New warehouse built to compete against Amazon

Not many businesses can compete with e-retail behemoth Amazon, but North America’s oldest retail company, the Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada, is aiming to take on the world’s largest online retailer.
The Hudson’s Bay CEO, Jerry Storch, claims that an order can be ready to leave the firm’s new 750,000 sq. ft. warehouse within 15 minutes of being received.
The warehouse shelving system is three storeys high. Robots travel up and down to pick items. When the robots go downwards, the kinetic energy is used to recharge their batteries.
The automatic system in the warehouse cost $60m, and is the most advanced packing and shipping system in Canada. Amazon is big in Canada, and until now no retailer has competed against the giant.
Canadian retail consultant Doug Stephens said:

“For a long time, Canadian retailers just sort of shrugged their shoulders about e-commerce. They didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Now all of a sudden, along comes Amazon and the tables have turned. I think they’ve recognized that e-commerce is the future and that someone else is capitalizing on that future, and it’s not them.”

In the UK, there are retailers who are competing with Amazon in terms of automation and quick deliver. Ocado has developed a warehouse that has over 1,000 robots that communicate via a 4G wireless network to cooperate with each other.
To make your company’s warehouse more efficient, talk to Greenoaks, who can design and install warehouse shelving system and supply secondhand pallets for use by humans or robots.

Bentley Motors Ltd Contractor of the Year

Bentley Motors Ltd Contractor of the Year

At Greenoaks Ltd. we are a recognised firm that has been working out of the Northbank Industrial Estate in Irlam for nearly thirty years. We have developed a flawless reputation for supplying and installing a variety of systems that are designed for industrial use. Some of the products that we have provided to local and regional communities during this time have been pallet racking, mezzanine floors, ceilings and a variety of adjustable shelving units. Due to a longstanding relationship with the community combined with an expert knowledge base and an unsurpassed quality of craftsmanship, our enterprise has recently been honoured for such devotion to the industry.
One of our directors has recently been presented with the prestigious and much-vaunted Bentley Motors Contractor of the Year Award. As Bentley is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the world, it is indeed a proud accomplishment for our business to be recognised in such a way. Gratefully accepting this award was Director Simon Beeston on behalf of his colleagues and all of the employees that enjoy working at our establishment.
This award was presented by Ms. Liz Jackson who currently works as a Bentley Construction Safety Engineer and Mr. Graham Chadwick, a Bentley Environment and CDM Functional Engineer. These two professionals stated that the award was given to Greenoaks Ltd. for our continuing display of second-to-none professionalism, superior levels of customer service, the quality of our risk management and the reliability of the products which we have provided to numerous customers.
At Greenoaks Ltd. we currently employ no less than sixteen professional technicians and staff members. As a testament to the local community, many of our experts have been loyal to the company for well over twenty years. Such a knowledgeable staff has allowed us to continue supplying and installing industrial systems not only to the local districts of Irlam and Cadishead, but indeed to a national client base.
As an illustration of our continual focus on both quality and safety, we have also maintained the CHAS accreditation for the last four years. This certification is compulsory in order for our company to comply with all existing Health and Safety Standards.
For a local business such as ourselves to be honoured with such an award in indeed a testament to the quality of work and the levels of professionalism that have served to define Greenoaks Ltd. as one of the most respected local and regional businesses. We are indeed proud to have been recognised in such a way.
 

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How To Calculate Warehouse Space Cost

How To Calculate Warehouse Space Cost

One of the main factors that you should consider when choosing your warehouse space is the cost. Whether it’s monthly or yearly, you need to be aware of how much the storage space will be costing you in relation to the size of the goods you intend to store. Being aware of your warehouse space cost goes a long way in improving your overall efficiency and even determining whether your warehouse is profitable and cost-effective. You can then come up with ways to streamline your processes. Here is how to calculate warehouse space cost.


1. Measure the outside walls of your warehouse.


When taking these measurements, remember to include the entirety of the warehouse, not just what you consider to be usable storage space. All areas for which you are paying rent need to be measured. This task may take a bit longer if the building is oddly shaped.


For the purposes of this example, let’s assume you have a regular shaped rectangular space that is 50 metres wide by 70 metres long. That gives you 50×70=3500 square metres. This is the first number we will need in our calculations.


