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Engineering-Permitting-Turnkey

The idea of climbing a mountain alone sounds daunting: Do you have the right supplies? Do you have enough endurance? What happens when the weather changes?

While managing a warehouse transition may not be as personally perilous as climbing a mountain, there are similarities in both requiring ample planning, preparation, and the ability to adapt as conditions change. They also have another thing in common: they become a heck of a lot easier if you have someone with experience there to guide you.

As part of our Turnkey Solutions, we offer our clients peace of mind by providing oversight for each component of a project. Our team of Project Managers and Project Coordinators consider project management, safety checkpoints, installation progress, permitting, and logistics with every partner across the country. We are in constant communication to ensure your entire project is delivered with the flexibility to change as things may change along the way.

Engineering a Solution with a Single Point of Contact

Our project managers’ relationship with your project begins before you even meet them. They are the team members who are running estimations on parts and equipment, finding the best solutions required to install each stage of the project. They are also working with our designers on preliminary engineering and design. In our world, engineering and design go hand-in-hand. Why not have a single person who knows the ins and outs of both?

Time and again, we hear from our clients how vital our turnkey solutions are to the success of a project. These project managers give our clients more command and control over projects because we know the status of all projects at any given time. Projects are delivered on time because our team has overseen hundreds of buildouts and understand how to anticipate the unexpected. Projects are delivered on budget because we are proactively managing potential hurdles along the way before they turn into costly change orders.

We know that coordinating vendors at your site is a challenging piece of the construction puzzle, but it is one piece that we know gets solved with anticipation, organization, and active communication with all stakeholders.

Navigating the Permitting Maze

Once a proposal becomes a project, our team has already begun creating a permit package, which acts as a roadmap of all the boxes that need to be checked along your project’s lifecycle. There we identify all the requirements, including fire codes, storage permits, structural permits, documents required for the Department of Homeland Security, and so much more.

Depending on the region, navigating the permitting portion of a project could be its own fulltime job. However, because we have worked with a wide variety of municipalities across the nation, our team learns, grows, and shares information on best practices on each project. For example, we understand how important each detail is in drawing submissions, which helps to eliminate unnecessary laps between the regulator and us. Because we spend so much time at the front of the process getting those details correct, the rest of the project can run as smoothly as possible.

Make the Best Use of Your Time

And what is the opportunity cost of doing all the permitting yourself? Do you call the building department or the city planner? What are the fire codes? Is the area under construction part of a seismic zone? When you are stuck on the phone trying to call around to find these answers – and figure out if these are the only questions you need to ask – you are spending valuable time that could be used on tasks more closely associated with your jobs. The Storage Solutions team already knows what questions to ask, whom to ask those questions to, and how to get the answers to the appropriate party. It is the Storage Solutions difference.

Let’s Get Started

Decisions typically come down to the value of your time. Because we are a trusted partner to our clients, we understand the intimate details of each proposal and have a head start on what is needed to get the project done. Our team is ready to get started and learn more about your upcoming project, whether it is a new building, a renovation project, or a relocation/removal situation. Call us today at 800.474.2001 or contact us here to speak with a Storage Solutions expert!

strategize-with-right-design

As increases in customer service demands continue to change the distribution & fulfillment industry, a growing number of warehouse managers face the challenge of configuring their layout and process for an optimal, efficient workflow. Whether your organization is clearing space for new equipment, relocating, or installing new equipment to meet the needs of a changing economy, maximizing throughput is the key to optimizing your future operating strategy. When you are considering your options for your new layout, know that optimal systems start with the right design.

Find The Right Design for Your Business’ Operating Strategy

Our expert team of design professionals works with clients on analyzing the challenges they currently face. Fulfillment issues can arise from problems caused by scattered SKUs to a lack of flexibility in your system to account for small or rush orders, among other inefficiencies.  However, Storage Solutions has the experience and knowledge to find these pain points and turn them into strengths. We find solutions to address your current challenges.

Our expertise in design revolves around using data to maximize your space while keeping costs down. We also look to your future and can build in such a way to provide flexibility to account for future growth in the dynamic world of the supply chain.

Continuing Support for Your Project

We don’t just stop at the design aspect, either. We work with firms throughout the life of their projects with our CARES (Collect, Analyze, Recommend, Execute, Support) system. This process ensures quality and care from the initial design phase until after installation and training are completed.

It is important to us that your new system works for optimal performance. With over 40 years in the industry, our team knows how to set up a system for success.

Let Us Solve Your Challenges

Our support team knows the challenges that come with growing businesses. Instead of holistically evaluating your workflow with each new process or project, perhaps a process gets tacked on to your current set-up, and maybe those challenges get solved with a “band-aid,” so to speak.

