Carton flow rack is at both simple and complex. Yes, it’s gravity-fed roller or wheeled tracks but just as there are many sizes and shapes of cartons, cases and totes there are different carton flow designs and configurations to best accommodate all your packaging needs. So, we are here to help you find just the right carton flow solution for your inventory needs, and the best way to do that is to prevent you from making some of the common missteps that we see when carton flow rack is ordered. Knowing ahead of time to avoid these mistakes will save you time and money and ultimately get you the best carton flow rack for your unique inventory needs.
Mistake #1 – Assuming all carton flow fits all cartons
Start with the basics, right? Are your cartons all the same size? If so, we have three different carton flow rack options depending on your package weight, lane depth and carton design. If your cartons vary in size or even shape, we have four wheeled carton flow options to choose from depending on carton weight, rack configuration and lane depth. When ordering any carton flow system, don’t forget to look to the future. Do you have an expectation that carton sizes might change in the future? We can design for that so just be sure to let us know.
Mistake #2 – Not confirming that your warehouse software will work with your carton flow rack design
OK so this seems like an obvious one, but not every warehousing order picking software is created the same. Our carton flow racking will work with pick to light and pick to voice systems, but, for example, we may need to make a mounting bracket adjustment to accommodate a label pick system to allow enough room on the beam to attach the label. To avoid any last-minute fixes, be sure to provide us with the most complete information that you can regarding your order picking software.
Mistake #3 – Ordering carton flow rack without a current SKU analysis
An optimal carton flow system layout is designed around your inventory data, i.e. number SKUs, SKU volume, batching/sorting methods, etc. With all the details, we can design carton flow for fast moving SKU’s to take advantage of the ergonomic, orderly picking that it offers. BUT we may also spec carton flow for slower moving SKUs if we think we can save valuable pallet or floor space or save your workers time stocking static shelves. So, let’s make sure we’ve got all the info we need to put the right product into the right carton flow system/s.
Carton flow accessories shouldn’t be thought of as extra they should be considered as pluses because they add to your efficiency and accuracy…which adds to your profitability. For example, have you considered how your warehouse will replenish the carton flow? Weekly, nightly, etc.? Simple carton flow dividers placed on the replenishment-side can ensure quick restocking for faster moving SKUs. Partial and full-length lane dividers are available, and we can engineer custom-sized dividers for unique applications.
Mistake #5 – Ordering your carton flow system without visually experiencing it first
Mallard’s proprietary M-Elevations schematics offer a unique experience to customers as part of their carton flow rack proposal. Our M-Elevations show a clear front view, side view and plan view of the system with inventory in place to allow customers to see how the proposed design fits within their building. This schematic allows that “birds-eye” view of the full space with special consideration of the fixed features such as columns, doorways, docking, office space, etc. to ensure maneuverability and work flow efficiency. Ultimately our customers are provided with a more complete inventory profile, full warehouse flow, and the opportunity to avoid installation issues before the carton flow order is even placed.
Mistake #6 – Selecting the wrong carton flow mounting brackets… that’s right there are choices
As we mentioned above, certain order selection software may require unique carton flow mounting brackets, but mounting carton flow to existing beams, new beams or carton flow shelves should also dictate a bracket with the right pitch, height and mounting interface. Our carton flow mounting bracket spec sheet details the diverse line of options from Mallard but if you need more help selecting the right one, give us a call.
Mistake #7 – Ordering your carton flow system without testing it first
Did you test a shelf level first for proper pitch and flow? The Mallard in-house Engineering Testing Lab will test out your proposed system with your inventory prior to ordering. You will be provided with a test report and video to prove the system works as well as any recommendations or adjustments that should be made to ensure best system performance.
Gravity flow is our business and as such we want our customers to be completely satisfied with their gravity flow racking system… whether it be pallet flow, carton flow or gravity conveyor. Hopefully, we have provided some good food for thought about successful carton flow rack ordering, but we are also on-hand to answer any questions you may have, so just give us a call.
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