2. What expenses have you incurred in the previous 12 months?


You need to review your accounts statements for the last year to determine how much you have spent for the warehouse so far. This number is calculated by adding the cost of rent, utilities, security, and the cost of any other miscellaneous services such as landscaping or janitorial services. When you have this number, add it to the cost of employee salaries over the specified period, including benefits and taxes. Next, include insurance costs and equipment costs. Equipment costs are everything from forklifts to computers and vehicles. Finally, add any other expenses you incurred in the warehouse for that period. You need to consolidate all expenses to determine the overall total warehouse expenses for the past year.


Once this is done, you will have your total operating costs for the warehouse. This is the amount of money it takes to keep the warehouse running for a year. It is the second number we will need in our calculations.


3. You need to calculate your cost per square metre.


To do this, you need to divide the total expenses that you got in step 2 by the total number of square metres that you got in step 1. For the purposes of this example, let’s assume you are spending 700,000 pounds a year to run your warehouse. This means that the 3500-metre square space costs you 700,000/3500= 200 pounds per square metre.


The cost per square metre is a very important piece of data, especially when you want to change warehouses. It is essential in determining the overall costs of operating in different warehouse facilities.


4. You need to figure out your storage costs based on the number of units you handle.


How many units did you ship from that warehouse the previous year? How many units do you currently have in storage? When you add these two numbers, you get the total number of units you handle every year.


For the purposes of this example, let’s assume you handled 700,000 units. You need to take the total warehouse cost you got in Step 2, which came to 700,000 pounds a year, and divide that by the total number of units handled. So that comes to 700,000/700,000= 1 pound per unit. This is how much it costs for every unit you handle in your warehouse. This metric is important because it also helps you determine whether you are being profitable, and by how much. By knowing how much you are spending per unit, you will be able to figure out where you can improve to maximise profitability, and how every change you make affects your cost per inventory unit.


Other Important Metrics To Consider and How To Calculate Them


1. The Vertical Cube


Assumptions:

– From our 3500 square metres above, assume that after subtracting non-storage areas like bathrooms and offices you get 3000 square metres of pure storage space.

– Assume that you have a 7-metre functional floor to ceiling height. Functional here means usable, so we ignore the distance above the lowest obstructions such as sprinklers or lighting fixtures.

– Assume that the tallest rack you can put in the warehouse is 6 metres tall.


The first step is to take the total storage space and multiply it by the floor to ceiling height. That gives us 3000 x 7= 21000 cubic metres. This number is our total vertical cubic feet.


However, we want to know what our potential storage space is. Therefore, we will use the size of the tallest rack we can use, which is 6 metres. This gives us 3000 x 6= 18000 cubic metres, meaning we have 21000-18000= 3000 cubic metres of unused space. You can calculate this using the heights of the storage racks you intend to use. This is why racks that emphasise verticality work best because they are cost-effective.


When we divide the storage cube by the building cube, we get an overall cube utilisation of 86%. The industry average is 73-78%, so our example is way above average, which is great.


This metric is important when you are thinking about moving to a new warehouse location and you need to know how much potential storage you are looking at. It does not give you the actual space utilisation. The higher the density of your storage solutions, the better.


Other Factors That You Need To Consider


Besides the actual size of the warehouse, there are other factors that influence the total final warehouse space cost. Some of these include:


1. Warehouse Location


Location is one of the most important factors you need to think about. Your warehouse needs to be strategically located in relation to your main markets. However, this costs more. Also, consider access to trucking hubs, main roads, airports and rail lines. Remember, you pay more for better access to major areas.


2. Value Added Services


What exactly does your warehouse do for you? Do you just store things there? Does it take care of everything including the entire process of handling inventory, counting, sorting, storage, packing and delivery? Your total eventual costs depend on these.


3. Terms and Conditions


Is it possible to lease that warehouse for a long period of time to reduce costs? Can you lease extra storage space as needed?


As for the conditions, is your stock being stored for the long term or the short term? Security, ventilation, air conditioning and cleaning services, all these are part of the overall conditions you need to pay for, and you get charged for each one.


