How a furniture trolleys supplier can help with warehouse moves

When a furniture company expands, they will at some point outgrow the capacity of their warehouse and may need to move to a bigger one. Well-made furniture trolleys are needed as part of this process.

Large furniture sellers, such as John Lewis, Harveys and DFS, can be quickly affected by the state of the British economy. At uncertain economic times, such as waiting for Brexit to be sorted, people can become reluctant to make major purchases such as sofas and beds. When the economy recovers and becomes more stable, then people have the money to buy new furniture and at these times there are opportunities for furniture brands to grow. When current warehouses do not match current stock supply, companies may need to contract or expand, or move to new premises.

Getting rid of slow selling stock

Moving warehouse is an opportunity to inventory the existing stock. If there are slow selling items, they do not need to be moved. They can be sold at discount prices direct from a store or online.

Any items that have been sold but not delivered to the customer need to be delivered as soon as possible.

Reorganise warehouse systems

A move to a new warehouse is the ideal opportunity to reorganise the warehousing system. A warehouse system handles the delivery of goods to the warehouse, picking items that have been ordered, packing orders then putting them on delivery vehicles. The best warehouse management software will organise the complete flow of items from when they first arrive at the warehouse to when they are delivered to the customer’s home or the shop where items are to be collected.

Some furniture companies organise their warehouses according to furniture categories, so, for example, all chairs are stacked in the same section and all mattresses in another. Another way of organising is to have the best-selling lines nearest the packing station and slow selling items further away. This can reduce the average picking route distance. A move is an ideal time to look at the most efficient way of storing items.

Review warehouse equipment

A move is also a good time to look at warehouse equipment. Furniture warehouses will use a variety of specialised furniture trolleys. For example, sofas need different trolleys than dining chairs or beds. A furniture trolley supplier will be able to assess your current trolleys and suggest adding others to make moving furniture more efficient.

If furniture trolleys are old, it may be time to upgrade them. Modern furniture trolleys have casters that make them easier to push and pull. Trolleys need to be made from strong tubular steel. Every trolley has a maximum load capacity. If the furniture exceeds this load then it is time to review and purchase stronger ones.
Furniture trolley supplier or manufacturer

A good furniture trolley supplier will also manufacture the trolleys and should provide a bespoke service. They will make trolleys to custom sizes and modify the designs to suit the requirements of particular types of furniture.

Many furniture trolley suppliers sell other warehouse equipment too, such as shelving, packing tables and box trolleys. If they equip an entire new warehouse, then prices can be negotiable on a volume basis.

The furniture trolley manufacturer should be consulted about the design of the warehouse, and where shelving, packing stations and delivery points are located. They will suggest the best ways to place and use warehouse equipment.

Safety

Moving warehouses is a time to consider the safety aspects of running a warehouse. Workers expect that they will return home every day unharmed. In warehouses goods are stacked high, pickers push trolleys at speed because they are under pressure to complete many orders in a day. This can put safety at risk.

The place to start on safety is the Health and Safety Executive website pushing and pulling section. This also has an online risk assessment tool that can be used to identify risks and take steps to minimise them.

Furniture trolleys should have well-made swivel casters that make them easier to pull, push and steer. Workers need training in the best way to lift heavy items from shelves to furniture trolleys safely without causing muscle strain or twisting the body. Identify which furniture items should be handled by two workers and which are safe to lift by a single person.

Most furniture trolleys have handles that are suitable for most workers, but if an operator is unusually small or tall they may need handles at lower of higher heights than standard ones.

The switch

To make the switch from the old warehouse to the new one, it is easier to close the existing warehouse, move stock and equipment over to the new one ready to operate from there. Making a move can take several days, and many companies do not want to risk lost business during the shutdown period. To have a smooth transition without a temporary closure for business is tricky but achievable.

Start by receiving new stock at the new warehouse whilst maintaining shipping of existing stock at the old on. New furniture trolleys and other equipment can be delivered to the new warehouse. At the appropriate point, the old stock is transferred to the new warehouse and shipping commences from there. Using this method, some deliveries may be delayed but deliveries do not stop and no customers should be lost due to poor service.

Make a list

A smooth transfer to a new warehouse needs a checklist of processes. These can include:

• Making sure relevant insurance is arranged

• Inventory integrity procedures

• New computer systems

• Security issues

• Purchasing furniture trolleys and new equipment

• Informing workers of their responsibilities for the move

• Selling off excess stock

• Recruiting extra staff if necessary

• Making the move invisible to customers

Moving warehouses is a big operation for furniture companies, but as long as it is planned meticulously, it should go smoothly. A furniture trolley supplier can be consulted about the move as they will be able to provide valuable advice on upgrading warehouse equipment for the new warehouse.

Posted by Derek
20th August 2019
Retail & Warehousing

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