Things to consider when designing an on-demand warehouse

Things to consider when designing an on-demand warehouse

Already growing strong, the lockdown has sent ecommerce booming. All that new business needs new and more efficient storage space. As any mail-order enterprise soon discovers, how you organise storage and retrieval makes the difference between success and debacle.

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A great opportunity for facility owners with more space than they need is to lease it to those who have less, but you will need to consider your racking requirements carefully.

First consider the products

Different goods need different solutions. For example, perishable goods (food, plants, drugs, topical magazines) may need refrigerated conditions or humidity control and will need to be moved through the system in date order. Roller conveyors from arrival point to despatch point could be worth considering.

Offering choice

More often, static racking is required. Most purpose-built on-demand warehouse facilities rent space by the pallet, but that is not always the best solution for potential customers. If you can provide more choice, you can win more business.

Small items in batches are best boxed. Irregular items are easier to shelve loose. Make sure you can accommodate different standard box shapes and pallet sizes.

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Never forget that racks must be matched in strength to the maximum possible weight given the height of the racks you can accommodate. For a wide range of shelving Ireland try

Space optimisation

Mezzanine floors are often a better solution than building racks from ground to ceiling. Depending on the bulk and weight of the goods, you might need a static lift or pallet gate. That could be cheaper – and certainly safer – than roving retrieval vehicles. If you intend to lease space, a mezzanine can create the opportunity to install additional shelving options.

Not all goods need racks in rows separated by corridors. Non-perishable items can often be stored in blocks, saving floor space and reducing costs.

Efficient access

Nothing should hamper efficient item retrieval. Sliding ladders are great for reaching small items from high shelving quickly and safely. Fast-moving goods are best placed closest to the exits.

Whatever storage options you offer, never overlook stock control. Log and barcode everything that enters, and do it again when it leaves.

On-demand warehouses are great for new and expanding businesses. Creating them also helps bigger businesses with excess space navigate these turbulent times. The greatest demand and opportunity is for facilities adaptable for multiple types of business and produce.