Gone are the days when storage systems were simply used to hold goods until they were needed for distribution. Modern day warehouse and DC design forms the cornerstone of a successful warehouse management system (WMS) and plays a vital role in transportation and overall logistics management. Sophisticated racking, shelving and mezzanine solutions are strategically designed to reduce labour and energy costs, optimise usable space and provide greater flexibility.

The driving force behind the growing interest in specialised storage systems, per-item visibility and next-day/same-day shipping objectives is the concept of multi-channel retailing. Here, flexible retail warehouse and DC operations serve a variety of channels. Global distribution, wholesale distribution, store replenishment and goods-to-person order fulfillment all need to be managed through one facility, even though each channel has distinct order profiles, quantities and inventory requirements.

This has prompted companies to think differently about how products are stored and retrieved. The hunt for speed and efficiency within the warehouse and DC environment has placed increasing emphasis on ensuring an uninterrupted flow of goods, as well as making optimal use of available space. The choice of storage within the facility can make or break efforts to speed up product movement. The best racking, shelving and mezzanine systems need to be able to serve each specific distribution channel profile, whether the product is destined for bulk shipment to foreign shores, or to a customer’s doorstep down the street.

“Racking and shelving solutions are now directly linked to the promise a company makes to their customers in terms of delivering their products swiftly and efficiently. Fast moving goods and slow moving goods are stored differently to ensure a smooth flow of products through the facility,” says Daniel Peters, owner and MD at Storelab, one of South Africa’s leading racking, shelving and mezzanine suppliers.

Badly designed storage systems that hamper the speed of storage and retrieval, or result in too much empty space, will limit an operation’s potential. Warehouse and DC facilities need to be designed with an assortment of storage and picking systems to accommodate SKUs and pallets, daily sellers and seasonal items, small items and large items, and everything in between. Easy access via strategically designed mezzanines, racking and shelving solutions and highly efficient picking systems have become critical components of any fully optimised distribution facility.

Leave the science of storage system design to the experts. Contact Storelab for a racking, shelving and mezzanine solution to suit your unique requirements.