When you are ready for that full workflow assessment and evaluation, call us. We know that the best systems start with the right design. We are ready to get started. Click here or start a chat below and one of our experts will work with you in assessing your needs for warehouse workflow improvement.

dense storage solutions

As a natural byproduct of business cycles, warehouses need to be flexible as storage needs ebb and flow. During periods of economic growth, these warehouses need to find ways to increase capacity without increasing the facility size. Similarly, as a result of new equipment or new inventory profiles, managers are often tasked with finding ways to decrease their layout’s footprint while maintaining (or even increasing) their storage capacity.

In our experience, many small-to-medium-sized companies are unfamiliar with the benefits of introducing dense storage solutions. Often, these companies are more familiar with a traditional, selective pallet rack option. Depending on your inventory, there may be an opportunity to install dense storage racking at this stage of a business cycle. But first, before you evaluate those options, managers should make sure they design the optimal plan.

Perform a Facility Design Assessment

Whatever steps you decide to take, know that your best bet for an optimal result may begin with a complete facility design assessment. Our experts can look at your layout and provide suggestions for the optimal design for your operation. Our experts can help you take the guesswork out of the process.

Integrate Smart Slotting Data

Primarily, Smart Slotting introduces a data-centric approach to optimizing your picking process. The tool measures operational and storage costs against the volume of your picking demand to give you the optimal inventory slotting strategy. However, this approach also improves your ability to increase capacity by moving SKUs to the best possible storage media types.

Are You Ready for Dense Storage Solutions?

If you have large quantities of pallets on hand for each item you are storing, dense storage may be right for you. Let’s look at the options:

  • Pushback: These are systems in which pallets are stored on a cart system on a slight pitch so pallets can gravity flow back down to the front location as pallets are removed from the system. Pushback racking is ideal for Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) inventory systems or First-In, First-Out (FIFO) inventory for larger lot/date code SKUs. These systems often utilize nested carts, which make the placement and retrieval of products easy.
  • Pallet FlowPallet flow rack is an ideal option for warehouses that operate on a First-In, First Out (FIFO) inventory system & have large quantities of pallets on hand per SKU. This flexible racking system can be designed to your desired depth to maximize your capacity & utilization of the storage system. Pallet flow systems are customizable and uniquely designed for your products.
  • Drive-In / Drive-Thru: Drive-In and Drive-Thru racking are similar in that they increase storage density & require fewer aisles in your warehouse. The main difference between the two is Drive-In racking is accessible via forklift by one end. Drive-Thru racking is accessible from both ends. Drive-In & Drive-Thru racking work best for operations with really large quantities of pallets on hand per item. The best applications have the same SKU stored from the ground to the top & from the front to the back in each lane of the storage system. To keep utilization high, it is also ideal to have multiple lanes of Drive-In or Drive-Thru racking filled with the same item.
  • Semi-Automated Deep Lane Systems: These systems allow an operator to utilize a semi-automated cart to move packages into dense storage racking. This system can integrate perfectly with both LIFO and FIFO inventory systems. Semi-automated deep lane systems are often 25-40 pallets deep & work great for operations that have lots of pallets on hand per SKU & relatively high throughput requirements. These modern systems are fast and extremely easy to use, also utilizing green technology to operate.

Whenever you are ready to talk about your dense storage solutions, we are here for you. To get started, contact us and we can look at your inventory profile and share how our design-based solutions can increase storage space and ultimately increase your warehouse’s capacity.

design-solutions-sku-proliferation

There are few industries that are not affected by SKU proliferation. Within industries ranging from consumer goods to life science, there are a number of supply chain complexities that come with an increase in SKUs. Typically, SKU proliferation results after a company acquisition or a new product launch. Alternatively, SKU proliferation may occur as a result of adding new varieties of current offerings or changes in seasonal demand.

SKU proliferation can cause headaches for warehouse managers who now need to anticipate new order frequencies and volumes. To combat SKU proliferation, should you completely reorganize your warehouse? Should you make minor adjustments and re-evaluate later? Where and when should you begin?

You Always Start From the Start.

The best way to battle SKU proliferation – and the inefficiencies caused by not optimizing your setup – is to start with the right design solution. The right design solution will match your storage capacity with your inventory profile, taking into account the dynamics of the optimal pick process.

By beginning with a Facility and Storage Assessment, you set yourself up for success by engineering a game plan before any action takes place. Also, we take into account other variables that can affect the optimal performance of a warehouse. Typically, we talk to clients about trends they see with smaller shipping packages, changes in service expectations, and other external factors that can reshape a distribution network. 

