How to choose the best warehouse equipment

Choosing the best warehouse equipment for processing orders is not easy. At Steely Products, we supply a large range of storage and material handling equipment. To help decide on the best equipment for your business, there are a few points to consider.

Define the objectives

It is essential that you know what objective the equipment needs to fulfil. Does the equipment have to maximise available space, or is the objective to process more orders and reduce the time to process each one?

Analyse your current processes

Look at current processes and how equipment is used for them. This helps you understand how better equipment could be used to improve processes.

Consider space and layout design

It may seem ideal to design the shelving or racking layout to store as many items as possible. However, focusing on capacity alone can mean reducing the efficiency of order processing. Narrowing aisles between shelving may increase capacity, but it could make order picking less efficient if pickers cannot pass each other or they need narrower trolleys that have reduced load capacity.

Many warehouses store high-demand items near packing stations to cut down average picking journey times. The rarely ordered items are further from the packing area. This could mean that some shelf locations hold a large number of items, while other storage space is not fully utilised. This is fine if the objective is simply to process orders quicker.

Think long-term

Buying quality equipment that costs a little more is better than purchasing cheap equipment that is easily damaged. A warehouse needs equipment that will last years, not months.

Most businesses plan to grow by increasing sales and revenue. When purchasing equipment, think about where the business is expected to be in a year’s time. If the equipment is bought to deal with the current business level, what happens if orders and inventory increase? It’s better to have more shelving than needed for the present level of business, since if more inventory arrives, there will be no shortage of storage capacity. Similarly, it may be useful to designate a parking area that can fit extra packing tables if more packers are recruited.

If more pickers are required in the future, either order extra picking trolleys for them now or know how long the trolley manufacturer takes to produce and deliver new trolleys. The goal of long term planning is to make sure that, as the business expands, there is ample equipment to cope with extra orders.

Get help

Fortunately, you don’t have to make all the equipment ordering decisions alone. At Steely Products, we are here for advice on all equipment issues. Invite us to your workplace so we can observe your operations, and help you find the best equipment solution for your particular situation. We’ll even design bespoke equipment for you if we feel that none of our standard equipment fits your exact needs.

The first step in deciding on what equipment to buy is to talk to us. Give us a call or use the contact form below.

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    Posted by Mark
    6th April 2021
    Retail & Warehousing

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