When It Comes To The Warehouse Itself, These Are The Factors You Need to Consider


1. Types of Storage Racks Used


The type of storage racks to be used will, of course, be influenced by the kind of products you are storing. Generally, slow movers are stored in bulk racks while fast movers are stored in pallet flow racks. However, it is up to you to determine the kind of solutions you need in your warehouse, and how to maximise the overall efficiency.


2. The Vertical Cube


You need to maximise your utilisation of the vertical cube. Take advantage of high-density storage and taller racks to be most cost-effective.


3. PickPaths


You need to optimise the layout of your pick up paths. Do not sacrifice pick path efficiency for storage density. This is one of the most common mistakes companies make. Do not compromise your picking speed and efficiency just to stock more product, it is not worth it.


4. Pick Rate


Make sure that your fastest moving inventory is closest to the pick path, or has the shortest path. You should also consider placing the faster-moving products closer to the ground, while slower moving products go higher.


5. Dead Inventory


Do you have items that are just eating up space and barely moving? What is the longest period of time you intend to store a product while still maintaining profitability? If you have dead inventory, how can you eliminate it and find better use of the space?


Final Thoughts


Knowing your warehouse space cost is an essential step in maximising your profitability. For more information, you can have a look at our services page where we have a collection of efficient storage solutions to meet your every warehousing need.


People Also Ask:


1. How Can I Maximise My Warehouse Space?


The first and most important step in maximising your warehouse space is calculated your warehouse space cost. Once you determine how much you are spending on your warehouse, you can implement solutions that will lower your running costs. These include getting better racks, going vertical, and getting rid of dead inventory to free up storage space.


2. How Do I Organise My Warehouse For Efficiency?


Simple organisation strategies can have a significant impact on your overall efficiency. Keeping your warehouse clean can improve the efficiency of movement of your workers and reduce accidents. Adopting lean inventory practices, where you do not overstock, can maximise the utilisation of your storage space while reducing dead inventory. Other strategies include organising your shipping station for efficiency, assessing shelving space utilisation, and improving the accuracy of your warehouse. All these, however, begin with figuring out what your total warehouse costs are, and making a conscious decision to improve its efficiency and reduce running costs.

How To Organise Warehouse Shelving

How To Organise Warehouse Shelving

Warehouses are an essential part of any supply chain. The efficiency of your warehouse directly affects the overall efficiency of your entire business. This is why warehouses are so important. Their organisation can make or break an entire business.


The overall organisation of a warehouse encompasses everything from warehouse management software to shelving, labelling, and spatial organisation. This article shall focus on how to organise warehouse shelving, providing possible solutions that can help you maximise efficiency through the organisation of your warehouse shelving spaces.


General Warehouse Organisation Tips and Tricks


Before we dive deeper into the subject, there are a few common sense tips that everyone needs to check off their list when organising their warehouse. While each of these tips is quite straightforward, they tend to be easier said than done. This is because, in a warehouse, everything you do needs to be in line with a particular set of goals. Your actions should also aim to reduce running costs while maximising productivity and optimising space. One of the most important goals should also be ensuring superior customer service is delivered at all costs.


That being said, here are a few general tips for you to consider:


1. Be Clean


Keeping your warehouse clean can go a long way in improving efficiency. Simply allocating a few hours every week to cleaning tasks can yield a significant impact on productivity. The cleaner your warehouse is, the easier it is to move around in, and your employees will be way more efficient in their work.


2. Discourage Clutter


A warehouse that looks messy gives off a vibe of lack of efficiency. To an outsider, it looks like the leadership is poor, morale is low, employees are overwhelmed or revenue is being lost. This is not the sort of picture you want to paint for your visitors, staff or suppliers. You need to make sure that your work process discourages clutter, and your workers understand this.


3. Take A Closer Look At Your Inventory


Do you have more stock than you need? Is it possible to reduce your safety stock? Or can you negotiate a different agreement with your supplier to get them to supply you with smaller batches more frequently? The most important thing when it comes to inventory is ensuring that it is as lean as possible. Only keep around what you need. Having a lean inventory means that there will be fewer products for your workers to sift through to locate what they need, and everything will move so much more efficiently.


