Micro-Fulfillment

Over the past decade, distribution centers continue to adjust and adapt as “the Amazon Effect” becomes more pronounced. The Amazon Effect refers to the impact on the supply chain created by consumer demands changing to require smaller orders with faster delivery.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, continues to deliver on those expectations in ways the supply chain has never seen before by delivering directly to consumers. Products that used to be distributed to warehouses, then major retailer hubs, then to the shelves now are expected to be delivered to consumers in less than two days. And the bar continues to be set higher and higher. In some cases, products can even be shipped to the end-location on the same day.

While that turnaround may be unrealistic for some industries, consumer behavior is not turning around any time soon. When was the last time you heard someone say they ordered something online and it got to their house too quickly? Luckily, there is a solution that companies are increasingly adopting to meet the demand of consumers: micro-fulfillment.

Logistics giant DHL refers to micro-fulfillment as “the concept of placing small-scale warehouse facilities in accessible, urban locations that are closer to the end-consumer.” This “last-mile logistics” solution has allowed businesses that offer e-commerce an option to reduce shipping costs and the time associated with getting an order filled.

In essence, micro-fulfillment centers take the most-ordered products from your warehouse and store them in smaller, more strategically located distribution centers closer to where the people are ordering them. This shift allows these centers to be more agile in fulfilling orders quicker, more accurately, and in line with what consumers expect in today’s environment.
There are a wide variety of industries making the shift to compete with Amazon and align with consumers. Even the rise of food delivery services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron showcases the success and innovation that micro-fulfillment centers can bring to an organization.

However, some companies are slow to realize the potential these centers can bring to an operation. They think the investment in new facilities or highly sophisticated equipment comes with a price tag too heavy to justify increases in productivity and performance. But they may not have the expertise to look at creative, low-cost strategies employed by these centers that could be applied to their own operations.

While many of these new micro-fulfillment centers feature a high degree of automation, the same level of productivity can be achieved with the right mix of design, dense storage, and on-demand automation, and without the price tag of a fully automated facility. There are combinations of cost-effective solutions that can be dynamically implemented to supplement your labor force and optimize your operations.

Our team of experts would love to connect and learn about your challenges to see if micro-fulfillment is the best solution for your operations. Giants like Amazon will continue to grow and deliver on these rapidly changing expectations of consumers. Micro-fulfillment could get you closer than you may think, without the investment you think you need to make to get there. For us, making that shift begins with a simple, smart, and strategic approach.

Delivery Expectation Changes

Some call the “Amazon Effect” a disruption. Some recognize it as an evolution of the retail market. While both may be true, one thing we all can agree on is how consumers are changing their expectations on delivery – both in terms of timing and specificity.

However, the “Amazon Effect” is not changing the retail industry alone. Shipping, wholesalers, warehouses, and other sectors that branch off the retail industry are all undergoing seismic changes in how to meet customers’ new levels of expediency. Essentially, consumer behavior & service expectations are proliferating through the business world as well. When people buy, they want their product as soon as possible. In order to meet these new delivery expectations, every point on the supply chain needs to adjust accordingly.

According to Forbes’ Insights Team:

Customer demands for ever more rapid fulfillment are forcing businesses of all kinds to warehouse their goods ever closer to intermediate and end-customers… Getting goods to consumers faster means “seven, eight or nine touches moving the freight to a network of warehouses and forward positions.” In short, says the executive, “that final mile is being redefined almost every day.”

When change is happening as quickly as it is, decision-makers who are “forward-thinking” are getting ahead of the curve.

Being “forward-thinking” means evaluating all aspects of your operations to maximize efficiencies — either by reducing inefficiencies or by introducing new technologies to meet your customers where demand is shifting. In a sense, you know changes in your clients’ expectations are coming if you have not already experienced them.

What Are Your Options?

  1. You could be proactive and adjust your operations now. Get ahead of your clients and provide a seamless experience in catering to their needs.
  2. You could be reactive and wait until your clients require you to change. Run the risk of your clients having a disruption of service when their needs change.
  3. You could never adjust to changes in your industry. Good luck with that.

When you are ready to explore your options to adjust to changes in delivery expectations, we are here to help. Storage Solutions has decades of combined experience in working with our clients and partners to optimize – not just for today’s needs, but for tomorrow’s growth as well.

essential solutions storage needs

As the COVID-19 crisis continues its lifecycle, businesses deemed non-essential are closing down across the country. Because our company serves many necessary logistics, construction, and supply chain industries, Storage Solutions is continuing to operate unless circumstances change. We were early to establish a COVID-19 Task Force and shift to a remote workplace, wherever applicable.

We also know that we are not alone in our essential role in our economy. Companies in the material handling industry are working safely to ensure deadlines are being met, and progress continues as well as it can, given the circumstances. We are seeing many businesses responding to a change in demand. Now more than ever, companies are seeing the need for flexible, dynamic operations and are adjusting how they work to meet those challenges head-on.

Our experts are always ready to learn about how the challenges are causing pain in operations. As our company is continuing to evolve, we have the expertise in providing essential solutions and so much more.

