Gravity Flow Products Help Meet Demand for Goods

These days retail survival is linked to these three words… FAST, AFFORDABLE and ACCURATE.  So, while retailers promise to fulfill customer demand, inventory control and warehousing management are left to simply make it happen. As our retail fulfillment customers attest, pallet flow rack and carton flow systems are effective, flexible storage and fulfillment solutions that often play an important role in helping them meet this ever-increasing mandate.

There are several gravity flow products that help meet the demand for high volume and fast throughput, pallet, carton and single piece order fulfillment.  Here’s a rundown of the commonly used systems and applications.

Carton Flow Rack

  • Full carton/tote and each pick fulfillment

Pallet Flow Rack

  • High volume case pick applications
  • Layer pick systems for mixed pallet orders
  • Pallet staging

Pick Modules

  • A combination of carton flow, pallet flow rack &/or selective rack for carton, tote and each pick order picks to conveyor

E-Commerce – Direct Order Fulfillment

Fulfilling orders directly from a warehouse, particularly for the booming e-commerce market, requires that the retailer rely on their distribution network to pick the order as precisely as if the consumer had hand-selected it off the shelf themselves.  Returns are very costly both in monetary terms and customer loyalty, so order accuracy is a must.   Mallard has a diverse and flexible line of carton flow products that will help optimize a variety of retail order picking applications for either consistent or varied carton sizes – all manufactured to last in busy warehouse environments.

How Carton Flow Optimizes Retail Fulfillment

  • Improve productivity – quicker, accurate picking with at cartons at the aisle face
  • Gain 50% more storage, fewer aisles & 40 more pick locations vs. selective rack
  • Decrease labor costs – Save up to 75% in labor
  • Maintain efficient FIFO inventory rotation
  • Ergonomic, safe order selection – easy access to all SKUS
  • Save energy and lighting in condensed space

With E-commerce spending rising 11% in 2016 compared with 2015 and double digits rises projected for the next few years at least, small suppliers and manufacturers are going to be asked to take on greater inventory management, fulfillment and shipping previously performed by retailers.

Pick Modules are an excellent solution for these types of businesses and more… really anyone with a considerable amount of small order and piece pick order picking.  Pick modules consolidate SKUs in a small warehouse footprint increasing SKU capacity by up to 50% while increasing efficiency and reducing picker travel times.  A pick module would include carton flow in a forward pick area or integrated within a multi-level pick module with high-speed conveyance for quick order throughput.

What About Old, Damaged Carton Flow Shelves?

Mallard also has the fix for a common retail warehouse challenge –  Dyna-Deck is an affordable, drop-in replacement carton flow repair system for inferior, damaged case flow rails and wheels. Dyna-Deck provides full wheel coverage for all carton sizes and shape.

Full pallet reserve storage for high volume case-pick applications can be supplied by pallet flow rack within or pick module or in stand-along systems.  Pallet flow separators allow for safe order selection and removal of the front pallet without rear pallet forces.  Once the front pallet is empty it is easily removed and the separator can be reset with a simple hand or foot release to allow the rear pallets to advance forward.

Warehouse to Retail Fulfillment

Fulfilling orders directly to the retail establishment from the warehouse or DC takes a different fulfillment approach. A pallet flow rack system is ideal for storing a large quantity of pallets of the same SKU.  Pallet flow racking optimizes space with a deep-lane capacity while still providing easy access to all pallets from the pick face.  Space optimization also means increased productivity and less travel time for load and pick.

In addition, floor mounted pallet flow in dock staging areas for full, single SKU and/or mixed pallets provides easy to access and accurate loading to awaiting trucks.

How Pallet Flow Rack Optimizes Retail Fulfillment

  • Space optimization – double the storage capacity in the same footprint
  • Efficient storage of high volume/low SKU products
  • Increased productivity with less travel time to load and unload
  • Ideal for high-volume, case-pick applications – manual case selection from the front pallet position with reserve pallet positions in queue behind

Mallard has been supplying gravity flow solutions to retail distribution centers for decades and we are proud of the way we’ve developed new pallet flow and carton flow solutions by meeting our retail customers’ unique storage and material handling challenges. Give us a call today to talk with a gravity flow specialist and see how our gravity flow solutions might be just the solution you’ve been looking for.

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