4. Safety First


Warehouses are among the most accident-prone work environments. Safety should be your priority, even before efficiency. Your workers are literally the oil that keeps your business moving. You need to think about their safety and avoid putting them in any unnecessary danger. Workers that feel safe are more confident moving around in their environment. Therefore, a safe warehouse becomes an efficient warehouse.


5. Shelving and Space Utilisation


Think about your traffic patterns when placing your shelves and determining space utilisation. A good understanding of how shelves and space need to be utilised is one of the fastest ways to improve efficiency in a warehouse.


6. Customised Organisation


Every industry is different. This also applies to warehouses. They function differently depending on the industry they are in. Does your warehouse ship multiple items to the same destination at the same time? Does it send out individual packages to different destinations? Every subtle change in the business model means that an accompanying organisational change needs to be effected to ensure the highest degree of efficiency.


7. Standardisation


When you come up with a particular solution to an organisational problem, you also need to come up with a way to make sure that your workers understand the process that it takes to maintain that solution. For example, when it comes to being clean, you need to come up with a way to ensure the warehouse stays clean, even when you are not around. Lack of standardisation is one of the main reasons why most warehouses revert to their old ways after merely a few days.


How To Organise Warehouse Shelving


Warehouse shelving is one of the biggest factors affecting the overall productivity and efficiency of a warehouse. Today, warehouse space is more expensive than ever to maintain. Similarly, companies need increasingly bigger stocks to keep up with the competition. This means that only two options are presented: either get a bigger, more expensive space to house all your products or take advantage of the opportunities your shelving has to offer by using high-density shelving that has been well organised. Here is how to organise warehouse shelving:


1. Inventory


Before you begin, you need to take a detailed inventory of what is existing in your warehouse. When reorganising your warehouse, you do not necessarily have to get rid of all your existing shelving spaces. Figure out what you have, what can stay and what needs to be replaced to make room for newer, more efficient and higher density shelves. You can also relocate a few existing shelves to create space for more. However, you need to pay attention to aisle spaces. Which brings us to our next point.


2. Pay Attention To Aisle Spaces


There are different spatial requirements for a worker working alone in an aisle, for two workers working in an aisle, for two workers working on facing shelves in an aisle, and for multiple workers working in the same aisle. There are also different spatial requirements for forklifts or other warehouse machinery. The spatial provisions of your aisles can significantly reduce potential accidents. Always make sure you measure allocated aisle spaces and determine whether they are wide enough for your workers to work in.


3. Be Flexible


Sometimes, shelving can be bulky. The largest, heaviest shelves usually end up being bolted to the floor to secure them. However, when organising your warehouse shelving and considering what sort of shelf to get, consider getting a shelf that can be installed on a shelf track. Shelf tracks are great for compact areas while providing an added level of freedom and flexibility. It is easier to focus on creating layouts that work through experimentation and trying to find the most efficient arrangement.


4. Pallet Racking Systems


Pallet racking is an efficient shelving storage solution that allows you to stock more inventory in a small space. The shelving spaces use durable steel, and the storage system allows for more vertical storage. Pallet racking systems are an absolute must if you are looking to expand your business, or even if you are just looking to become more efficient and organised in your current space.


5. Make Use Of Vertical Spaces


Before you decide to move on to a new location due to lack of space, consider exhausting your current space first by using vertical space. If you get shelving that prioritises vertical storage over horizontal, you may end up saving nearly half your current storage space. Vertical storage units are the best use of a warehouse’s available square footage. It saves costs and increases efficiency, taking your business to the next level. Our Services Page will give you an in-depth look at all the different types of shelves with this capability.


6. How To Draw Your Shelving Layout Organisation


When planning your shelving layout, imagine you have a wide open plan in the building. Ignore columns and any other obstructions, and come up with the most efficient layout plan possible. Maximise efficiency and productivity while allowing for ergonomic movement within the aisles. Once this is done, draw in your columns and such, and alter the design a little to accommodate them. The end result is a highly efficient layout design that also takes into account all the obstacles and uniqueness of your warehouse.


7. Maximising Shelving Efficiency


When organising your shelving, there are a few things you need to pay attention to. First, make sure your racks are in long rows. Make these rows as long as possible. Next, do not arrange your pallets along the walls, as this limits their efficiency. Finally, never create L-shaped storages. They are a nightmare for forklifts and human workers alike.


