Naturally a storage lift is used for arranging generally larger items of merchandise into an area which isn’t laid out to accommodate the goods individually, unstacked. Much like high-rise flats and office blocks – build up instead of out and you will save space for other things. In a warehouse environment, space is your ally – create enough of it for more stock and you will produce a higher gross in sales.
- Automotive 2 and 4-post lifts
- Aquatic on land and in water lifts
- Warehouse vertical storage lifts
So what would be the concerns regarding the logistics of a storage lift or lifts?
- Lack of proactive service and maintenance
- Absence of regular servicing leading to mechanical issues and slow operation and prompt movement of stock
An easy solution to the above issues would be quite clearly to conduct checks on all lifts at regular intervals throughout the year, like with anything mechanical which is likely to put the safety of employees at risk if ill maintained. But who would be responsible for carrying out these checks? Should it be an in-house duty designated to a member of staff? Or should the manufacturer be responsible for the operational efficiency and safety of their product and send out an engineer? It’s not as if a lift can be simply driven down to the local garage to get the once over, it’s a large bit of kit which will most probably be sat where it is for many years doing a grand job of lifting and storing goods until it retires, if well looked after, of course. The warehouse probably aren’t going to want one of their staff taken away from his or her duties, never mind the training involved in lift maintenance, to service them, so in order for the machinery to run smoothly and not affect the daily operation of the warehouse in this case, let’s say for argument’s sake, the lifts should be maintained by their manufacturer and their dedicated mobile engineer.
Logistics are a concern for any business. Not only will these methods help to ensure consistent quality control, but products are able to be stored, inspected and distributed with ease to the end customer. However, none of this would be possible without what are known as shuttle solutions. How are these processes defined and why are they so very critical within a commercial or industrial organisation?
As the name may already hint, a shuttle serves one primary purpose. It is designed to aid in the movement of a physical item within the work environment. An example can prove very useful here. Let us imagine that we are examining the step-by-step process of manufacturing shoes. One machine will construct the soles, another fashions the laces while a third designs the fabric tops (to name but a few steps associated with the system). Shuttles within this environment will transport these disparate items from one location to the next (to be combined together). Also, they are able to place individual parts within storage units for future use.
Outside of the Facility
However, it is also critical to recall that shuttles are just as important in terms of supply chain distribution. An end product will normally need to be sent from the manufacturer to the distributor. Thus, this term can also refer to the physical means of transport between one location and another. Some common examples here can be a lorry shipping the same aforementioned shoes to a regional warehouse for distribution or a farm that requires the regular collection of vegetables before they are sold at a market.
Efficiency is Key
Shuttles are only as effective as the ways in which they are implemented. In terms of in-house designs, they are frequently controlled by bespoke software packages to maximise their effectiveness. When referring to the physical transportation of a product outside of the facility, logistical planning and management are paramount in order to meet what will often prove to be demanding time frames. These are some of the key metrics which are associated with shuttles in regards to the workplace.
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