Covid-19 has affected the sector of shelving and racking too. Projects are returning back to normal but companies are looking to reorganise existing space and respond quicker to the increased online demand. Jonathan Ellis, Head of Sales at BiGDUG spoke to The Logistics Point about trends and best practices.
What trends do you see on the marketand how will it evolve?
Currently, we are seeing an increasing drive within customers to significantly streamline their supplier bases. In addition to a far more formalised Supplier approval process, suppliers who can supply across a wide range of categories will have an inherent advantage in this process.
The ability to provide Pallet Racking and shelving together with boxes, manual handling and access equipment along with ancillary products presents the customer with a much more rounded supply partnership.
Have you seen any change in attitudesbecause of Covid?
Larger projects that may have been on hold in the early months of the year seem to be being approved, and often now with a much shorter lead time as Companies return to something approaching their normal business models.
We’re also seeing an increasing amount of space optimisation, rather than new builds where elements such as Mezzanine Floors, repositioning existing storage systems to add additional runs are widely prevalent.
The continued rise of Internet shopping has also caused a huge upsurge in demand for racking and shelving, whereby retailers are experiencing issues with the amount of stock that they have to take in, store and dispatch. We’ve seen a lot of web-based retailers use this period to increase and improve their in-house operations rather than rely on 3rd Party logistics businesses to handle this increased throughput.
How do you approach large projects from evaluation to finish?
The starting point for any project will always be an evaluation of exactly what the customer is storing, and how it is being loaded, stored and transported as this will dictate the style of solution that we would subsequently recommend. Pallet racking is a perfect example, whereby the weight and dimensions of each pallet will have major impacts on the design and weight capacity of the system to be utilised.
Where possible, a site visit to evaluate the available space – and height is always a major consideration also allows our teams to see how and where our part of any projects fits into the overall customer operation.
Taking into consideration the inward and onward flow of any product or component will facilitate the design of a solution that works with, rather than against existing processes.
Having the widest range of solutions available, together with the ability to offer bespoke manufactured products means that we can generally offer the solution that best fits. A flexible installation team is also a bonus, whereby changing customer requirements can be fed back, re-designed and incorporated within the agreed timeframes.
What best practices do you follow and would advise?
Safety is paramount in all aspects of our work; from initial site visits through design and through to supply and installation. All products meet the highest quality standards and all staff have appropriate qualifications and registrations in addition to the many years’ experience within the team.
Close involvement with the end user at the customer site, and liaison with their H&S and Facilities staff results in a solution that is both workable and to the highest safety standards.✷
A major manufacturer of precision engineering and assembly has recently revamped its entire Process workflow, bringing increased productivity and facilitating the winning of new contracts. Provision of BiGDUG’s storage systems, from specially adapted heavy duty ESD shelving through to robust shelf trolleys to move components between cells and mobile workbenches to add flexibility has played a major part in enabling this culture change to occur smoothly and within budget.
Ahead of demand
An on-line clothing distributor has recently seen their sales increase at an extraordinary rate, and we have been involved with them since they first took the decision to handle the storage and distribution themselves, rather than utilise an outside organisation. The ability to provide the full range of shelving, workbenches, trolleys and handling equipment from stock meant they increased footprint twice 24 in the last six months, utilising familiar products and without any disruption to daily operations.
Jonathan has 15 years’ experience within the Materials Handling, storage and workplace equipment market, having working for a number of the UK businesses of the Takkt Group. Prior to that he ran his own mailing and fulfilment in the North East, and spent 12 years within the direct marketing industry.