Final Thoughts


Warehouse space is very expensive in this day and age. You need to make sure you are getting the most out of it. This is why shelving space must be maximised without compromising on efficiency and productivity. Hopefully, these tips will help you begin to figure out what you have been doing wrong and what you can do to fix it. To get the best value for your money, check out our Services Page for a more detailed look at exactly what we have to offer.

People Also Ask:


1. How Can I Improve Warehouse Efficiency?


As stated earlier, an efficient warehouse is a successful warehouse. To improve your warehouse efficiency, you need to do these 5 things:

– Maximise the utilisation of all available space

– Make sure your inventory is lean

– Take advantage of technological solutions to your problems

– Optimise your labour force

– Organise the workstations of your staff to boost morale, productivity and efficiency


2. How Can Warehouses Improve Productivity?


Improved productivity is an ongoing process. It is a journey, not a destination. To achieve it, you need to communicate effectively with your workers, suppliers and clients, you need to maximise warehouse operation productivity, and to maximise the use of vertical space through better shelving solutions.

Four questions to ask when choosing warehouse management software

Four questions to ask when choosing warehouse management software

Increasing the efficiency of your warehouse can be helped by the right choice of software. When planning a warehouse, the first consideration is the layout and design of the warehouse shelving system, so that all items can be easily stored and accessed. Software can then organise the process of goods coming into the warehouse and out again.
When choosing software, there are a number of questions to ask, and here are four of the most important:

Is the software easy to use?
The software program may be cleverly designed but if it is not easy to use, mistakes can easily be made through input errors.
Will the software manage all the processes? There are six basic processes that a warehouse uses and the software should help in all these areas: receiving goods, putting goods on shelves, picking orders, dispatching, stock audits and moving items.
Is the software flexible? The software you use may be fine now, but can it deal with your business expanding? If you invest in technology such as RF scanners, label printers and new scales, can the software link to this technology?
Does the software have a good reputation? Talk to organisations currently using the software you are considering buying. What is their experience and would they recommend the software? Is the software regularly updated in response to requests from customers to add features?
There are many factors that create an efficient system, including the warehouse shelving design, employee’s performance, labelling goods, quality of pallet racking and the warehouse management software.

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New drone system can accurately find warehouse items

New drone system can accurately find warehouse items

A new drone technology developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is able to pinpoint items based in warehouses.
Planning a new warehouse starts with an efficient warehouse shelving system and pallet racking, and Greenoaks specialises in the design and installation of such systems. The next requirement is to create a system for storing and locating items. This needs to be as accurate as possible so that there is no mismatch between the inventory recorded on the system and the actual stock.
One way to track stock is to use radio frequency ID tags (RFID) that require no batteries and are inexpensive to produce. Unfortunately, this system is not perfect. In the US, retail giant Walmart has estimated that it lost $3bn due to mismatches between inventory records not matching stock on the shelves.
Researchers at the MIT have developed a system that uses lightweight drones to scan RFID tags. Fadel Adib, of the Sony Corporation that is working at the MIT on the development, said:

“In 2016, the U.S. National Retail Federation reported that shrinkage — loss of items in retail stores — averaged around $45.2 billion annually. By enabling drones to find and localize items and equipment, this research will provide a fundamental technological advancement for solving these problems.”

The drones are being tested in a large retail warehouse and have demonstrated that they can accurately locate items. The technology could constantly monitor stock levels and guide pickers to item locations.
If the drone system proves itself, then it could potentially save UK businesses a great deal of money.

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The importance of efficient warehouse planning

The importance of efficient warehouse planning

All aspects of your business need to be run efficiently and the warehouse is no exception.
The first thing to get right is the floorplan. If you are planning a new warehouse, the experts at Greenoaks can do this for you. For an existing warehouse, considerable efficiency gains may be made by rearranging the warehouse. Many warehouses may appear to be reaching capacity, but rearranging the warehouse shelving system can result in the much more efficient use of space without needing a larger building. If there is enough height, installing mezzanine flooring can expand storage space.
Product placement is important. Many warehouses store products according to product categories. Instead, consider placing the products that are in top demand together. This will save the pickers a lot of travel time.
Once products are placed in their optimum locations, then a good inventory control system is needed that tracks all movement in the warehouse, goods coming in, picking products and sending them out for delivery. Technology can help with barcodes and radio frequency identification systems that can guide pickers to product locations. Some of these systems use voice technology to direct pickers.
It can help to organise product picking by priority. For example, orders from customers who pay extra for next day delivery will be processed before standard delivery orders.
An efficient warehouse system improves the process of goods coming in and out, and this can increase revenue. For further information on organizing your warehouse, talk to Greenoaks.

