If you are a non-profit with a warehouse then a few things may be confusing about non-profit warehouse logistics. Well, a lot of things may be confusing because you have never run anything like a warehouse before. You, probably, also do not have the money to hire a warehouse manager just yet. If that is true you will have to figure out all of this on your own. A problem because there are a lot of things to think about and there are even things you have to think about that you will not know. You will not know until you are talking to your local government’s inspector who will tell you about it. If that happens then you may not be able to open your new warehouse as quickly as you hope. A bad thing you have to send products out the door to your donors or customers. Therefore, it helps to know a few things before you get started.
One of the first things to know is what you call the shelving or storage units you will need. The problem is that the words you use for these items are not what the industry that makes them uses. You, like most business owners, or managers, probably call them something like, “Industrial storage units.” What the industry calls them are pallet racks. Pallet racks hold pallets, obviously, but you should know that they also hold “skids”. It depends on what part of the country you reside as some parts are more likely to call pallets as skids instead. Either way, if you do not know that name then you might have to search around for a long time because a lot of businesses are not optimizing their sites for people who are looking for “industrial storage systems”. They look for people who look for pallet racking. It is not a misnomer to say that the process of figuring out what to call these storage units can take awhile. Some companies take up 2 to 3 months to figure out this issue. It really depends. It depends on if you get lucky or find someone who knows that they are called.
Another thing that might come up is that you might wonder how high you can stack your products in your warehouse. If you have not thought about this before then you should because there are very specific rules in most locations on this topic. If you do not know about them then you could be in for a lot of trouble with your local government. A lot of this has to do with your sprinkler system. Weak sprinkler systems are a problem. If they are not very strong then you stand a high chance of only getting the topmost layers of your product wet. Not a good situation if you are going to contain a fire. You may be thinking, “well, I do not want my product wet, anyway.” However, your local government is concerned with fire suppression. They make sure that minimal damage happens. They want minimal damage to your property and any other adjacent to it. Therefore, an ineffective sprinkler system is something that they focus on very carefully. They want your warehouse to be as safe as possible.
Another area to be careful of is the use of forklifts. There are things called “man-cages” that a lot of companies like to use. The problem with this is that your local government likes to frown upon the use of these. However, most people do not know this fact. They believe that they can buy a cage and use it for things that require someone to be high up. They use their cage, or basket would be more appropriate, for things like building amenities on high walls. Most local governments only would like you to use these very sparingly for things like changing light bulbs. They would much rather you use a scissor lift. In fact, there have been citations written for the use of a man cage instead of a scissor lift. Therefore, you should look at baskets or man cages for very short and temporary jobs or risk incurring the wrath of your local government in the form of citations or shutdowns.
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