Tag Archive for: storage

Permit Department Introduction

Storage Solutions strives to improve the customer experience by continually seeking the most effective ways to serve our clientele. Leveraging the expertise of our in-house teams, including project management, installation, logistics, and Computer-Aided Design (CAD), enables us to exercise greater control over project outcomes and timelines. In our ongoing commitment to enhance service offerings, we have recently established a dedicated department within our organization focused on researching and obtaining project permits for our customers.

The newly appointed Director of Permit & Licensing, Dani Hasty, who brings over eight years of experience as a project manager at Storage Solutions, sheds light on the pivotal role of permits in warehouse projects and their impact on project timelines.

“Permits are contingent on municipal requirements and project scope. Adhering to each city’s regulations is imperative to avoid complications such as failed inspections and fines. While we can expedite the necessary documentation, we are subject to the city’s approval turnaround time, which can significantly impact project timelines.”

Upon permit submission, the city assumes control over the processing time, introducing potential risks and the possibility of missing critical deadlines. In anticipation of such challenges, Dani outlines our team’s proactive strategies.

“We proactively gather required permit information upon receiving a Purchase Order (PO). Although the turnaround time for drawings and other deliverables can vary, transparent communication from the outset helps us stay ahead of potential obstacles. Our team’s collective objective is to establish realistic timeline expectations during the quoting phase.”

For years, the responsibility of obtaining permits has rested predominantly on the shoulders of our project managers. With the introduction of the permit team, project managers can now redirect their focus to other project details, with the assurance any permit aspect of the project is being taken care of.

“Our team of permit managers will work directly with the Storage Solution’s project managers and sales teams. Our main goal is to research each jurisdiction in-depth and provide them with the most cost-effective and efficient path to obtain a permit. Our job is also to manage all communication with the city in hopes that by taking this workload off the shoulders of our sales and PM team, they will have more time to focus on the day-to-day details of each project.”

Eager to enhance our suite of in-house resources, our permit management team is poised to provide Storage Solutions’ customers with comprehensive support, ensuring timely and successful project completion.

If you are looking for expert support provided by Storage Solutions on your next warehouse project, click here!

Consumer Packaged Goods

Consumer packaged goods companies represent one of the largest sectors of the supply chain industry. With well-recognized brands like Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Proctor & Gamble, consumers typically encounter CPG products on a near-daily basis, making their journey along the supply chain a critical area of focus for retailers and wholesalers alike.

According to recent research from Infiniti Research, the CPG industry is reacting to “rising raw material costs, stalled demand, declining profits, skyrocketing retail pricing pressures, and the never-ending shift in consumer preferences.” While these challenges have been present in the industry for some time, the degree to which they affect these companies has rarely been so apparent.

As a result of the e-commerce boom coupled with the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer behavior shifted in a way that sawto drive an increase of online orders and less dependency on the traditional manufacturer-wholesale distributor-retail supply chain path. In short, suddenly consumers were expecting a bottle of shampoo to be delivered to their home instead of the consumer going into a retail store to purchase it.

In particular, the dynamic shift of consumer preferences is causing driving CPG storage and fulfillment centers to look at the design and layout of their facilities and examine if changes need to occur. After all, if a facility was designed and built for a specific routine of consumer behavior, then and that behavior changes, then it would only be logical that the facility isn’t operating as efficiently as it should could be.

Most CPG facilities are designed to house some level of dense storage. And, if they are laid out well, they will use a combination of drive-in/drive-thru racking along with pallet runners or pallet flow for their fast-moving items, while slower-moving items are stored on double-deep or other selective racking. CPG facilities are likely to use first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory management methods. In some cases, they will need to account for first-expired, first-out (FEFO) inventory to account for customers who may need a product a certain number of days before expiration.

Storage and fulfillment centers in the CPG industry utilize many of the same storage types and fulfillment processes as those in the food and beverage industry. However, CPG facilities are typically operated directly by manufacturers and not necessarily distributors. This relationship will generally indicate the facility stores fewer SKUs and has higher on-hand storage requirements than your average food and beverage storage facility.

In general, CPG companies are just like “everyone else” when it comes to accounting for a higher degree of SKU proliferation. Ultimately, most companies will have some level of discord between the forecasts that a marketing or sales department may have for a particular product and the actual demand for that product, which can cause a ripple effect in the storage and fulfillment process.