Let us know what we can do to help. Below are a few ways we are supporting companies who are running to the best of their ability to meet changing patterns in demand at a rate they may never have before.

We Are Buying and Selling Used Warehouse Equipment

We are here to help make sure your business and storage space has what it needs to operate as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Sometimes that means having an affordable solution. We hunt for the best-used equipment and thoroughly inspect every piece to ensure it’s 100% safe and ready to use.

If you are getting rid of your equipment, reconfiguring your warehouse to meet new demands, or relocating your operations, we are also here to help you solve the issues that naturally arise. Whether it’s tools, lighting, logistics, or anything else the job requires, Storage Solutions’ experience and integrated services approach creates truly effortless teardowns that don’t need your constant attention.

Plan Projects with Turnkey Solutions

Because we take an integrated supply and service approach, we can manage projects of any scale to meet your timeline and budget. Need to get permits signed off? We can do that. Need an installation schedule developed? That’s our bread and butter. Need to handle logistics? Why rely on another vendor when we can do that in-house. Our Project Managers assume the unexpected and work with you closely to give you a single point of contact and peace of mind with better command and more control.

Determining the Right Course with Design and Dynamic Solutions

We know that the best solutions start with the best designs (link to blog), and we are ready and capable to get started in providing Design Solutions to develop the optimal storage layout and pick process custom developed for your operation. We can address issues like SKU proliferation, the impact of e-commerce, anticipated changes in demand, and factor in costs associated with labor. We want to give you a flexible and scalable solution based on data and expertise.

We can also talk about how adding dynamic solutions like automation to your operation no make it more technology-driven, no matter what level of automation currently exists (if at all). Many companies are looking for creative ways to stay competitive in an ever-changing economy, and one of the most cost-effective forms of changing the way your warehouse works is to introduce these solutions.

Let’s Talk About Essential Solutions!

Whatever your needs may be during this time, we are here for you. We are interested in learning about the challenges you may face. Whether those challenges arose before, during, or after the crisis, we are ready. Give us a call at 800-474-2001, and our experts would love to connect.

We are here to serve you with the essential solutions that are necessary to keep your business optimally running. And, we are here to do so in the highest degree.

slowdown-growth-potential

Whether it comes as a result of an impossible-to-predict natural disaster or a regular component of a business cycle, a slowdown is going to happen every so often. Few industries are not susceptible.

Slowdowns do not necessarily mean that the business has stopped. In the current situation that affects the entire world, we are still operating at full steam. However, we are subject to regulations and restrictions that affect different cities, states, and regions throughout the country, and we adhere to the authorities there. While some projects are on pause or slowed because of external forces beyond our control, others are continuing per usual.

For those experiencing slowdowns due to external forces, there is a silver lining. During times like these, business owners and distribution center managers can take advantage of these rare slowdowns by taking a proactive approach to evaluating their operations.

What Works for Your Business? Let’s Do More.

The most natural place to start in evaluating your business is to look at what is successful. You have spent the time, resources, and investment in people and processes that led you down a path to success. After all, you have been in business for a reason. However, now is a great time to see what you can do about throwing more gas on that fire.

Are there new hires you can make in an area of your business? Can you bring someone’s problem-solving ability or mindset from one area of the company to another? For example, are there lessons you can apply from a recent win in one area of the business to another? Take a look at your past few years of reports, examine the peaks, and evaluate what it took to achieve those results. Then, do more.

What Isn’t Working for You? Can You Stop Doing Those Things?

It can seem simplistic to say, “We should stop doing the things that aren’t working for us.” However, you will rarely find a more productive time to investigate all of the areas of your business. What are those processes, partnerships, or procedures that can be removed or replaced?

Taking an accurate evaluation of your business also means you need to recognize what doesn’t work for you. It can be a difficult task because an honest assessment requires decision-makers to be humble and own up to actions that are not working the way they initially were intended. It forces action on shortcomings. However, turning those negative habits into positive ones allow your business to avoid any lags when the slowdowns stop, and your business is ready to speed up.

What Are Successful Programs You Can Adopt?

Slowdowns are also a great time to look at processes that competitors or partners have adopted recently. Would a new approach benefit your business? Would now be a good time to look at implementing something new that has worked elsewhere?

This step bears the fruit from building out your network. Is there someone you talked to at a recent conference or whom you interacted with on LinkedIn that may have some insight into something new for your business?

There’s never been a better time to stop, listen, and think about what others are doing and saying about successes in their business. How can you benefit from the lessons they’ve already learned?

It’s Time to Make the Lemonade.

Slow times can cause stress, headaches, and hardships. However, proactive businesses can stem the tide by taking the additional time afforded to them by evaluating their processes. When it is time to put the pedal to the metal, these decisions can pay off in real ways because you’ve done the leg work to put yourself in the best situation to succeed.

If you are looking for a place to start, we would love to help. Our teams are working safely and remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, and we are here to learn about the challenges you face. We are here to provide you with solutions for every square foot!

Rialto California Project

We’re always up for a challenge when it comes to new facility installation! This 100,000 square foot facility in Rialto needed new material to prepare for new product and increased shipping volume in its current layout. We took on the task of installing new racking and removing old material while the facility was fully operational.