What Else Should You Factor In?

Also, this is a great time to introduce Smart Slotting to our clients. Smart Slotting uses factors such as labor costs, space costs, replenishment costs, and equipment costs to provide you with the most efficient inventory slotting plan. All operational costs are taken into account to define the lowest possible throughput cost per item for your facility. This

We have found that examining all variables at this stage leads to a more efficient warehouse. Ultimately, the right answer comes from taking a step back and taking a look at “the forest, not the trees.” At this point, warehouse managers need to ask themselves: Is now the right time to introduce automation? Do you need to increase dense storage? Are you running out of shelving space?

Ask the Experts.

Storage Solutions experts are here to answer these questions. We have the knowledge and experience to tailor the right solution to suit your needs. Especially if your warehouse does not have an industrial engineer on staff (and not many do), the correct answer may not occur naturally. However, the right answer will likely come from an expert who knows the ins and outs of facility redesign. It comes from making changes based on where demand from your customers is shifting. 

More often than not, we hear clients say, “I am running out of storage space.” Our answer is typically, “Are you? How well are you using the space you have?” 

The answer is not always rocket science. However, the right solution usually is simple, smart, and strategic. That is what we are here to do: Connect you with that solution. Contact us today to get started! 

Project Spotlight Smart Slotting

You may have heard us mention our new Smart Slotting tool recently. In this project, the customer came to us looking for an answer to their low storage utilization percentage of 20% across the entire facility. With Smart Slotting, we were able to provide a practical answer to this problem, while also increasing productivity and efficiency.

By collecting some preliminary data, our experienced team uses Smart Slotting to provide a layout that best suits your needs. This new layout provides you lower operating cost, while also increasing the daily throughput of your facility.

In this example, the customer saw over a 12% decrease in their daily labor costs. They were able to find a location for all of their SKUs, and raise their storage utilization numbers over 70%. In addition, they were able to cut their storage mediums in half after the Smart Slotting evaluation. The new location types and sizes designed for stored items is much more efficient and simple.

This project had a significant impact on the customer’s operation by improving space utilization, reducing labor costs, and increasing throughput to lower operating costs. The new storage configuration also set the customer up with space for product growth for a minimum of five years.

Interested in learning more about the methodology and analysis behind this project? View the full case study here and contact us today to see how we can assist with your operational needs.

Strategic Optimization Solutions

With the constant changes taking place in the supply chain industry, everyone is looking for ways to improve efficiency and take their operation to the next level. At Storage Solutions we also recognize these changes and want to ensure we are always offering the latest products and solutions to best serve our customers. As a result, we have rolled out our Strategic Optimization Solutions (SOS). This new approach includes six key areas of focus: design, dynamic, technology, storage, turnkey and relocation solutions.

Simple. Smart. Strategic.

The goal of our SOS offerings is to provide value to every customer in tackling any business challenge they partner with us to address. By using a simple, smart, and strategic approach we offer our customers solutions to cover every aspect of their operation. Whether you need to add a new storage system to maximize space utilization within a facility, make a change in your warehouse design to improve productivity, or make an upgrade to the latest technology in the industry, we have you covered.

With so many offerings, it can be hard to know which approach is best for your company. Take a deeper look at our Strategic Optimization Solutions to learn more about each one. Our team of experts can work with you to analyze your challenges and review any necessary data. From there, our simple, smart and strategic approach will allow us to develop recommended solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us today to start the process towards optimal efficiency in your facility. Let us work together with you through all your operational endeavors!

Workplace Productivity Increase with Ergonomics

We often examine the positive effects an efficient warehouse design can have on your operation, but what does it mean for your employees? When it comes to warehouse productivity, one of the main components of keeping your facility moving is keeping employees safe. Taking small adjustments into account when setting up your warehouse can be huge for your employees in the long run.

Warehouse Ergonomics

Part of keeping your employees safe is keeping them comfortable. One way to do this is by storing items at the optimal level to reduce strain on pickers. Along with keeping items at a certain level, another aspect of warehouse ergonomics is keeping highly selected items around the same area to lower foot traffic in the facility.

Another way to keep your employees in good health is to integrate some type of automation within your facility. Automation will help you decrease the foot traffic needed to transport goods to all parts of your warehouse. Less exertion means fewer ergonomic issues down the line, helping you keep your staff healthy and comfortable. This will also assist with your overall warehouse productivity as well, which makes it an all-around win.

How We Can Help?

