Warehouse Operations

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Tips for Maintaining a Warehouse on Budget

A warehouse is a required expense for any factory, distribution center or any other industry which relies on the moving, shipping or storage of physical product as part of their daily operations. Likewise, when dealing with the various facets of industrial manufacturing, a warehouse is essential to the day-to-day operations. When the need for warehouse space is non-negotiable, careful planning can ensure costs don’t skyrocket.

Warehouse Budget Concerns

One of the most important aspects of controlling warehouse costs is an essential understanding of what the space will be used for. Packing, shipping and receiving and assembly should have designated areas; as should storage. Enlisting the help of a talented and experienced person with knowledge of how multi-use spaces work can ensure you’ll have the most efficient layout. It’s wiser to use the new space at maximum capacity rather than risk the need for purchasing additional storage.

Tips for Reducing Warehouse Costs

Although warehouse space is a required expense for some industries, there are several ways to keep the the costs of maintaining such a space within budget:

  1. Consider whether it will be less expensive to buy a warehouse outright rather than leasing or renting one
  2. Monitor labor costs
  3. Monitor energy costs
  4. Safety! Accidents are costly
  5. Protect your inventory with storage cabinets, bins and appropriate shelving
  6. Protect your food related inventory with proper pest control
  7. Invest in the right infrastructure – an office desk isn’t the right surface for packing and shipping, a sturdy industrial workbench will last for years

If you feel you’ve outgrown your current space, again, enlist the aid of a warehouse designer. Perhaps there are ways to convert what you have, with mezzanines, workbenches and color-coded bins, thus avoiding increasing rent and the hassle of moving to a new location.

The warehouse can be an afterthought for management personnel who work in the office and don’t see first-hand the company operations. These staffers know how to sell and market the product, but may not understand the ground operations which occur in the warehouse. Make sure your warehouse has a direct liaison to communicate what they need to work more efficiently. This will help protect the company’s bottom line, which is a win-win for all!

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Signs You’re Ready for More Warehouse Space

Are your pick and pack aisles getting hard to navigate? Is the shipping department spilling over into the office? Sometimes, a warehouse just needs to be reorganized to provide extra storage, but other times you simply need more space. If the warehouse space is losing functionality or becoming unsafe, these are signs you need a larger warehouse.

Worker Zones are Less Defined

When there is no designated space for specific tasks, you probably need more warehouse space. It can become confusing when outgoing orders and incoming product stock are managed in the same area. Likewise, when packing is being conducted on the floor by the shipping dock, that’s a good sign you don’t have enough room to perform the separate functions of a warehouse efficiently and independently of each other.

Aisles are Cluttered

When aisles are cluttered because there is not enough space to store products other than by leaving it on the floor, the problem is more than an issue of not having enough storage space. Employee safety is a factor to take into consideration, and no job is a safe working environment when the floor is covered with clutter and workers can’t safely reach the areas they need access to in order to perform their job duties.

Employees Cannot Get to Items They Need

No one can do their job well when they spend more time rearranging their work area than they do performing their assigned tasks. Items have to be stored appropriately within a well-designed system which allows for them to be easily identified and retrieved when they are needed. Mezzanines help elevate some product while leaving extra room on the warehouse floor below.

Work Spaces are Cluttered

Arguably more frustrating than clutter throughout the building is a cluttered work area. It doesn’t matter if it’s a desk or a workbench, when stuff is in the way you can’t do your job. A combined bench with built in shelves is one solution. Lining the shelves with bins keep items tidy but accessible.

When mezzanines and bins just aren’t enough, it’s time to consider upgrading your space.  When the warehouse is simply too small, you may need to evaluate how you use the space or consider buying or leasing a larger building.

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3 Tips for Your Yearly Warehouse Safety Checkup

Performing regular warehouse safety checkups is a must. The end of the year is a perfect time to get a fresh start on better organization and workflow. Standard advice and templates from organizations like OSHA are a good place to start, but they don’t take into account the quirks and anomalies of your particular warehouse. Instead, try starting from a top-down approach by considering the following before getting started.

Reduce Your Inventory

The safety of a warehouse can sometimes have little to do with employees, equipment, or shelving. The more physical inventory and stuff in your warehouse, the more likely it is that your system will spin out of control regardless of any other choices you may make. During the checkup, look for ways to get rid of any extra inventory. This tip should also be applied to practically everything in your warehouse, from extra supplies to clutter and waste. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re going to need an item in 2018, it’s usually best to either recycle or dispose of it.

3 Tips for Your Warehouse Safety Checklist

Near-Misses Are Your Enemy

When it comes to worker safety, the amount of ‘almost’ accidents is a very big deal. When there are no incidents or injuries from day to day, owners and managers can easily become complacent about the safety of their warehouse. They don’t realize that it’s the near-misses that provide the fastest route to teasing out the real problems. Encourage managers to become more aware of potential pitfalls, and employees to speak up about their duties. If workers feel as though they’re in danger whenever they perform a certain task, it’s these areas that should get immediate attention on the checklist.