For example, a company comes out with a new scent of shampoo, one that the marketing department forecasts as having a high level of demand. However, no one is buying the product. Now, the CPG company has extra inventory, and they have lost a portion of their storage capacity – designed for fast-moving products – to a slow-moving product. While there will always be some disconnect between forecasts and sales, the discrepancy is felt to a higher degree when you factor in SKU proliferation.

How can you ultimately solve for SKU proliferation before it exists? Design for flexibility. One way to design for flexibility is to have different storage locations from a size and capacity standpoint.

Another way to facilitate flexibility is to implement warehouse technology solutions. By having a modern warehouse management system or warehouse execution system, you can easily identify where you have under-utilized storage locations or honeycombing. For example, if your facility has a 20-deep pallet location that only has had three pallets in it for the past few weeks, you should know about it. Using technology can keep your operations as optimized as possible while dealing with all the other curveballs that arise with manufacturers.

Where to Get Started? 

The best strategies for configuring a CPG fulfillment center always start with the right design. There will be instances when a facility will have to reconfigure its operations or layout to meet new challenges. But, if you’re utilizing a 5-deep, 5-high storage system housing 12 different SKUs, you’re not making use of your 25 storage locations already in place.

At that point, that’s when you give us a call. We have decades of experience in designing flexible, long-term solutions to meet changing business needs. Rather than continually operating in an inefficient environment, we work with you to build a business case with an ROI attached, to design a new facility, or retrofit your current configuration. Let’s explore your options today!

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!

Picking Solutions Storage Solutions

At Storage Solutions, we pride ourselves on offering customers a solution for every square foot of their operation. We group our solutions into four main categories. These include simple, dense, picking and specialty solutions.

Simple Solutions

If you’re looking for a basic storage solution to get your facility organized, then our simple solutions might be just what you need. Our simple offerings include pallet rack, shelving, mezzanines and more. Within those categories, we offer a variety of styles, colors and capacities designed to work with whatever your needs may be.

Dense Solutions

Our dense solutions are perfect for anyone trying to decrease their facility footprint. Dense solutions include pushback, pallet flow, drive in/drive thru, and semi-automated deep lane storage. These solutions allow you to maximize your facility storage by using the space you have to the fullest.

Picking Solutions

If your main goal within your operation is to increase efficiency and decrease labor costs, then a picking solution may be the best option for you. These solutions include pick modules, carton flow, and light-duty cantilever. Any of these options will provide the boost you need in your day-to-day operations.

Specialty Solutions

Finally, we have our specialty solution offering. If you have a need that seems somewhat out of the ordinary, then one of our specialty solutions can probably help! These include tube rack, dual load, drive-in and cantilever. These solutions are perfect for high seismic areas, for storing oddly shaped items and more!

Regardless of what your needs are, we have a team of experts in place to analyze your operation and help. We love working with our customers to make sure all of their needs are being met. Learn more about our storage solutions here or contact us today to help you select the best possible solution for your facility.

Broken Case Picking Phases

There are many options available for Storage Solutions to address your broken case picking operational challenges. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure you are matching the right picking approach to what your warehouse needs. The more challenging your needs are, the more likely you are to be able to make a business case with a relatively short-term ROI for more complex solutions.

Our team uses a variety of criteria to decide what equipment, automation, and technology are best to optimize each solution. The volume of picked items is a crucial element of this process, so we’re going to walk through some examples of what we can do to tailor each operation for peak efficiency. We will break this down into four levels of pick activity, including low, medium, and high-volume operations, along with advanced systems for very high volume and complex processes.

Phase 1: Low Volume

In a low volume broken case picking operation, we typically see little or no automation and limited technology solutions. Limited labor requirements make it challenging to show an ROI for complex solutions. You are most likely dealing with bin shelving or hand stack pallet rack for a storage method. These operations often use paper pick lists or RF scanning technology to manage orders. With a low volume of items picked, frequently, the most cost-effective method would involve using a manual pick cart or gravity conveyor to move through the order selection process.

