The need for businesses to optimise every inch of their warehouse space to gain additional valuable storage as well as improving efficiency and Health & Safety is a common challenge we come across and Barleylands Farm Shop was no exception.
Barleylands are a longstanding business selling plants, fruit, vegetables and branded grocery items to both wholesale and retail clients from their farm shop in Billericay, Essex. Due to the continuous expansion of the business, they reached a point where they needed to review their stock storage solution to increase operational efficiency as well as addressing Health & Safety in their warehouse.
Having had previous experience of working with Acorn, Jon Keith, Barleylands Site Manager, contacted Acorn and asked Caleb, Acorn’s Senior Engineer, to attend a site meeting to see first hand how the warehouse operated, discuss the key operational and logistic issues they faced and to see what solutions and products Acorn Storage could put forward to maximise the use of all the available space and improve the standard of equipment, resulting in a more efficient and safer environment.
Challenges the client faced:
• Shortage of usable space.
• Mismatch of different manufactures racking.
• Warehouse filled to capacity in its current format.
• Limited space and high volumes of product meant stock rotation was an issue and it was difficult to get to the stock easily.
When onsite Caleb completed a site survey, taking the clients key objectives and challenges into consideration, and drew up plans for a new layout for their warehouse racking. “Listening to the client and understanding what challenges they face and what they want to achieve is essential in enabling us to find the most appropriate solution to meet their needs. After all, they know how their business functions and operates better than we do.” comments Caleb.
Improving the layout would give:
• More usable and practical space.
• A more efficient warehouse.
• Improved stock control and rotation.
• Better working practices and environment.
The recommendations and plans that Caleb put forward were well received by Barleylands. “We encourage our clients to buy-in to the planning process and welcome revisions and feedback throughout to ensure the end result is the best answer to their problem.” comments Caleb.
There were many factors to take into consideration before the most appropriate products could be chosen such as:
• Limited floor space meant vertical space would need to be utilised to the maximum.
• Narrow Aisles – Meant pallets could not be fork lifted onto the racking but needed to be placed in the aisles for the staff to unpack and stock the shelves by hand.
• Items were picked by hand; therefore it was essential for the staff to be able gain access to stock on the upper levels safely.
Supplied and installed used racking, new Longspan shelving, timber decking and mobile steps.
Used Racking – Refurbished racking from the same manufacture and size, which meet Health & Safety Standards and conformed to SEMA Codes of Practice.
Longspan Shelving – A smaller shelving solution than racking, which would take up less room. Barleylands used this solution to store and pick smaller and less popular items.
Timber Decking – This enabled the client to turn the racking into a shelving solution to take loose items and gave Barleylands greater flexibility.
Mobile Steps – Provided a safe and secure solution for the staff to use for picking product from upper levels.
The project was concluded in two phases. Normally a project of this type would be completed in a day but logistically it was not possible for all the stock to be relocated to give Acorn access to a cleared warehouse. The two phase approach enabled the client to stay operational whilst we dismantled and removed the old racking and installed the new used racking and other products.
Acorn understood they would need to be adaptable in the delivery of the project. By providing this flexibility it enabled Barleylands to:
• Remain operational at all times without any impact on the day-to-day running of the business.
• Find a temporary storage solution on site to enable them to clear stock from a section of the warehouse to allow Acorn access.
• Partly run stock down to make space.
• Move stock into the new racking solution to clear space for the second phase to take place.
“Every project is different and has its own individual challenges but by working closely with our clients, providing sound recommendations and quality products as well as offering a flexible approach, means the end result is the right one for the client, which after all is our job.” comments Caleb, he continues “It was a great project to be involved in and our thanks go to Barleylands for choosing us.”
Jon Keith, Barleylands Site Manager comments “The advice that Caleb gave us worked out really well and has resulted in the space we have being far more accessible and workable. It has made our lives a 1000 times easier compared to how it used to be, so we are really happy with the result.”