When planning your new warehouse facility, storage will obviously be a key factor. However, with so many options available to you just identifying the best solution for your needs can be a daunting task in itself. There are so many variables that will affect your decision; your type of stock, turnaround speed, accessibility requirements and the size of your warehouse must all be taken into account, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
To help you make sense of it all, we have put together a handy guide containing all the relevant information. So, let’s take a look at the options.
If you plan on storing large quantities of stock then pallet racking is the go-to choice for most warehouse operators. With a plethora of different sizes, styles and functions to select from within this category, it must also be noted as one of the most versatile storage options available. Depending on your specific requirements, the type of racking you require will vary. For those needing to maximise their available floor space, systems such as Mobile Pallet, Narrow Aisle, Double Deep or Drive-in Racking all provide, among others, an excellent solution. Some specialist products may require specialist systems such as Coil, Cantilever or Vertical Racking in order to be stored efficiently and safely. Overall, we would advise you to assess not only your current requirements, but also any planned future expansions, before deciding upon the racking that’s best for you. For more information on the various types of pallet racking on offer, view our Guide to Pallet Racking.
For companies requiring storage for small, non-palletised goods, shelving systems may be the better option. Warehouse shelving systems are highly versatile, being available in a number of different sizes and configurations, and many of them are easily adjustable after installation. This combination of features provides one of the most space-effective, safe and practical storage methods available. When used in conjunction with pallet racking within larger warehouse facilities, shelving systems can be highly useful in helping you maximise on all available space.
Multi-tier racking is essentially just one particular variant of mezzanine flooring in combination with shelves or racking, as it often makes use of mezzanine in its construction. The system can incorporate either racking or shelving systems depending on your specific requirements, adding an element of versatility to the range. Making use of a modular design, multi-tier storage is built up of multiple levels of storage connected via mezzanine platforms and stairways. This method of design and construction makes it relatively simple to expand or add extra levels at a later date should your storage requirements adapt as business increases.
Mobile shelving works in much the same way as mobile pallet racking, incorporating aisles of shelves that fit snug against each other, mounted upon guidance rails built into the floor. To access each shelving unit, you simply turn the handle to open up the aisle. This system is an excellent way of maximising on available floor space as you only require enough space to have one aisle active at any given time. This allows for 100% more storage capacity in comparison to static shelving and 300% more as compared to traditional filing cabinets.
Mezzanine flooring is an extremely popular choice for expanding upon your available space, and for good reason. This highly versatile, cost-effective solution involves creating an additional level or floor within your warehouse facility, without the massive expenses associated with a traditional extension. Mezzanine floors typically project over the ground level rather like a balcony, as opposed to full second level, and can include a range of extra features to maximise the effectiveness of the area. These can include; conveyors, integrated lifts, lighting, air-conditioning, escalators and suspended ceilings.
Offices and Business Space
Obviously storage isn’t the only requirement for warehouse facilities. Many companies require working office space to be incorporated into their design. It is important to consider this from the outset; otherwise you may find yourself with severe spatial limitations if you try to add in offices as an afterthought. Using office / warehouse partitioning systems, constructing an office area within your existing building is highly achievable and easily adaptable to your requirements. The office areas, although not requiring any traditional construction, still maintain a highly professional aesthetic that can be improved on by incorporating anything from sound insulation to integrated air-conditioning systems. They can also be easily installed on existing floor space or an additional mezzanine floor / platform.
A few other factors must be taken into account when planning out your storage requirements. Remember, you may also need space for other amenities such as; staff rooms, kitchens, meeting rooms or, if you plan on having clients or guests visit your facility regularly, reception areas. You will find the whole process much simpler if you incorporate these elements into your original design. Also remember to allow ample space for safe operation and access to emergency exits.
If you are still unsure as to how to proceed with your own facility, contact Acorn Warehouse Solutions on 01799 532024 to bring in the specialists.