Optimising Timber Storage

It’s been a whirlwind of a year and one that has thrown up a variety of challenges to all industry sectors. As Harry Watts, Commercial Director, SEC Storage, explains – not least to those who import, store and distribute timber-related products.

With the Brexit trade deadline looming and the pandemic hitting across the globe, there have been many issues needing to be assessed and addressed to both ride out the storm in the short term, as well as ensure stability and growth potential for the longer term.

Much of the short and long term future rests on the ability to hold more stock and ensure a reliable supply chain. Given the recent challenges, many timber and building merchants have been forced to use the situation to assess their existing storage system for capacity as well as product requirements in the form of inventory management.

So how do you arrive at the optimum storage solution? For many years now we believe that to be truly efficient, it’s all about data. At SEC, we leverage our customers’ product and operational data through our bespoke, in-depth analytics and simulation software tools, which allows us to demonstrate the benefits of our proposed design for innovative and modern warehouse storage solutions, utilising the most appropriate products for all-round operational efficiency.

We analyse every minute detail of goods coming in and going out, including the weight of each stock keeping unit (SKU) to ensure both the location and storage method are the most appropriate. Recently we provided a customer with designs for specialist loads with oversized racking taking their larger products, and these were optimised through the analysis. Additionally, we ran the SKU data through our aperture optimisation software, which concluded that the client was able to compress all oversized products into one aisle, resulting in only one wide aisle with an extra deep rack being required in the entire warehouse, thus reducing costs.

When optimising the space available our designs combine efficient storage capacity with the right products to ensure all customer items are stored in the most appropriate area of the building using the most efficient storage products such as racking and shelving. Each design must also take into consideration the product type, as timber and panels all require good solid weight-bearers to ensure you minimise the timber’s natural movement, and problems like bowing, cupping and twisting.

With space in the UK at an all-time premium, optimising the available footprint within a facility, both inside and outside is an obvious priority. Through careful data analysis and reconfiguration of a storage solution, the resulting designs can enable the business not only to benefit from improved storage capacity and efficiency, but also to remain in the facility for substantially longer than previously thought.

For the complete feature read the Autumn Issue of Timber Trader UK

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