This 3-month long project revolved around the replacement of the existing equipment while working around the “operational areas”. This took a lot of coordination between the SSI Project Manager and the team on-site. Everything needed to be completely planned out so the removal and installation could be completed by the scheduled time. We were able to sequence the installation to allow the customer the necessary operating space while giving ourselves ample room to finish the project without delay.

Need some work done on a new or existing facility? Our project management team is here to help you get the job done right.

Relocation Solutions

Everyone knows that moving can be challenging; packing everything up and relocating is both strenuous and tedious. With countless other tasks on your mind, you often hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting for you. When it comes time to get your old distribution facility cleared out, SSI’s Relocation Solutions are here to help!

If you are moving out of your facility and want to transport your equipment to a new facility for redeployment, we’d like to partner with you. Our warehousing and logistics teams will work together to streamline the process. Our crews will dismantle the equipment, load it on trucks, and get it to where it needs to go. Once the material has arrived, they will work fastidiously to get all the equipment up and running to your satisfaction.

If you are moving facilities and are looking for new equipment, we can help with that too! We are always looking to purchase pre-owned material and will offer the most competitive rates for any equipment that you no longer need. If you are dealing with foreclosures, acquisitions, mergers or just want to completely start anew, we also do complete facility liquidations. We seek to make this process as effortless for you as possible. This way, you can focus on managing your business and leave the heavy lifting to us.

You can learn more about these relocation services in further detail here. Let us partner with you throughout your move!

selling used warehouse equipment

There are several reasons that you could be looking into selling used warehouse equipment from your facility. It could be that a relocation has caused a need for upgrades, or maybe a change in your operation. Whatever the reason, our purchasing team is here to clear that unneeded equipment out of the way.

Our team is also dedicated to giving you the best value for your unneeded equipment. This way you ensure that you can put that money back into your new operation. We streamline the entire process, making it easier to get your old equipment removed and new material installed.

Used Equipment Needs

So what are we looking for specifically? While we are open to looking into any type of equipment, here is the list of our Fab Five Most Wanted Used Material. We also look to buy other material such as stack rack, mezzanines, pick modules and more!

Want us to take a look at your material? Contact one of our purchasing experts today!

equipment sales illustration

We are always looking for used equipment!  So why not let us pay you for your unwanted/unneeded materials?

Storage Solutions is your partner when it comes to buying used equipment.  We want to help you move your old, unused materials for a competitive price.

While we appreciate the opportunity to buy any used equipment, there are a few things that we really need on an ongoing basis.

Teardrop Uprights

Uprights are our one of our most popular products at Storage Solutions. Because of that, quality uprights are always in high demand.

Teardrop beams

8′ beams are the most common, so we are always on the lookout for them.  As an integral part to nearly every project, we like to have quality beams in inventory at all times.

Wire Decking

Why Wire Decking? At Storage Solutions, we prefer to use wire decking for a number of reasons.  Since safety is paramount for us, wire decking is much better for fire code compared to the traditional wood pallets.  They are also more cost effective and they drop right into place, making installation a breeze.

To learn more about our used equipment purchasing service, check out our Rack Buyback page!

Relocation Solutions Liquidation Spotlight

After a careful search, Innovel Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of Sears Roebuck & Company, has chosen Storage Solutions to provide full-scale reduction management for its distribution centers.

When it came time to consolidate three locations in Forest Park, Georgia, Groveport, Ohio and Sparks, Nevada, Innovel Solutions trusted Storage Solutions integrated approach to handle each project, beginning-to-end.

“Storage Solutions has a unique position in the marketplace to provide these services to companies of all sizes in North America that are relocating, consolidating or ceasing operation,” said Kevin Rowles, president of Storage Solutions. “We were pleased to work with Innovel Solutions to create a highly sophisticated and scalable plan to meet all of their needs during the liquidation process, and expect to exceed expectations by the end of the project.”

Storage Solutions will be liquidating racking and conveyor at all three locations, and will provide management for auction and maintenance for a variety of other items, including office equipment, powered equipment, batteries and chargers among others.

Interested in being notified when Storage Solutions holds liquidation auctions? Sign up here. (We’ll only use your email address to tell you when auctions are being held.)

 

Sign Up for Auction Alerts

Relocations

conveyorDue to the poor economic conditions over the last 12 months, many companies have decided (or been forced) to consolidate and/or close some of their facilities in an effort to minimize expenses.  This process can be much more difficult than some might expect, and can be the cause of some very large headaches if not handled appropriately.  However, Storage Solutions offers a number of services that will make your transition simple and easy.

  • In addition to selling new material handling equipment, we also purchase used material handling equipment.  This provides an easy option for any company that has been forced to close one or more facilities and liquidate their assets.
  • We also offer trade in value for your used equipment, if you are looking to alter or modify the equipment in your current storage facility.
  • We have our own team of professional installers, which allows us to help make your transition into your new facility as seamless as possible.  Many companies hire third party contractors to perform their installation and demolition services.  Our crews are specifically focused on installing and tearing down pallet rack and racking components.  This enables us to get the job done in a quick and efficient manner, while maintaining an exceptional level of quality in our work.