Who is ordering the fixtures for your warehouse? Is it a logistics manager, a procurement specialist, a floor plan designer, or the warehouse foreman? No matter who is responsible for ordering rack systems, shelving, machinery or decking, that person should be well versed in the warehouse’s operation and needs. That knowledge will not only save you time and money, it can impact your bottom line.
All too often, we take orders from clients who haven’t done their homework. We no sooner deliver their order than they are on the phone telling us the product just doesn’t work for their needs. Then the entire return process ensues. It costs us money and time, and it costs the client money and time – not only time in preparing and processing the return, but time without the necessary warehouse fixtures and time that could have been better used shipping inventory to customers, instead of worrying about whether or not you will be receiving the right rack system. To limit the headaches, here are just a few tips on how to clue in the purchasing person so that the right equipment is delivered and working for you. That person should know:
- Quantity – Number of products you keep in inventory at any given time. If product is assorted, know the breakdown and timing of quantities.
- Volume – Space that the product in its box or shipping container will occupy. Pallet racking can be changed to be more efficient. It comes in many sizes, so it’s helpful if you know whether or not you need the standard 48 x 40 pallet or something bigger.
- Weight – Knowing the product’s weight – including its packing material – will give us an idea of the type of racking to recommend and the number of beams and uprights necessary for the racks to safely hold the product.
- Clearance level – It’s not enough to know the ceiling height in the warehouse. You need to know the clearance level, because if the product doesn’t clear the sprinkler system, it becomes a fire hazard. If you need to optimize space, you can certainly build upwards using innovative products like wire decking, but you must accommodate for the clearance range when stacking boxes lowest to highest.
- Preferred racking type – the buyer should have an idea of the available forms of racking. If you store long pipes, lumber or other products know for their length, cantilever racking, which moves the product on rollers, is an ideal solution.
- Budget – If you have a budget in mind, it is wise to reveal it at the beginning of the meeting, so that the warehouse fixtures seller can stay within your budget parameters while discussing solutions for your warehouse storage. It’s a time-waster for everyone to show the most expensive system, with the intent to sell, then have the client confirm that the budget is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
- Features – Any special features of interest in the racking and pallet industry should be communicated to your sales representative. He or she can then make a good recommendation of product that’s right for you.
If you don’t have a consistent person who does your fixture ordering, make a list of these “to know” items with the actual answers, and make them available to everyone. Before getting on the phone with the warehouse fixture vendor, ensure that the ordering person on your end understands the need to know these things and has accurate answers to all of the above. This can almost guarantee a smooth transaction. When the product or equipment arrives, there will be no question as to its return policy. It will fit in its space and do the job you intended, because you took the time to provide the correct information from the beginning.
Finding you have no time or desire to deal with this process? Talk to one of Everything Warehouse’s design specialists. We have a team of warehouse designers who will come to your site and help you with anything from floor plans, changes in floor plans and product recommendations to training your staff to call attention to specific storage needs they see. Our consultants can start from any point in your sales cycle – and they will recommend the most cost-effective solutions possible from Everything Warehouse. If we don’t have it, we’ll make it a point to get it.
Get clued in to successful ordering.