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Storage Racks Basics

Industrial racking comes in many shapes and sizes. A shelving configuration that works for one company may prove to be all wrong for another.

Storage Rack Key Terms

If you're in a business that calls for you to store products in a warehouse, chances are you'll be using some sort of storage racks to keep this area in order. To ensure you're using the correct storage racks system for your particular materials, it might help to become familiar with some storage rack key terms.

Home Storage and Organization - Walmart.com

Shop for racks, containers, shelving, hangers, bookcases, storage bins and file cabinets for less. Save money. Live better. Walmart.com.

Shelves & Shelf Brackets - Storage & Organization at The Home Depot

Shelves & Shelf Brackets - Storage & Organization at The Home Depot.

Garage Storage at Lowe's: Bike Racks, Shelving, Garage Cabinets

Discover a vast array of garage storage options at Lowe's. Buy bike racks, shelving, garage cabinets and more at Lowes.com.

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Damotech

Damotech is the leading rack repair solutions specialist in North America, offering safe and quality rack repair kits that match industrial standards.

www.damotech.com
Material Handling Exchange

Factory direct prices on new and used pallet racks, warehouse racking systems and equipment.

www.m-h-e.com

Business Guide to Storage Racks


Regardless of the type of business you have, you probably have products or supplies that you need to store on your premises. These items can take up a substantial amount of space if they are not organized, and clutter in the workspace can also create a barrier to productivity. You might consider using storage racks for the items, as they can be a simple and affordable self-storage option. With a variety of storage racks on the market, it is also easy to find one for any space. You may encounter a few problems with them, though. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of this storage option prior to making a purchase.

Benefits

Storage racks are an essential part of a functional and efficient storage system. No matter what type of business you own, you can benefit from introducing storage racks into your work area.

Create space

By putting excess clutter or items lying around your business’s work area into storage racks, you will immediately create more space. Having more room to work and maneuver will increase your employees’ productivity too.

Improve efficiency

Introducing a storage system into your business will ensure staff members know exactly where to look for the things they need. Because your staff will be working quickly and more efficiently, this will have a positive effect on your customer service. A simple label system using storage racks will ensure your staff members are able to do more work in the same amount of time.

Increased safety

According to LawGuru.com, over 1 million people a year suffer injuries due to falls or slips. Using storage racks to create an effective storage system can reduce the likelihood of people tripping, slipping, or falling while on your business premises. By keeping items off your work area’s floor and in storage areas, you reduce the risk of a person having an accident. In turn, this reduces the risk of you having an accident-related lawsuit lodged against you. If children are regularly on your business premises, overhead storage racks are a good place to store potentially dangerous items.

Reduce potential losses

An effective storage rack system can help prevent losses for your business. An effective system makes keeping an accurate inventory of your stock easier. Because your stock is well organized, it will be much easier to track which products are going out or coming in. Accurate inventory control will reduce shrinkage over time. Stock shrinkage can be caused by customer or staff theft and damage. Storage racks provide a safe place to keep your stock, thereby reducing losses through damage. An organized storage area is also easier to manage and cover with security, which reduces losses from theft.

Pitfalls

May require assembly

If you are thinking about purchasing storage racks to use at your warehouse or other place of business, remember that they are likely to require assembly when they arrive. Most industrial storage racks consist of metal beams and frames that need to be snapped or bolted together. You will have to devote some time and manpower to assembly and setup, which could cut into your bottom line. Don’t forget to plan for this extra cost.

Could create safety issues

Most storage racks don’t come with a way to anchor them to the floor or wall. Tall racks with unevenly distributed weight could easily tip over and injure someone. If you store items on high shelves, employees will need to use ladders to access them, and objects could fall. All of this creates safety concerns that you will need to address. You will have to train employees in proper safety procedures, so remember to factor in this extra expense.

Decking materials vary

Storage racks may come with decking made of wood, laminate, particle board, mesh wire, or solid metal. They may also come without decking, which allows you to use your own material. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the decking material is of little importance. If you choose the wrong type, it could cause unforeseen problems. Wooden decking will rot if it’s frequently exposed to moisture. Solid decking may provide inadequate ventilation or light penetration for some purposes, while mesh decking may not offer enough protection.

Accessibility issues

If you decide to purchase large racks with high storage capacity, don’t forget to consider accessibility issues. Wide shelves create more storage space, but items that are stored toward the back or middle of the shelves are more difficult to retrieve. Items on high shelves are also less accessible. If you need to have easy access to stored objects, then large storage racks are probably not the best option.

Pricing

Storage racks vary in price based on material and size. High-quality wooden storage racks suitable for the interiors of high-end stores are often more than $50 for a small rack. Large steel or aluminum racks for warehouse or industrial use often exceed $200 per rack. Plastic or PVC racks are the cheapest, with a small rack costing under $20. Rack manufacturers may give discounts to companies buying large quantities of racks at a time.

According to the Material Handling Industry of America, retail container traffic increased by 25 percent in 2010. This large boom in retail activity will likely increase the demand for storage racks, which could possibly increase their price.

Conclusion

For storage racks to be a worthwhile investment, you have to find those that are easily accessible and properly built for your items. Otherwise, they can contribute to clutter and pose a safety risk to your employees and customers. A little bit of research prevents this, though. If you take measurements, choose durable materials, and check the weight capacity of each rack, you can find a good fit for your workspace. The costs of racks and installation are also small in comparison to the losses you could face from lawsuits and low levels of productivity. Having an organized workspace can bring a great return on the investment.