Many business owners wonder whether they should continue with their current storage system or whether they should change to pallet racks. The answer is that when it comes to storage solutions, there is nothing better than pallet racks. These big shelves that can be used to store both vertically and horizontally will help you store a lot more in your warehouse and they will also make things a lot more organized in your storage area.

The greatest benefit of pallet racks is that they help you save money. The way you are storing inventory and finished product is costing you money because you are not using your storage area more efficiently. This means that it is very likely that you are paying for more storage area than you should. When you bring in pallet racks and organize everything you will discover that there is a lot more space that you can either put to more productive use or stop leasing or renting.

Pallet racks also save you money because they save you time. Imagine a warehouse that doesn’t use pallet racks. Every time they need something it tales 20 minutes to find it and 20 minutes to take it out. If you use pallet racks the process will take you less than 10 minutes because all the warehouse employee has to do is jump into the forklift, drive to where the item is (pallet racks allow you to label everything), retrieve it and drive back out. This means that the people in manufacturing will not have wasted half an hour as they would without pallet racks. They can keep up production and you have a higher output which means more sales.

Which are the best pallet racks to buy and where can you get them?

Pallet racks are made of different materials and the one that you choose is dictated by what you will be storing. If you are going to be putting very heavy items on them then it is best to buy those made of steel or a similarly hardy material. For lighter loads you can choose wooden or plastic pallet racks. It is very important that you observe the manufacturer’s guide on how much load each pallet rack can take – if you exceed the recommended load the pallet rack will break.

As for where to get them, you should be looking for pallet racks for sale online. There are many websites that advertise all different kinds of pallet racks so it is up to you to access these sites and choose the pallet racks of your choice. There are also discount pallet racks available – every so often a manufacturer of racks will get rid of excess inventory by selling it at a discount. These are a great deal because they are usually as good as new.

Lastly, it is important to note that if you buy pallet racks you will need to buy a forklift and employ someone who has the necessary training to operate it. Items on pallet racks can only be accessed using a forklift and never under any circumstances a ladder.

Material handling is an integral part of any manufacturing business – at brings automation and order to the factory floor so that everything is working at the highest efficiency levels. Your material handling supplier is not just a company that sells you the things that you need to automate your business; they need to look at your manufacturing and storage processes and advise you on how everything can work better. This means that they have a stake in your business; they are not just any supplier that comes and goes – they are there with you for the long haul. That is why it is very important to choose the right material handling company for your business.

There are many companies that sell themselves off as material handling companies simply because they supply things such as pallet racks, conveyer belts and forklifts. Be careful about these because they will not do the job of a materials handling company, which is to streamline processes. Good material handling companies have certain qualities:

•    They are not just your partner – they are your strategic partner.  A strategic partner is one who has your long term goals in mind and can work with you to achieve them. You can tell whether a material handling company is good at this or not by how they interview you after you get in touch with them. Do they ask you questions about what you want to achieve? Do they know how you will get to your goal? Ideally, the depth of their questions and the length of the interview will tell you whether they are a serious company or not.

•    They should be in touch with the right companies to supply you with automation tools. When most people think of automation they think of things like conveyer belts and pallet racks. This is all well and good because these are part of material handling. What they fail to recognize is that processes also matter, and things like computers can greatly increase efficiency on the factory floor. The company that you hire should be able to seek out the right providers for all kinds of services that may be needed.

•    Get into the details and see the kind of answers that they give you. Find out what kind of lead time you can expect from the moment you receive an order to when it is fulfilled and delivered to the customer. Find out the upper and lower limits for orders. Find out how orders will be delivered. Remember, all the answers that they give you have to be weighed against your own expectations.

•    It is very important that you define success, how you will get there and how you will know that you are there. This means that they have to provide you with a detailed strategy of what they plan to do, how they will do it and a timeline. This way, you have a document that you can use to measure their work.

•    Lastly, materials handling is not a cheap process so you should be prepared to devote a good portion of your annual budget to it. It will be most expensive in the first year because of all the equipment that you have to buy and then after that, you will be paying for maintenance and also the services offered by the company.

Choosing a material handling company is a complicated process that is lengthy so set aside some time to get it right.

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