Optimize Your Picking Paths

A safe warehouse is highly dependent on the logic of the picking paths. This is a good time to conduct your own research before January 1 to see where you’re losing time to inefficiency. It’s also a way to see which hazards a worker exposes themselves when picking. Talk to the workers about how they feel about the routes, and what they would like to see done to accommodate their needs. The more they understand the thought process, the more likely it is that they’ll follow protocol.

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Keeping Your Warehouse in Order During the Year End Rush

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Throughout the year, you keep your warehouse running smoothly and efficiently. Your employees understand their role in the process and work hard to make the business profitable while taking care of stored items, between the point of manufacture and the time at which they are shipped to the end customer. As the holiday season approaches, […]

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Should You Consider a Mezzanine for Your Warehouse?

Warehouses will generally consider a mezzanine when they’re expanding, but can’t afford or acquire additional floor space. However, they offer far more benefits than just more space. Mezzanines are specifically designed to maximize every last inch of space without compromising on the accessibility of the products. See why you might consider using a mezzanine for your warehouse, and which type will fit your space best.

Mezzanines Save Money

When warehouses start to run out of space, it generally prompts the question of where to go next. However, even the most well designed and organized warehouse may have more unutilized space than you think. Mezzanines are entirely customizable for a warehouse, so you get the exact system you want. Even the most unruly or bulky of products can fit perfectly into the shelving system.

Mezzanines Increase Safety

When it comes to warehouse injuries, almost doesn’t count. The more near-misses you have in the warehouse, the more likely it is you’re going to have a nasty collision. If you’ve noticed that workers are having a difficult time coming and going, then it’s likely you need a new system installed quickly.

mezzanine for a warehouse

The First Step

If you’ve been considering alternative storage options, the first thing is to define exactly what you want to change about your warehouse. Whether it’s redistribution of weight, more space in a certain area, or a new ordering system, there’s a mezzanine system that’s right for you.

  • A free-standing (sometimes called structural or steel) mezzanine is generally used when there’s a lot of traffic in a warehouse that needs to be better coordinated.
  • An integrated mezzanine is recommended for warehouses that store heavy products. Integrated mezzanines will undoubtedly get you the load-bearing capacity you need to ensure minimal damage from either your goods or your equipment.
  • A rack-supported system is another option if your warehouse is getting far too crowded, and workers are starting to feel as though they don’t have room to pick and pack. It provides a catwalk system so there’s more room for manual loading and unloading
  • Finally, a shelving-supported system makes it easier for warehouses that have similar products with slight variations. The more SKU numbers in the warehouse, the more a shelving-supported system can help make it easier to access it all.
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Maintaining a Safe Warehouse with Proper Industrial Shelving

With manufacturing growing at the fastest pace in 2.5 years, it is important to remember the critical nature of warehouse safety. Warehouses are working environments that absorb increased inventory and there is a potential for unfortunate injuries to occur when proper safety protocols aren’t followed. The most important safety rule for a warehouse falls on management and their proper scheduling so employees have time to rest between shifts and aren’t rushed beyond following safety measures, but there are also procedures “on the floor” which help prevent injuries during daily warehouse operations.

Common Warehouse Injuries

According to OSHA statistics, some of the most commonly reported warehouse injuries involve improper lifting, repetitive motions which cause accumulated stress to the back or knees, forklift accidents, or the collapse of items which were improperly stacked and stored. These types of accidents often have a common explanation of employee fatigue and speed expectations which in turn leads to a lack of attention concerning maintaining safety measures.

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Layout of Shelving for Forklift and Foot Traffic

Ideally, from a business perspective, the warehouse is likely to expand its operations over time, especially if the pace of manufacturing growth continues on its current trajectory. As this occurs, it is important to redesign or replace shelving units as needed to maintain aisles which allow for forklifts to operate safely while hands-on floor assistance has room to also move through the area. When shelves are overstocked and especially when merchandise is stacked on the floor, forklift drivers can’t always see pedestrians who in turn don’t know what maneuvers the driver may be about to conduct which creates an accident just waiting to happen.

Safe Storage Techniques

The proper use of adequate shelving units effectively increases the space a warehouse can effectively and safely use. Proper sized shelving for the task at hand eliminates dead space between units and allows merchandise to be stacked higher allowing for better use of the warehouse’s ceiling height. It’s important to remember that the higher a product is stacked it becomes even more important to store it properly to prevent a fall, but when proper equipment and training are provided, and the safety routine is followed, stacking higher is safer and more efficient than simply leaving boxes on the floor because they have nowhere to go.

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The Right Heavy-Duty Shelving for Your Needs

Disorganized Warehouses Waste Time, Space, and Manpower

Warehouses that are chock full of products and warehouses that have limited amounts of empty space gain immensely from an efficient warehouse layout. An efficient layout pays dividends by allowing easy access to storage and inventory. No two warehouses are the same and each has unique shelving needs.

Heavy-duty shelving allows for the best use of available space by offering vertical storage and convenient access. This gives employees the ability to give a quick response and incomparable customer service. Heavy duty is more than a description of how much a shelf will hold. It is a descriptive term acknowledging the durability and years of service available from heavy-duty shelving.