Phase 2: Medium Volume

For a medium-volume picking operation, simple automation and technology solutions are most appropriate. These systems lend themselves to incorporating more dense storage methods, such as carton and pallet flow. Often times, we have found lower-level automation options like powered conveyors and vertical lift machines (VLMs) to be cost-justified. Simple technology solutions like pick-to-light carts or put-to-light walls are other types of equipment that are optimal for a medium volume operation. Also, semi-automated tapers with void fill machines may also be the best option to maximize productivity in the packing area.

Phase 3: High Volume

Next, for a high volume picking operation, automation, and technology solutions will most likely be involved. While the storage methods may be similar to a medium-volume operation, the overall facility solution is typically configured differently. A multi-level pick module or pick zone-based solution will often make the most sense. Warehouse control systems (WCS) are often required to manage automation components. Packing and shipping are also more likely to rely on automation. The packing process could benefit from fully automated packing list insertion and fully automated tapers, weigh in motion scales & print & apply labeling tools.

Phase 4: Advanced

Lastly, advanced volume picking operations benefit the most from automation. This equipment can include various powered conveyors, sortation, semi-automated deep lane storage, ASRS, mobile robotics, or other “goods-to-man” solutions. The picking process will likely incorporate high-level technology solutions, including voice-directed picking. In addition, packing and shipping will also rely heavily on automation. Advanced pick operations can benefit from solutions such as automated unit sortation, weigh-in-motion scales, and automatic print/apply shipping labeling. Similarly, automatic carrier diverts are also substantial automation and technology options for advanced pick operations.

At the end of the day, every level of activity brings a different challenge, so it is crucial to plan for growth. We are here to help you implement the optimal facility to meet your current & future business needs. Our team will be with you throughout the process, making sure that we get you everything you need down to the finest details.

Click here to read more about how we can optimize your broken case picking facility!

Day in the life Header Kyle

I am Kyle Rowles, and this summer, I am working for Storage Solutions as the Marketing Intern.

About the Job

In this position, I help to oversee and run the social media accounts for the company by posting work anniversaries, #WarehouseWednesdays, and holiday posts.  In addition, I assist the Project Managers in submitting leads and proposals into our Storage Server system. Doing this allows the Project Managers to focus more on the customer service aspect of their job, and I focus on the submissions into our system. I also send out internal email blasts, while also writing and publishing different blogs (i.e. holiday hours, special events).

Personal Information

I am from Huntley, Illinois, but temporarily live in Noblesville, Indiana for the summer. I go to school at Ball State University with a major in Logistics and Supply Chain Management with a minor in Six Sigma and plan on graduating in May of 2020. Last summer, I started working for Storage Solutions for a summer job working in their warehouse.

During the summer, I enjoy playing slow pitch softball on a weekly basis. It helps to get my mind off of work, and more towards enjoying my summer however I can. During the school year, I play club volleyball and take on any leadership roles that I see fit within time and knowledge in my fraternity. I am very glad to be working for this awesome company for the second summer in a row! The people I have met and the things that I have learned well exceeded my expectations. What a great company to work for!

Global Cold Chain Expo 2018

It’s almost that time of year again! From June 25-27, Global Cold Chain Expo is in Chicago. It will take place at the McCormick Place, and Storage Solutions will be attending!

What is the Global Cold Chain Expo?

The Global Cold Chain Expo (GCCE) is the only event where businesses gather to find solutions and share best practices for managing the complexities of the perishable supply chain. According to the Global Cold Chain Alliance, the companies that attend the event gain a high level of brand recognition and targeted business development opportunities in front of key buying audiences.

We will have three employees at the show (Brian Blanner, Aaron Resiak, and Ian Mangan) so be sure to stop by and say hello!

Storage Solutions representatives will be on site for the entire show; Monday (6/25) through Wednesday (6/27). So make sure to visit us at Booth #3520!

Let us know if you’ll be attending GCCE or the other trade shows we will be at here!

storage solutions omni channel

The world of E-commerce/Omni Channel is popular. Very popular.
You’d have to be living under a rock not to notice the trend of online ordering over the past decade, but you may be surprised to know how popular it’s really become.
In 2014, Amazon became the first top-ten US retailer without a bricks-and-mortar store. It’s also averaged 30% growth since 2006. Pretty impressive, but they’re not alone.
In the US, online-only retailers are outgrowing their bricks-and-mortar colleagues by more than 62%.
This coming of age has brought new heights of choice and convenience to the consumer, but has wrought havoc and headache for distribution centers that have undergone major change to keep up with them.