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Multi-tier shelving saves space

26 August 2018

Wholesaler carries out the installation of a multi-tier shelving system from SEC Storage that maximises cubic capacity.

Hendler Wholesale, the trade-only distributor of motorcycle, scooter and quad bike parts, opened the over 25,000 sq ft new warehouse in Thorne, South Yorkshire in February 2018.

They required a solution that would accommodate a wide variety of parts, from single spark plugs to exhausts, while meeting the on-demand need of its trade-only customer base.

“Hendler Wholesale presented us with a unique challenge,” says Gary Kirk, project sales director.

“Although traditionally they are a trade-only supplier, their order profile was similar to that of an eCommerce business-to-consumer operation. Multiple SKUs in single orders, with very little bulk pallet distribution.”

To devise a solution, SEC Storage first analysed Hendler Wholesale’s SKU and order data, both volumetrically, cubically and quantitatively. This was to better understand how Hendler Wholesale operates and where efficiencies can be gained in the storage, pick, pack and despatch process.

Following the systematic analysis, SEC Storage identified that a multi-tier picking structure, coupled with limited bulk pallet storage and designated marshalling area would provide optimum storage capacity and efficiency for the picking process.

The multi-tier shelving system, over three floors (ground, first and second), occupies just 15,650 sq ft of warehouse footprint but provides an effective storage space of 46,950 sq ft. The modular system enables for the re-adjustment of shelf levels to suit varying product sizes.

A unique element of the system, designed by SEC Storage and engineered by its manufacturing partner, was to minimise the back bracing used. This provides Hendler Wholesale the ability to store longer items horizontally, such as exhausts and body panels, on a double deep basis. Specific areas to hang such products vertically were considered, however this would limit the areas to these products only. By storing the longer products on the shelving with other regular boxed items, it provides Hendler Wholesale ultimate flexibility within the system, maximising capacity based on product and seasonal demands.

The bespoke design was only possible to achieve through the utilisation of a specific product type, solely produced by one manufacturer and represents the advantages of SEC Storage’s independent supply chain.

The solution includes a multi-tier mezzanine structure that abuts the shelving, and is used for staircase access, pallet loading gates and the inclusion of spiral gravity chutes and conveyors. 

Each operative therefore works on a wave picking basis, sending products via the chutes and conveyors to the main packing area, which in turn consolidates each order. This provides picking efficiency and prevents fatigue, by limiting travel time for the warehouse operatives.

As part of an independent, turnkey offering, SEC Storage also designed and installed the full electrical and lighting package on the multi-tier which included energy efficient LED lighting on PIR motion sensors. The structure is therefore only using power when operatives are working.

In order for the multi-tier structure to comply with Building Regulations, an enclosed fire rated staircase was provided alongside a fire detection system. For added security, a CCTV network with remote viewing and intruder alarm system were also installed.

This turnkey packaged enabled Hendler Wholesale to have one point of contact during the entire design and installation process.

“The final solution for Hendler Wholesale provides a storage system that not only maximises the building cube but the capacity of the system itself, on an any SKU anywhere storage basis” further commented Gary Kirk.

With 100% product selectivity and inclusion of gravity spiral chutes and conveyors, the solution optimises the overall operational efficiency of Hendler Wholesale’s new warehouse, enabling them to meet the demands of the motorcycle parts retail market.