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Creating Warehouse Efficiency

Warehouses can suffer from lackluster operations even when, and sometimes especially when, business is booming. These diminished operations can be caused by too much stock or inventory that languishes in a warehouse. Slowed operations can also be traced to a poorly executed warehouse design that leaves items stored on loading docks, in warehouse aisles, and in other inappropriate places. This practice has a negative impact on warehouse operations and safety.

Using the right shelving and storage units throughout a warehouse is the only way to get the storage facility organized. For example, for smaller parts or stock, using shelves with color coded storage bins will allow employees to quickly visually identify the area they should look in for the desired product.

Types of Heavy-Duty Shelving

Action Wholesale Products has a large selection of heavy duty shelving stocked (and organized) in our Southern California warehouse.

We offer many types of heavy-duty shelving that includes:
Boltless shelving – Flexible storage solution and easy installation with just a rubber mallet.
• Pallet Rack – Store pallets of products on these shelves made with 14 gauge steel.
• Bulk Rack Shelving – Made specifically to store heavy and bulky items.

Action Wholesale Products of Anaheim California has the shelving systems proficiency that helps your company find the right answers to your warehouse heavy duty shelving needs. Call us now at 800-966-3999 or use our online contact form. We serve Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County & Riverside County as the #1 local Industrial Warehouse Shelving and Industrial Equipment Supplier.

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Find the Right Storage Solutions for Your New Warehouse

When your company grows and begins to build out new warehouses, it’s an exciting time as you see the concept become a reality. To some extent you’re going to expand on what you know worked in the smaller warehouse while upgrading daily operations to accommodate the new storage space, shelving solutions, and logistics of larger inventories while customizing the structure to suit your needs.

Shelving Solutions

Bulk Rack or Pallet Rack ShelvingSelecting the appropriate shelving to safely and efficiently store your inventory is of paramount importance. This is a great opportunity to assess what did and did not work well in your former warehouse. Working with a shelving expert who has assisted other organizations with warehouse relocation can mean the difference between success and disaster. You can also take a look at our suggestions for moving into new shelving units without interrupting business operations. With over 37 years of experience in the industrial shelving business, our representatives can help you make informed decisions on purchasing the correct storage solutions and maximize productivity within your space.

Material Movement

The efficiency of your warehouse relies on your ability to move items around as needed. Hand trucks are a basic essential that allows employees to move more than an armload of items at once. Even if you use forklifts for larger projects, a pallet jack is going to come in handy for quick placement of items according to need. Carts of all different shapes and sizes offer specific uses according to your needs, and every warehouse needs to have a few different carts to maintain their daily function.

Work Benches and Stools

Work benches have a simple explanation and practical use, even if you don’t realize the need for one. You have employees who spend 8-12 hours every day in that warehouse, they need a safe place to conduct work. It may be as simple as changing the blades in a razor knife. They may need to tighten a loosened cart part, or repair a broken tool. A work bench and stools can also serve as a desk when papers need to be signed with a shipping agent. There is no way to predict every usage it will see, but a functioning warehouse needs a workbench and stools as part of daily operations.

Our experienced team members can assist you in selecting the solutions that will work best for your new warehouse. Please use our online chat feature or give us a call to speak with a support representative and find the best warehouse solution for you at the best price, guaranteed.

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Get Your Warehouse Organized in 2016 with Boltless Shelving

The hectic holiday season is over as 2016 heralds a new year of increased sales for small businesses, retailers and manufactures. Yet to start out the new year right, your warehouse may need a major overhaul. Organizing your warehouse with boltless shelving can make a major difference as you will be able to get orders fulfilled efficiently and meet production deadlines while controlling inventory costs.

Boltless Shelving is the Optimal Solution for Warehouse Space Optimization

A place for everything with every product, tool, part and other item stashed in its proper place is the ultimate goal of any warehouse manager. Yet no matter how you arrange the items, if you have inferior shelving then your order picking will suffer from unsafe working conditions, slow work productivity, and the increased possibility of products becoming damaged.

Boltless shelving offers a ton of options for business owners and warehouse managers looking for better organization and productivity in their warehouses. These shelves easily optimize available space as employees can quickly assemble the shelves and move them into place without the use of special tools. You can cut down on the rate of downtime to organize your warehouse with these easy-to-assemble shelves made from durable materials. Quickly change the height of shelves that can support the weight of the products as the shelves can accommodate a range of different inventory sizes.

Why Warehouse Organization and Boltless Shelving is so Important

Without an organized warehouse, you risk the chance of misplacing items for months and even years as the products become obsolete. Then your warehouse staff has to deal with less space to organize your remaining product lines into productive picking zones for maximum order fulfillment because these obsolete products are in their way.

Having an organizational plan in place and using boltless shelving lets your warehouse staff stock products in the right places to meet customer demand. An organized warehouse also allows you to lower the number of workplace related accidents. Clearing out aisles that can become clogged with boxes will help workers shift stock without tripping on objects on the cluttered floor.

A wide range of business industries have already taken advantage of the benefits offered by versatile boltless shelving. Contact Action Wholesale Products to find out how our shelves can increase warehouse productivity for your business.