean that warehouse and logistics operations are increasingly looking to save money and space. Oftentimes, the best way to do this is to invest in technological solutions – upgrading the infrastructure that your business relies on every day.

Some of the improvements that can be made to warehouse and logistics infrastructure are more familiar, while others are more on the cutting edge. From smarter shelving to roving robots to simply investing in your staff, here are five innovative ideas to make your warehouse space more efficient.

Smarter storage for your warehouse: While there are plenty of cutting-edge technologies you can apply to your warehouse, an equally effective solution is simply to reappraise your storage. A higher density form of pallet racking could easily increase your available storage space by more than half – or double the amount of floor space you have available for other tasks – giving you ample room to grow.

Employee training : Many warehouse and logistics businesses offer some sort of training to employees to help them carry out their roles, often in the realm of health and safety. However, by going above and beyond to offer additional skills training, you can both improve the quality of people’s work and reinforce the ties that bind them to your business. Offering and incentivising training courses can be a great way to sharpen skills, improve practices within your warehouse or logistics operation, and even to fill roles that you may be struggling with or anticipating a need for.

Automation: Warehouse automation isn’t just the future – for many businesses, it’s the present. While Amazon has been the front-runner in this field, they have kept most of their advances to themselves. Numerous companies have stepped into the breach to develop similar autonomous robots and other automated systems, which shepherd pallets and individual items around the warehouse.

The advantages of automation are numerous. Autonomous vehicles and robots can be more reactive, as they receive an order from a WMS and immediately know where to go to carry it out. They also present safety benefits, as they can support heavy loads and pose no risk of injury to human operators, with sensors to prevent them from colliding with people. Their suitability for menial, repetitive work also reduces the physical and mental load on human operators, who can be moved to other tasks.

Tips on How to Effectively Plan a Warehouse Layout Design

Principles of an Efficient Warehouse Layout

Before you start designing your warehouse, you should understand what you’re trying to achieve with your warehouse layout design.

Here are 3 major principles to keep in mind when planning your warehouse:

Space

Consider how to maximise the space you can afford, taking into consideration storage, stock, offices, working areas, empty pallet storage, battery charging, etc.

With a wide variety of vertical racks and freestanding equipment, you should be able to design your warehouse in the way you need it initially, while being flexible enough to change it in the future if desired.

Flow

Warehouse flow can be summarised as the uninterrupted movement of materials, people, and traffic within your building.

Your first goal should be to cut down on any areas of high traffic or potential for cross-flow crashes.

So, each activity that an employee performs must be located as close as possible to the activity that precedes it and proceeds from it.

That also means materials used to perform those activities should be situated as close as possible to each workstation.

Your second goal should be to eliminate as much movement and disruption as possible.

Accessibility

Every product and all products on pallets should be accessible by everyone, usually without the need to move one product to get to another.

That means structuring your pallet racks in rows that are wide enough to accommodate pallet jacks and trucks, and stacking and stocking items strategically for minimal interference with one another.

Millenium SI Solutions for Common Warehouse Problems

Use Your Vertical Space

Look up and make sure you’re using all the vertical space available. Investigate storage media to take advantage of your clear span height. How much cubic feet of vertical space is not being used? Be sure to know how your design might impact your sprinkler design and fire code.

Analyze Your Department Space

Identify functions that do not require high ceilings in areas where lower stacking heights are dictated by the clear height. We often see unused overhead space where large departments like packing and shipping are performed.

Consolidate Locations

If you have multiple locations for storing the same item, consider combining them to create better warehouse space utilisation. This can be done during the putaway process and as a standalone function.

Drop Shipping As An Option

If you store and ship large items, consider utilising some form of drop shipping to reduce your in-house inventory and costs.

Use Off-Site Location for Overstock

If you store a large quantity of excess inventory for a few items, consider some type of offsite storage for the excess, thus freeing up space for supporting the fulfillment operation.

Mezzanine Installation

If your building layout permits, consider the use of a mezzanine to house functions that do not require high-bay storage. These can be expensive and are fairly permanent, but will maximise warehouse space utilisation.

What Can Your Business Gain From Installing a Mezzanine Floor?

Mezzanine floors are beyond being able to create extra floor space or saving money on rent, and there’s a lot more. Of course, being able to create extra space in your commercial building without any major construction work is quite a benefit. However, the versatility of mezzanine floors means there’s a lot of pros to having one.

Here’s what we think your business stands to gain from installing a mezzanine floor:

A Boost to Productivity and Efficiency

An additional working place will go a long way to increase the output of your business. With mezzanine floors installed, you will have new office, lunchrooms, bathrooms, secure rooms and even a fitness centre all within the existing office space.

One of the ways to increase productivity is to look into the work space. More importantly, being able to provide specific amenities can be a morale booster. To provide these amenities, you will require extra space which you cannot afford except through a mezzanine floor.