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The multiple benefits of mezzanine flooring

The multiple benefits of mezzanine flooring

Mezzanine floors are a cost effective way to increase space for your business.
If a business needs extra room for storage, production facilities or offices, it is expensive to acquire bigger premises and moving costs can be high. Mezzanine flooring can be the perfect solution.
A mezzanine floor is a partial floor that can be installed in an existing building to provide extra space. The alternative, if there is room, is to build an extension, which will usually require planning permission and can be extremely costly. If the premises are rented, many landlords will not allow the building of an extension, but can be receptive to the installation of mezzanine flooring, as this can be removed at the end of a lease period if required.
Mezzanine floors create space without needing to be a permanent feature of a building. They are quick to install and cost much less than a building extension. They can be fixed to the main support wall and, although they may look as if they are floating, they can hold the same weight as a permanent floor.
Provided that the building is of adequate height, a mezzanine floor will provide enough height for people to work in.
As they are not a permanent feature of a building, if a business does move then the mezzanine flooring can easily be dismantled and rebuilt in another location.
Greenoaks has a specialist team who design and install mezzanine flooring to create extra space for your business, as well as providing top class warehouse shelving systems.

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The importance of pallet racking to your business success

The importance of pallet racking to your business success

The warehouse is a core component that helps your business succeed. It is crucial to efficient use of warehouse space, and starts with installing the right pallet racking system.
Racking and shelving needs to make sure products are visible and available. Well-designed pallet racking systems can increase the efficiency of a logistics operation.
Demand for particular products can go up and down, which means that their storage space requirements can vary. Adaptable systems that can be adjusted can deal with the ebb and flow of demand. Bolted frame components are easily and quickly adjusted, while drop-on components such as steel decks and chipboard panels can adapt to store goods of any shape and size.
Shelving should be arranged so that pickers travel the minimum distance possible when collecting goods, thus allowing them to be more productive.
The shelving system quality is influenced by the load capacity, and shelving that is not designed for the weight of goods can be both dangerous and inefficient. The best quality pallet racking systems may cost more, but will last longer and be cost efficient in the long term.
Safety is an important concern. Pallet support bars, floor anchoring and column supports protect warehouse workers.
Businesses want to make sure that goods leave the warehouse in good condition and are accurately picked. This requires a well-designed warehouse pallet racking system.
Each warehouse is different and requires the design of a tailored pallet racking system. The team at Greenoaks are experts in designing and installing pallet racking and warehouse shelving systems.

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Mezzanine floors can help shortage of logistics warehouses

Mezzanine floors can help shortage of logistics warehouses

Demand for logistic space is at records levels, but there is a shortage of warehouses and not enough land to build new ones. In order to expand their storage space, many businesses are building mezzanine flooring.
There is a need for extra logistics warehouses because of the rise of online shopping. According to the Office of National Statistics, online retailing represents 14.3% of the retail market and this is expected to rise to over 20% by the end of the decade. To cope with this expansion, extra storage space is needed.
Property consultants Savills reported that the demand for warehouse space hit its highest peak in 2016. The number of available warehouse spaces shrunk by 20% in March 2017 to the point where soon there could be more demand than supply. It is estimated that 18 million sq. ft. of new industrial space needs to be built each year, but there is not enough land available to build at this scale. Part of the reason that land is scarce is due to the number of new housing developments.
The land shortage has put pressure on releasing greenbelt land for industrial use. Birmingham Council has already done this by releasing 197 acres of greenbelt land for industrial development.
One solution that can help is to build mezzanine floors to create extra space. There has been increased demand for taller warehouses that can accommodate mezzanine floors.
For expert advice on how mezzanine flooring can expand your warehouse, talk to the experts at Greenoaks.

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