When it comes to keeping high pick volume items in the same area, we offer our newest service, Smart Slotting. This inventory slotting tool takes all of the data provided, such as picking and replenishment rates for different SKUs, and will give you the blueprint to optimize your space and help cut down on unnecessary movement around your facility.

Another way to support ergonomics is through automation. We offer a variety of dynamic solutions that can help with cutting down strenuous movement and wasted time. This includes powered conveyor to move items with ease throughout the facility, and Vertical Lift Machines (VLMs) to allow for fast and ergonomic picking with almost no walking being required.

Another dynamic solution we offer is Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). AMRs give your employees the ability to stay in one area to work as opposed to moving around the facility. This keeps employees out of the way off forklifts and other machinery moving throughout the warehouse.

Want to learn more about how we can help you keep your facility safe and productive? Click here for more information on our Dynamic Solutions.

design solution process

Here at Storage Solutions, you may know us as the “pallet rack guys”, but the truth is we offer much more than just storage equipment. One area that we have expanded on quite a bit recently is our Design Solution process. We’ve always had a team of experts in place to help you create a design layout that is right for your facility, and that isn’t changing. However, we are excited that in recent years we have grown that team to allow us to offer more complex design capabilities.

Design Solution Processes & Offerings

One way that we can work side by side with you for your design needs is our C-A-R-E-S process. Through this process, we can point out specific operational challenges and ways to address those challenges. We will also help you prepare for future growth or change that you will inevitably face down the line. The C-A-R-E-S process is a customer-focused process in which we do the following:

  • Collect data
  • Analyze the data
  • Recommend alternatives
  • Execute the solution
  • Support the new system

Another design solution offering is our latest tool, Smart Slotting. This warehouse slotting optimization tool can help you address the ever-changing demands of customers, increases in labor costs, and other inefficiencies causing challenges within your warehouse. Not only will this tool offer a proven, cost-saving analysis, but it can all be accomplished very easily by working with our team to collect the appropriate data.

In addition to these design tools, we also offer a variety of other options to address pain points within your operation. These services include storage assessments, overall facility assessments, material flow assessments, and more. We also can work with you to create a complete facility design for your operation. Regardless of what your needs are, our Design Solutions team will help take the guesswork out of it all.

Does our warehouse design solution sound like something that may help fix some of the bottlenecks in your current operation? Learn more about our Design Solution offerings here!

 

Smart Slotting

Here at Storage Solutions, we recognize that the demands of your customers are constantly changing. With that, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to help you make sure your operation is running at optimal efficiency. That is why we are excited to announce the addition of our newest service offering, Smart Slotting. Smart Slotting is a warehouse slotting optimization tool powered by Slot 3D.

Smart Slotting Capabilities

Our slotting solution is fully integrated with AutoCAD®, the world’s leading design software program. With Smart Slotting we will help take the guesswork out of your facility layout. The software uses several factors when determining the best solution possible for your operation. These factors include things such as space costs, replenishment costs and equipment costs. By simply pulling together and inputting the necessary details, Smart Slotting can then run the numbers, analyze the data and help us define the lowest cost operation plan for your facility.

Concerned about seasonal spikes or future growth? Not a problem! Smart Slotting allows us to factor this in and more to make sure you design a facility to fit all your ongoing needs.

Learn more about the benefits of Smart Slotting here, or contact one of our slotting experts today at 866.474.2001.

C-A-R-E-S design process

Why should the Storage Solutions C-A-R-E-S warehouse design optimization process matter to your company? Everyone experiences challenges & changes within their operation. With the Storage Solutions C-A-R-E-S process, we follow a systemic approach to uncover any issues you may have. These guidelines allow us to address specific opportunities for improvement, pain points, growth objectives & more. We have tailored this process to be fully customizable to fit your budget, needs, and time frame.

For example, we can address issues you may have when it comes to order fulfillment. The cause could stem from picking challenges or e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment demands. For this reason, it is imperative to design a solution that works best for you and is dynamic enough to adapt at the drop of a hat to meet external expectations.

Likewise, internal issues such as SKU proliferation or facility consolidation may be items that need to be addressed. Our C-A-R-E-S process can analyze these issues to provide you with the most efficient answer to your current problems. Similarly, we provide you with the most flexible solution to ensure you are ready for any changes down the pipeline.

In conclusion, by using our data-driven C-A-R-E-S process, we can help you create a solution that can be justified not just operationally but also economically. By developing your distribution to optimal efficiency, we can address your current and future goals. Our team of material handling professionals and our in-house design team make the perfect tandem to prepare you quickly for market changes and increased customer demands.

Now that you know why an optimized warehouse design is essential, you can learn more about our C-A-R-E-S process here!