A Cost-Efficient Approach to Expansion

Compare the cost of the building extra space in your business from scratch to having a mezzanine floor installed. You’ll always stick with the mezzanine option. Building a new structure involves a lot of investment which your business may not be able to afford currently.

However, with mezzanine floors in place, you will be getting value out of every square metre of your current business space. Mezzanine floors help you to achieve maximum and optimal space efficiency.

Quicker Installation Time

It does not end here. Mezzanine floors are made with prefabricated materials. As a business, you do not have the luxury of time to pause business activities. However, there’s no need to disrupt business activities when mezzanine floors are to be installed; the turnaround time is quicker.

When compared with building a new structure, a mezzanine floor saves you time. Depending on the size and space, installing a mezzanine floor is comparatively faster.

Customisable to Suit Your Taste and Needs

The beauty of the mezzanine floor extends to being able to create an interior environment that captures your business philosophy. A mezzanine floor can be customised for an industrial, warehouse, retail, or regular office interior.

We are referring to having a mezzanine floor with decorated walls, wallpapers, ceiling, windows, doors and carpets. What matters is knowing what you intend to achieve out of the new extra space created.

If you believe your business stands to benefit from mezzanine floors reach out to us on  (01942) 603344 or email info@millennium-si.co.uk

 

What Is External Racking?

Are you looking for a way to utilise your yard space that will be completely unaffected by adverse weather conditions? External racking could be the solution for you.

External Warehouse Racking is a storage system that has been galvanised to ensure that the racking will have the longest lifespan possible.

By galvanising the racking you are providing the system with extra protection, ensuring that rust and corrosion are not a problem that you will encounter.

If you have an outdoor space, installing an external racking system will provide useful space for your materials whilst utilising the available space.

Where Could External Racking Be Used?

There are multiple applications that external racking is ideal for:

  • Outdoor retail storage
  • Storage yards
  • Builders Merchants

Advantages of External Racking:

  • Weather resistant – the racking is galvanised to prevent any rust and corrosion
  • Ideal for cold or damp locations
  • Utilising available space in your facility – outdoor space is often under-utilised, outdoor racking allows you to use this space efficiently

Disadvantages of External Racking:

  • The racking must be galvanised to protect it from the elements – this increases the costs and often lead times
  • The products stored must also either not be affected by the elements or be protected from them – this may mean protecting the racking with some form of cladding
  • The floor area must be concreted, flat and level as in an internal warehouse

If you would like more information regarding warehouse racking solutions, call us today on (01942) 603344 or email info@millennium-si.co.uk to arrange a no obligation visit.

5 Critical Pallet Rack Safety Hazards

Physical damage to the pallet rack

Often this damage occurs from lift truck collisions. Sufficient clearance space and clear aisles are both great ways to prevent this kind of damage. Always encourage employees to promptly report all minor impacts or observable damage.

Misaligned Racking Safety Hazard

This can cause collapse or failure of your pallet racking system. During inspection, use the manufacturer’s instructions to check that racks are properly aligned, plum, and level.

Loose Floor Fittings

OSHA is clear that rack columns are bottom-anchored to the floor with column base plates secured with anchor bolts.

Suitability of forklift truck

Your material handling equipment and pallet jacks should be sized to meet your needs.

Weight of stored goods versus capacity of racking system

To prevent dangerously overloaded racks, ANSI/RMI MH16.1 suggests posting the maximum permissible unit load, average unit load, and maximum total load per bay.

In the end, whether your racks are damaged, overloaded, improperly anchored or misaligned, they’re a serious safety hazard that can result in serious injury. OSHA recommends warehouse managers develop a thorough maintenance and inspection program. Be liberal with safety audits that include everything from pallet rack signage all the way up your material handling equipment.

How To Keep Your Warehouse Clean

Top tips on how to keep your warehouse clean and safe

  1. Keep an updated cleaning schedule.
  2. Clear your bins regularly. Bins should never get to the point of overflowing.
  3. Have cleaning supplies available for your staff at all times.
  4. Give employees areas to keep clean.
  5. Clean as you go, ensure everyone tidies up after themselves. It is highly recommended that your staff clean litter such as metal shavings as they work maintaining the standard set by your firm and keeping the area hazard free.
  6. Recycle the rubbish that you can.
  7. Provide staff with the correct safety equipment.
  8. Barriers – there are a range of barriers you can get for your warehouse to ensure complete safety of your staff members and keep restricted access to vehicles such as forklifts. This not only keeps your warehouse cleaner, but also ensures organisation.
  9. Label shelving and floors to ensure your staff know where everything is located.

How to design a disability-friendly office

An all-inclusive, disability-friendly office design creates a safer, more comfortable and welcoming work environment for all, including disabled employees and visitors to your business.

