The challenge for small parts distributors is reducing their inventory without causing disruptions to the flow of orders. As logistics specialists, we believe that the simple warehouse storage option of pallet racking is a big part of the solution. In this article, we will focus on some of the key benefits o using this warehouse storage system if small parts picking and storage is your main activity.
Small Parts Pose Big Storage and Picking Challenges
While some companies find large and heavy items difficult to store and ship in a space saving and cost efficient manners, the team of packaging consultants at Logistic Packaging encountered the most challenging issues with small parts picking.
The main issues we encountered were:
- Creating an efficient labeling system to identify each part quickly and accurately
- Developing ergonomic storage and shelving solutions for workers who constantly need small parts
- Keeping track of inventories correctly, given the constant demand for various small parts
- Speeding up order picking in warehouses that deliver small parts to assembly lines and production facilities.
Our range of solutions for our clients varied depending on their individual application. However, the main three elements we always rely on are:
How Does Pallet Racking Help Small Parts Distributors?
Pallet racking is one of the most versatile warehouse storage systems. No matter how technology and warehouse management systems evolve, pallets and racking shelves for pallets will remain an effective solution for warehouses.
Here are just a few benefits of implementing pallet racking for small parts picking:
1. It Is a Versatile Solution that Can Be Reconfigured
Pallet racking is a flexible and versatile storage system. You can add more racks in height, retrofit old racking, and reconfigure aisles depending on your changing needs. Pallet racks are ideal if you are using logistic equipment, such as forklifts or pallet trucks.
You can make the best use of vertical space and grow your storage and order picking capacities within the same warehouse.
2. Create Ergonomic Small Parts Picking Bays for Workers
Custom pallet racking systems allow you to create picking bays at the lower part of the shelving unit, where it is most convenient for workers. Storage trays can be placed at eye level and properly labeled, allowing warehouse employees to find what they need in a quick and error-free manner.
This will allow you to speed up order picking operations and increase your employees’ productivity, while making their working conditions safer, simpler and more ergonomic.
3. Use Top Shelving to Store Extra Inventory
Replenishing storage trays usually takes time. A worker needs to go to a different part of the warehouse, retrieve a storage container and distribute its contents in the adequate storage bins.
With pallet racking, things are much simpler. The employee simply has to use a forklift to retrieve a pallet from an upper shelf and quickly restock the bins. Then, the pallet loaded with storage containers is returned to its place, and the inventory movement quickly noted in the inventory tracking system.
4. Implement FIFO or LIFO Efficiently
First-in-first-out and last-in-first-out are smart systems that ensure proper use of the available inventory. These systems minimize the risk of accumulating old and depreciating inventory, which you have to write off at a point, sustaining a financial loss.
Pallet racking systems facilitate implementing these systems. You can choose the best type of racking system depending on your needs and available space.
5. Designate Specific Areas
Finally, pallet racking systems allow you to make the best use of the available layout. You can determine the adequate width of aisles with maximum precision and designate areas for specific activities, such as:
- parking area for logistic equipment and machines
- loading/unloading areas
- storage for empty packaging materials.
At Logistic Packaging, we focus on finding innovative and sustainable returnable packaging solutions for our clients’ needs. We encourage you to contact us by email or schedule a Skype video call to discuss your specific project.