4 Questions to Ask When Redesigning Your Material Handling System


E-Distribution’s team of expert installers are back with more pallet rack installation advice to help you pick the best team for your needs and to know what to expect from the process. Our first blog in the Tips & Techniques Series was 5 Key Pallet Rack Installation Questions. In Part 2, we focus on what to do with existing pallet racking and conveyor systems or components when you plan to upgrade or redesign your warehouse.

What to Do When Your Warehouse Needs an Update?

Professional material handling install teams are also responsible for dismantling, refurbishing and relocating rack when necessary. Here are a few things you’ll want to work out with your crew before the process begins are:

  1. Can any of the pallet rack or conveyor components be salvaged for the new system?
  2. Does any of the salvaged rack need repair or retrofitting for a new purpose, i.e. pallet storage to carton storage?
  3. What’s being done with the systems being removed?
  4. Will warehousing operations remain ongoing during construction?

Question 1 – Can any of the pallet rack or conveyor components be salvaged for the new system?

In the era of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle it’s not only financially responsible to have a plan for existing storage rack, it’s ethically responsible.  Systems design experts can assist you in choosing the best use or should we say “reuse” for your racking and conveyor systems. Professional installation teams will know how to take down existing rack without damaging the components so that it can be relocated for the new system design.

Question 2 – Does any of the salvaged rack need repair or retrofitting for a new purpose? Selective pallet rack can easily be converted to a pick module with carton flow storage on the lower levels and full pallet storage above. That’s just one example of repurposing existing pallet rack for a whole new, multi-functional and much-sought-after material handling solution in today’s warehouse climate. Oh, and speaking of climates, rack in ambient facilities can be repurposed for freezer storage, think deep-lane, dynamic systems like push-back or pallet flow for example. There are a number of beneficial reasons to choose to repurpose your pallet racking, always at least consider the options… and choose an experienced installation crew that can handle not only the dismantle but the reconfiguration as well.

Question 3 – What’s being done with the rack that’s being removed? Can you say, “Resell”, “Certified Pre-Owned”? Pallet racking that’s designed to last for years and even decades can be outdated for one operation but be perfectly suited for another. Rack systems salvage, recertification and resale is highly beneficial. Professional rack installation teams will carefully catalog and remove the system components so that they can be cleaned and offered for resale.

Question 4 – Will warehousing operations remain ongoing during construction?

This is a very tricky consideration and one the truly needs to be “left to the professionals.” There are human and equipment safety concerns, inventory security and the efficiency of the building process that all must share the top-level for priority. Start with a well-conceived plan of attack for which systems will be decommissioned at which time. Determine where the inventory will be stowed until the rack is moved or newly installed. What operations can continue during this process? Can areas that are unaffected in the build be temporarily used to continue daily order fulfillment? Experienced rack installers will inherently understand the operational concerns and work the process to the benefit of the customer.

A full service integrator like the E-Distribution team can provide all that you need. Our creative approach to systems design purposely considers what you already have on hand and then adds new components where necessary. We can also certify newly-configured systems for new capacities to get them up and functional as quickly as possible. Lastly, but never least… our trusted, professional rack installation teams will decommission any existing rack or conveyor and take it away for you. It’ll be cleaned and resold for new purpose. Call our team to discuss your future projects and operational goals and let’s design the fastest, most economical way for you to achieve them.