By law, all businesses should provide an all-inclusive workspace that facilitates a safe and comfortable work environment for all employees, including disabled individuals.

As well as looking after employees by helping them to feel more valued and comfortable, a disability-friendly office design attracts a more diverse workforce and a wider pool of candidates, helping your business to attract more top talent.

Whilst some disabled employees may require specialist equipment, most disabled employees’ requirements can be met by simply taking accessibility into consideration when designing your office.

Here are some key features of inclusive, disability-friendly office design.

  • Accessible sockets
  • Adjustable desks
  • Cable management
  • Low lever door handles
  • Low flat panel light switches
  • Wide doorways and hallways
  • Task lighting
  • Quiet workspaces
  • Computer monitor arms
  • Large-print equipment controls
  • Use of ramps instead of stairs where suitable
  • Climate control

Whilst these design features are all disability-friendly, many of them will make your office a safer and more comfortable workspace for everyone.

Space should be a key consideration when designing a disability-friendly workspace, ensuring that there is always enough room for a wheelchair to manoeuvre.

All trip hazards and obstructions should be removed and tidied away, especially trailing wires and cables. Cable management systems are effective for keeping cables neat and safe.

Inclusive office design by Millennium Storage

Here at Millennium Storage and Interiors we provide office refurbishments and new builds to businesses of all different shapes and sizes. We design practical and inspiring office spaces that find the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Our designs are practical for all employees, with accessibility and inclusivity always a key consideration in our design process.

For help or advice with designing a disability-friendly office, or to book a free consultation with our team, give us a call on 01942 603 344.

What are the benefits of pallet shuttle racking?

Could a pallet shuttle racking system help your warehouse to save money and become more efficient?

The type of racking system installed in your warehouse has a significant impact on its overall performance. Your racking will affect both the volume of stock that you are able to store and how efficiently your warehouse operates.

Busy warehouses that experience a high turnover and are stocking and retrieving pallets very frequently may find that pallet shuttle racking can greatly increase their efficiency and productivity levels.

What is pallet shuttle racking?

Pallet shuttle racking systems use remotely controlled semi-automated shuttles to stock and retrieve pallets instead of forklift trucks.

The system can be operated as either FIFO or LIFO and will generally place the picked load in the first available free space.

Pallet shuttle racking is also suitable for use in extreme temperatures including freezer chambers of up to -30 degrees Celsius.

Benefits of pallet shuttle racking

  • Reduces the risk of accidents – Replacing forklifts with remotely controlled shuttles reduces the risk of collisions and accidents occurring in the warehouse.
  • Reduces operation costs – Using automated pallet shuttles can dramatically reduce operation costs by eliminating the need for multiple forklift trucks and operators.
  • Reduces repairs and maintenance costs – Improved handling and a reduced risk of accidents means less expensive damage to racking, pallets and goods.
  • Maximises storage space – Pallet shuttle racking helps to maximise the space available to you. The system requires less space than those that use forklift trucks, allowing for higher density storage.
  • Increases efficiency – Pallets can be stocked and retrieved quicker and more efficiently, saving your business both time and money.

To find out more about our pallet shuttle racking and whether it is suitable for your warehouse, give our team here at Millennium Storage and Interiors a call on 01942 603 344.

5 signs it’s time for an office refurbishment

A tired or outdated office could be having more of an impact on your business’ success than you realise.

Your office’s appearance can have a big effect on employee mood and wellbeing, directly impacting productivity, retention rates and even your business’ profit margin.

Look out for these 5 signs that your business could benefit from and office refurbishment.

The interior is tired, dark or drab

Does your office’s interior communicate the right message to employees and visitors? Faded curtains, stained carpets, and outdated decor can give the impression of a business that isn’t doing very well or doesn’t have high standards. Revitalising your office to create a space you are proud of and enjoy spending time in can also help to inspire and motivate employees and win the trust of clients.

Your business has re-branded

If your business has rebranded or your company culture has evolved, then refurbishing your office can help to reflect these changes and ensure continuity in your branding.

It’s feeling cramped or cluttered

A cluttered, cramped or untidy workspace can be distracting and demotivating for employees. If you’ve run out of room, or your office is beginning to feel claustrophobic, a refurbishment can help you to gain more space.

Employee morale is very low

Employees working in uninspiring or neglected spaces can feel undervalued and demotivated by their work environment. If morale is low, then productivity often suffers too, ultimately having a negative effect on your business’ reputation and bottom line.

Health and safety are being compromised

As well as creating an unpleasant work environment, an old and tired office can also pose a significant health and safety risk. Trailing wires, faulty electrical items, overloaded plug sockets, broken chairs and tables, and blocked fire exits are just some of the common health and safety issues that can easily be rectified with an office refurb.

Need some advice and help with refurbishing your office? Get in touch with our team here at Millennium Storage and Interiors to discuss your requirements and find out more about our office refurb services.

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