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Warehouses can be complicated creatures. The uninitiated might assume they’re just for storing products, but there’s actually a lot of work that goes on in there from shipping and receiving, to packaging, and even direct-to-customer sales for a lot of eCommerce businesses.


But no matter what your warehouse specializes in, be it retail products, medical storage, or even food distribution, there’s a few things that no warehouse can do without when it comes time to get work done. The following four pieces of equipment should be considered crucial to the effectiveness of any given warehouse, and may just help yours if you don’t have them:


Forklifts: Kind of an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many warehouses try to get by without one. If you have any taller shelves, deal in heavier pallets of items or heavy individual items, or just need a way to move inventory more effectively, forklifts are a great way to move inventory far more quickly (and, more importantly, more safely) than doing it by hand or with un-motorized dolly carts.


The Right Storage: It’s a little broad, and it will vary from warehouse to warehouse, but having the right inventory storage is absolutely critical. Larger items or bulk goods would be better served by pallet racks for example, whereas smaller items could be best arranged on something smaller like wire shelves and steel shelving. There’s a lot of options out there, and it might take a little time to figure out what’s best going to meet your needs, but the time and research will prove invaluable in the long run.


Gravity Racks: One of the most common problems a warehouse faces is the need to get goods from one area to another quickly. An easy way to solve this is to set up gravity conveyors in areas of high product traffic such as the shipping/receiving area to get products across the floor more quickly and with reduced risk of injury and/or product damage. Lay a few of these down wherever you experience the most inventory movement (that’s physical movement, not sales volume) and you’ll get everything where it needs to go.


An Office: We know the plant management usually sits high up above the shop floor, or sometimes even in another building altogether, but having an in-plant office can help efficiency and effectiveness in nearly every aspect of the plant. By keeping management close to the actual activities day-to-day work of the plant, they can get a much better idea of what everyone needs to be successful and work better.


Of course, you can’t just build a warehouse with these four things, but they’ll be a worthwhile addition to any warehouse no matter what it specializes in.

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