Archive for March, 2022

Ask the Expert Series: Pallet Racking

March 30th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Got questions about which pallet rack system is suitable for your application? We have answers.

In this post of our Ask the Expert Series, Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano answers frequently asked questions about pallet racking. Anthony has worked in the material handling industry for decades. He uses his knowledge to help companies streamline their warehouse storage systems to optimize productivity and maximize profitability.  

If you have questions about systems and automation, we guarantee Anthony, and his team of experts will have the answers.  

What are the benefits of finding the correct type of racking?  

Finding the right type of racking leads to more efficiency, greater accessibility, and improved employee safety.  

What is selective pallet racking?  

Selective pallet racking is the most flexible and popular pallet racking method on the market today.  

What are some of the advantages of selective pallet racking?

  • Easy to install with no special tools or training
  • Special interlock system to protect against tampering and damage
  • Commonly uses single deep or double deep pallet racks  

What are the benefits of single deep pallet racking?  

  • Flexible and low cost  
  • Allows operators access to every product SKU
  • Great for companies where products must be stored and retrieved quickly   

What are the benefits of a double deep pallet rack?  

  • Better space utilization  
  • It can pick multiple pallets simultaneously  
  • Comparable in cost to single deep racking  

What is a pallet flow rack?  

A pallet flow rack, commonly referred to as a gravity-flow rack, is designed to save space, labor, and energy. It feeds pallets at one end and retrieves pallets at the other.  

What are some of the advantages of a pallet flow rack?  

  • Uses gravity to save space, labor costs, and energy  
  • It can be combined with automated storage and retrieval systems for increased efficiency and productivity
  • An excellent solution for companies in the freezer, warehouse, food handling, and e-commerce industries.  

What is push-back racking?  

Push-back pallet racking uses carts installed in the racks and stores several pallets on a slight upward incline.  

What are some of the benefits of push-back racks?  

  • Provides high-density storage in a single-aisle
  • Provides deep storage for medium turnover products  

What is a cantilever rack?  

Cantilever racks are custom racking systems designed to store long, bulky, or oddly shaped products.  

What are some of the advantages of cantilever racking?  

  • Custom built with the strength for multilevel storage at any desired height
  • Great for furniture, lumber, and other companies with large, cumbersome products   

What is a drive-in/drive-through rack?  

Companies use drive-in/drive-through racking to store massive quantities of products.  

What are some of the advantages of drive-in/drive-thru racks?  

  • Efficient and straightforward to set up
  • It uses fewer aisles than standard racks, making it easy to store 75% more pallets
  • A variety of heights and depths are available  

Do you need help designing a warehouse storage system or pallet rack system? Contact us for a free consultation today! Our team of experienced material handling experts is standing by to help you.  

Hungry for more information about working with us to optimize your warehouse? Click here to learn the first step in the process, how much you need to be involved, what you will get back from us, and more.  

Ask the Expert Series: Warehouse Slotting

March 14th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Order fulfillment times have a direct correlation to customer satisfaction and overall profits. Both are at risk if you do not have a well-thought-out slotting process in your warehouse or distribution center.  

In this part of our Ask the Expert Series, Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano answers frequently asked questions about warehouse slotting.  

Anthony helps companies optimize productivity and deliver fast accurate order fulfillment. He has decades of experience helping companies in Los Angeles County find modern solutions to increase customer satisfaction and maximize profits.  

What is warehouse slotting? 

Warehouse slotting describes the process of organizing inventory in a warehouse or distribution center for more efficient order picking and restocking.  

What happens if you have a poor warehouse slotting process? 

If you have an inefficient picking process, you can run into all sorts of problems like high labor costs, large storage footprints, and varying order fulfillment times. 

What are the types of slotting?

There are two common types of slotting: fixed and random. 

What is fixed slotting? 

With fixed slotting, everything has a permanent location. When the bin gets near depletion, it gets restocked from reserve storage. 

What is random slotting? 

With random slotting, products are in pick zones instead of pick locations. If inventory in one slot is empty, employees move to another area in the pick zone.  

Random slotting means incoming inventory gets moved to pick zones, eliminating the need for reserve inventory and extra storage space.  

Which is better – fixed slotting or random slotting? 

It depends on which is more important – saving time or warehouse space. 

Fixed slotting means moving items from reserve storage, which can be more time-consuming than random slotting.  

Random slotting requires a larger working area but eliminates moving items from reserve storage. 

What are some of the benefits of improving your warehouse slotting process? 

  • Reduced order picking and replenishment times 
  • Increased order accuracy 
  • Reduced repetitive stress injuries 
  • Reduced labor costs 
  • Optimized warehouse space and more storage capacity
  • Improved inventory management processes and costs
  • Reduced overall warehousing costs 

How is slotting organized?

The best way to organize slotting is by SKU number, product type, or product characteristics like size or weight. 

What is an easy change that makes a big difference in warehouse slotting? 

One significant improvement in order picking efficiency is identifying demand correlation and moving these items closer together.   

What is demand correlation? 

Demand correlation describes products ordered at the same time. 

How do you identify demand correlation? 

The easiest way to identify demand correlation is to look at your company’s past order history. 

What can I do right now to improve my warehouse slotting process? 

Here are four ways to significantly improve your slotting process: 

  1. Select a small zone to reorganize and get started. You will learn a lot along the way. 
  2. Invest in a warehouse management system (WMS). A WMS not only makes the slotting process easier but also controls all your warehouse activities for improved order fulfillment and accuracy. 
  3. Ask warehouse pickers for suggestions. They often have great ideas to improve efficiency. 
  4. Schedule a slotting analysis from an industry expert. The industry is constantly changing. Experts can inform you about systems and automation technologies new to the market. 

Who can benefit from a slotting analysis? 

  • 3PLs 
  • Ecommerce distribution facilities 
  • Warehouse operations with a change in SKU volumes
  • Companies with order fulfillment challenges looking for better inventory solutions 

What are other ways to use modern technology to improve warehouse operations?  

Click these links to read our previous “Ask the Expert” posts about robotic palletizing, robotic order picking, cube utilization, and order picking solutions 

Are you ready to work on your warehouse slotting process to improve customer satisfaction and overall profits? Anthony and his team of warehouse automation experts are available to perform a slotting analysis at your location. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.  

Did you know? Automation can boost customer satisfaction and overall profits. According to a study by Robotics Business Review, “Automated and efficient warehouses were 76% more likely to boost inventory accuracy to 99% or higher, 36% more likely to have reduced labor costs an average of 3% per year, and 40% more likely to consistently ship within one day of an order’s placement.”