Optimization is a buzzword in today’s 3PLworld. Warehouse managers are constantly working to maximize efficiency through a complex series of transportation and through-put analyses. One important factor to consider is storage flexibility – how adaptable is your warehouse space to changes in client inventory or new contract orders?
In a globally competitive environment, we all know that flexible storage is essential to attract and preserve customers and build your business. Using a combination of both pallet racks and multi-level gravity flow shelving can result in flexibility and quick change adaptability. For example, shelving can be adjusted up and down vertically to allow more cubic volume storage. This allows companies to create storage around the product being stored and not the other way around. In an all-rack warehouse, having to store small boxes on big racks can be a big waste of space.
It all comes down to what is being stored – and for 3PLs, this can be ever-changing. With every new contract comes a new set of parameters; and from existing customers, new products of different sizes can be added to the mix. Because you can’t always anticipate what each new client will need, the best practice is to stay flexible through an adaptable mix of storage options.
The foundation of a warehouse system may be pallets and pallet racks, but the ability to maximize space through a flexible shelving systems helps to eliminate bottlenecks and keep product moving – particularly in e-commerce where you need to pick products efficiently.
Time is indeed of the essence, and gravity flow shelving can help. Savvy 3PLs are updating their pallet rack-based systems with products to give them a competitive edge and enhance their ability to build more business by differentiating themselves from their competitors.