Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing a Shelving System

Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing a Shelving System

, by Maeve Reidy, 4 min reading time

No matter what business you are in, your company will need storage solutions!

Regardless of the products or services your company specialises in, you will always need the means to store items. Every business will need shelves for physical files that are legally required to be stored . If you run a data storage facility where you lease space, you will need storage racks for computer and networking equipment. If you run an e-commerce or retail business, you will need a storage system for your stocked products. Each storage need presents different challenges, such as the items being stored, and how they will be accessed by employees or customers.

The need for storage, and planning for it, should never be minimised

When it comes to planning for storage solutions, business owners often make three critical mistakes: Lack of planning storage specifications and requirements, Not defining the storage process, and Choosing the wrong storage materials. Taken individually, none of these would appear to be detrimental to running a business efficiently, but when they occur at the same time the results can be crushing.


1. Not Planning Storage Specifications and Requirements

Many customers assume that storage specifications and requirements will magically take care of themselves ... a team of “Storage Fairies” will fly into their warehouse overnight and drop off a set of blueprints with a perfect shelving system configured to exactly the space required. It is not that easy, but is less daunting if you know what you will be storing and if you follow these four steps:

  1. Determine what kind of material handling equipment is needed, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, operator-up machines, or other equipment. The less space you have between storage shelves, for instance, will help determine if it is best to use an operator-up machine (with some models only needing six feet of aisle space to operate in), or a forklift (which may require a span of 12 feet or greater between storage shelves due to turning radius and other factors).
  2. Plan out your storage racks. Once you know what kind of items you need to store, taking into consideration weights and dimensions, you should then be able to determine how many racks are needed and how many will fit into existing floor space.
  3. Determine the optimum storage size of your product.
  4. Make sure your warehouse or other storage facility includes specific separate areas for receiving and shipping operations.


2. Not Defining the Storage Process

The storage process is a multi-faceted approach that in a modern warehouse or other facility includes not only physically storing items, but being able to find them to ship out. Do you operate a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) stock method? Have you enough space to do this efficiently?
Effectively planning and defining the storage process looks at many factors that will determine warehouse efficiency and how profitable a company is during a fiscal year. Some points to consider include:

  • Dock operations, which are a classic example of storage resource planning that is often ignored until mistakes have been made. The Dock is an important hub for unloading and loading products, checking for damage, and verifying the counts of items listed on delivery dockets.
  • Receiving operations. Receiving duties often include the Dock functions, and is the starting point for inventory control in the warehouse.
  • Storing operations, where product is typically moved from a Docking area to a holding area. From there, controls are in place to track items, verify where they should be stored, and get them to right storage location.

Part of the storage process also includes ongoing maintenance of storage shelving and equipment like forklifts, keeping the storage area clean, safe, and efficiently organized and facilities management related to the storage (this would include heating, cooling, and ventilation systems).

3. Choosing the Wrong Materials

From our experience, a critical error that many business owners or managers make is choosing the wrong materials for the products being stored. Keep in mind that certain storage shelves that may be appropriate in a residential environment, such as wood, glass, or plastic, are not suitable in a commercial or industrial warehouse or other types of businesses – unless the units are set up in an office or staff area and used to store things like books, CDs, or other small items.

Running a company is never easy - business owners have to juggle a variety of concerns, like profitability, employees (training, payroll), market share, safety issues, facilities management, environmental issues, and even media and community relations. The last thing an owner or manager needs is a poorly planned and implemented storage system!

The shelving systems offered by ShredPack are manufactured by Metalsistem in Italy using prime quality 3.1B certified high tensile steel coils that meet or exceed EN:10204 standards. Galvanized and rustproof, they are highly customisable and can withstand large weights, as well as being extremely cost-effective. Not only that, they can be easily slotted securely into place, without the need for screws or bolts.



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