Overhaul of storage systems across multiple facilities to create optimal, efficient workflows.
Design | Dense Storage | Turnkey Solutions
1.1 M+ Square Feet, 10 Facilities
Midwest, Southwest United States
The Right Mix.
Our client, a private equity firm, acquired a series of warehouses from a regional business that had passed through generations of family ownership. After the acquisition, the operations team was suddenly tasked with solving a growing problem: How do we make our operations and storage optimal for this new ownership group? Ultimately, when the company was acquired, they became part of a more extensive network assembled by the new owners. Being part of the new network brought significant changes to their sourcing and distribution strategy as well as operational requirements for their facilities.
Having worked with us before in a different capacity, a member of the operations team approached us with the confidence to know we were the right organization for this project. It was this individual’s prior experience with our Turnkey Solutions and project management process that made us an ideal partner. They trusted our holistic approach to innovation in storage and in their pick-and-pack processes. They wanted to optimize their storage space for current needs with an eye toward future growth.
Because we integrate supply and service, we can have a tight hold over projects’ timelines and results. We offer a single point of contact for project management, with the team behind them to get the job done the right way. In this case, the clients “gave us the keys” and let us drive the project from start to finish.
As the client grew after the acquisition, so did their warehouse capacity challenges. Over time, it is common for warehouse picking operations to become burdensome and suboptimal. Typically, we recommend regularly taking a step back to examine your entire picking operation – from order fulfillment to shipping — to make sure you are not wasting funds that could be re-allocated elsewhere.
Before the acquisition, the company had not completed a layout assessment for some time. Our team ran into our first hurdle when we learned our client did not have up-to-date drawings of their warehouse layouts. However, our solutions-oriented focus knew that the right processes start with a good design, so our design team paid a visit to their 10 facilities to map out what was needed from a baseline perspective at each unique facility.
From there, we conducted an inventory profile across our client’s pick locations and SKU order frequency to determine which products should be placed optimally throughout the facility in a future state storage system. Because there was no forecast for the inventory, we had to apply a purchasing model from the company’s history, then configure growth factors into the design.
That type of partnership – one where the client is transparent with their processes and their desire to grow – is ideal for us. The more applicable information we have at our fingertips, the better we can design and optimize our clients’ facilities. Because we had a previous relationship, and our client’s point-of-contact had built a level of trust with our team, we were able to factor in all elements and variables into our supply chain engineering.
One of the unique challenges of this project involved consolidating SKUs while finding the optimal configuration for picking across our client’s smaller facilities.
As our initial designs were complete and approved, we looked to improve the density with which our clients’ products were stored. At the time, nearly all of the facilities’ hosted selective racking and storage via floor stacking. While this form of bulk stacking may have made sense initially, the clients’ needs grew to the level that floor stacking was no longer efficient.
Following our CARES Process, we further evaluated the inventory profile and determined that each facility would need its unique plan. Some facilities required double-deep racking, while in other areas, we installed half-pallet rack elevation options, cantilever shelving for ground pick levels, and racking with full pallet ground pick locations. Through this mix of solutions, we allowed for the optimal use of the layouts, dependent on each facility. In buildings with lower clearance heights, we opted to install more hand-picking locations. In taller buildings, we utilized taller uprights with taller bays. Each solution met the needs of each facility.
Because we were able to start this project at the design stage, we were able to give our clients a truly customized, optimal layout created to maximize the efficiency of their plans and processes.
Because our client had experience with our Turnkey Solutions previously, they knew our team had their back in keeping their project delivered on time and budget. Especially on a unique project – one featuring a reconfiguration of 10 different facilities – having that single point of contact was an essential aspect to our client. Our Project Managers have decades of combined experience overcoming unforeseen project hurdles like weather, permitting, labor concerns, and more.
Put yourself in our client’s shoes: Would you prefer to work with a single source, or would you prefer to go to a design firm first, then a distributor, then an installer, and then coordinate all of the necessary paperwork to start a project. Do you know all the steps? Did all the parts get ordered? Was there a disruption in delivery?
Being able to stick with just one experienced team makes this type of project – one that involves everything from design to installation – an easy decision to go with Storage Solutions.
The entire project was complete in about ten weeks, starting with the initial outreach to the time installation was complete. We utilized used material on a fixed cost structure and relayed the costs from our multiple vendors to give our client transparency on cost efficiencies throughout the project.
“Storage Solutions was quick to respond at every turn and their installation crew was nothing short of FANTASTIC.”
– CEO, Plastics Manufacturing
Our goal is to build trust through honesty, transparency continually, and delivering on the expectations we’ve set through our planning. As we had previously mentioned, this project was completed on time and budget. More than that though, we gave another business peace of mind in knowing their operations are running as efficiently as possible, increasing the profitability of their facilities and workforce.
We continue to work on projects with this client, which is a testament to building that relationship and level of trust in the service and quality of the job done.
Because this project featured upgrades in facilities with unique layouts, the results were scattered, though all positive. In some areas, we were able to increase storage capacity up to 39%, with other buildings seeing an increase in storage capacity regularly in the mid-30% range. In one facility, we even saw an increase in pick locations of 89%! We creatively achieved this by applying standardized single-select locations, half-pallet, pallet shelf, and cantilever shelving.
In most set-ups in this project, we never moved a single upright; we only re-profiled based on our clients’ needs, with growth for the future in mind. Simple. Smart. Strategic.