Reducing the time it takes for workers to execute a task is always going to pay off, especially when it comes to order picking in a distribution center’s storage system. With warehouse productivity becoming one of the main interests for Warehouse Managers in 2022, NAS is often asked how our systems can be designed to optimize operational efficiency, while also maximizing storage density.
The first step our team always takes is to fully understand the needs of the customer, how their business operates, any restraints they may have, and of course, the available budget. From here, our designers and engineers are able to tailor make a storage system that meets and exceeds all specified requirements.
In this case, our West Coast team at NASECO (North American Storage Equipment Co.) worked with a Construction Hardware Distributor who needed to improve the most key aspects of their warehouse operations – Storage density and order picking speed/efficiency for small parts.
Dealing with a limited amount of warehousing space as well as a storage system not tailored to the needs of your business is enough to frustrate any growing distribution business owner. These were the challenges faced by our West Coast client, a prominent Construction Hardware Distributor based in Edmonton, AB.
The client solved the first part of this problem, limited space, by moving into a larger 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse location. However, they were still suffering from inefficient order picking and were not taking full advantage of their new larger space in regards to storage density. With a combination of bulk storage, an inefficient mezzanine setup, and small amounts of selective racking, this client was utilizing a storage system that was working against them as opposed to for them.
With this previous warehouse design, the client was suffering from longer order picking cycles due to storing handpicked items in their mezzanines, which resulted in further travel distances for their warehouse workers, which created less efficient operations and a bottle neck in a key aspect of their distribution business.
Due to the requirements of increased storage density for palletized loads as well as improving order picking efficiency, the team at North American Storage designed a system that could meet all these needs.
To accomplish all these goals, a custom storage system was designed and built featuring 288” high Selective Pallet Racking overhead palletized storage, in combination with full beds of 96” deep Carton Flow. The Carton Flow system installed provided the benefits of a FIFO (First In First Out) stock rotation, an increase in pick SKU faces for given bay locations, as well as ergonomic pick levels below the knee and above the chest. As this client often moved particularly heavy boxes of hand-picked items, the ergonomic benefit of this Carton Flow system was of crucial importance. Additionally, the full beds of Carton Flow provided separate picking and replenishment aisles, allowing for even faster picking cycles.
By reconfiguring their storage system in a way that was best suited for their business, our client was able to significantly reduce restocking cycles, maximize the inventory held at the pick faces of their storage system, prevent loss of valuable pallet space, while also ensuring the safety of their workers.
This project was a comprehensive racking overhaul that utilized over 750,000 lbs of steel and more than 42 kilometers of racking and shelving components, including 6300+ pallet positions and 12,400 shelving positions. This was no small project. However, when this project was completed, our client benefited from substantial improvements to their distribution operation in their new facility, while allowing for room for the continued growth and expansion of their business.
As with all of our projects, the team at North American Storage worked diligently with this client, from beginning to end, to ensure that this new storage system met their expectations, provided significant improvements to their operations, and was built to last for many years to come.
Are you interested in learning how to improve your warehouse storage operations? Please contact us here to speak to one of our industrial storage experts right away!