Be Selective: Choosing the best rack system

Since rack systems don’t actually come in all shapes and sizes, you may be wondering how you even exercise the power of choice in buying them.  You know the basics:  selective or palette racks, drive-through or drive-in systems and push-back systems. 

We beg to differ about the shapes and sizes, at least in the every-day world outside the warehouse.   Think about these common models of inventory rack systems:

  • the local grocery store dairy aisle – the customer takes the front carton of milk and another slides forward.  It’s a miniature push-back rack system. 
  • The local theater lobby – a vending machine offers a treat from one row by rotating the shelf to its end and releasing the treat, revealing another of the same treat in its place.  Again, a miniature push-back system. Or, a soda machine uses the same concept.
  • The local car wash – A drive-through system at its best.  You drive your car between the rubber guide, get pushed along to be rinsed, soaped and washed, then you are moved back and forth for rinsing again.  The next car can’t get in until you get out.
  • The local grocery store non-perishables aisle – the shelves are filled with many different kinds of product that when taken from the shelves, they reveal the rest of the items on the shelf and make it easy to count the number of items remaining.  It’s easy and accurate most of the time.

In the warehouse world, palette racking is the “go to” system for 95 percent of the warehouse managers today.  It helps with inventory control.  Push-back and drive-in systems allow for denser storage like goods that will stay for one day then head out to suppliers.  Next time you’re puzzling over the best rack system for your storage needs, think about those milk cartons, soda cans and car washes.  Which one would best fit your product and warehouse needs?

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