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Benefits of Push-Back Racking Systems

Push-back racking systems use gravity to replace items picked by forklift

Mainly used for medium to heavy items and particularly good for IBC’s, the gravity feed cart systems can be customised to suit various business needs and are becoming ever more popular thanks to the many benefits they present.

Maximising Space

The construction and mechanics of the push-back racking means that premium warehouse space, which is rarely freely available, can be maximised to contain more product than ever. Limited space maximised and seasonal need catered for, heavy load storage for items such as IBC’s and outsized product is achievable without having to head straight to a warehouse redesign or premises move. Particularly key if the need is shorter term, a trial or seasonal such as Christmas.

Easy Picking

As the name states, push-back racking allows for space to be created for a new item by pushing the existing one backwards up an inclined rack, using a ‘last in, first out’ (LIFO) method of storage and picking. When the first item is picked from the rack, gravity allows the next to drop down to replace it. This makes picking easy and efficient for the forklifts and workflow much smoother for the overall pick.

Improved Stock Control

The ease of access to pick allows for far improved stock management and rotation. Monitoring of stock is easier with limited need for movement and interference of the product once in situ for replenishment purposes, making it particularly effective for date sensitive items that need to be rotated regularly or have particular storage requirements such as cold store. FMCG storage facilities would be ideal customers for push-back racking for example.

Less maintenance, more safety

As gravity replaces the product, the forklift only needs to pick from the front of the racking, completely removing the need to drive into the racking to retrieve goods. This not only speeds up the pick, but it drastically reduces maintenance need and costs to racking equipment as the forklift is not turning or driving near the racking joists as frequently, if at all.

This in turn, crucially, means increased safety to operators and pickers on the ground. There is little need for staff to be around the racking and product while the forklift is in the picking channel, reducing the risk of accident and injury as the forklift will be replenishing and picking.

Easily installed, customised and integrated

Push-back racking does not require a full warehouse redesign and can be used as addition to existing systems. The construction of the racking allows for customisation by way of pallet number depth, depending on the amount of storage needed and the space available to do so. Scaling options for seasonal push for example is made available, as the push-back can exist alongside your racking equipment already in place. Whilst the racking is customised to suit you, it’s functionality by picking from the front means that little to no customisation is needed to your forklift equipment, as it is reaching standard length to pick.

Cost effective and increased productivity

All of these benefits add up to cost savings. Maximising your space, vertically, horizontally and on the floor is a huge bonus in saving money and increasing productivity. Time is utilised via travel, pick and loading for dispatch, increasing the amount of product going out of the door and decreasing the amount of time taken to do it. It is also worth noting that the further maximised the space is for your pallets, then the more favourable the cost per pallet will work out for you.

Then there is the human element of cost. By eliminating some of the danger of picking by the forklift picking from the front and the reduced need for employee to be in the picking channels, you are reducing the chances of accident and injury and in so doing, reducing the need for time off or extended sick pay due to illness of this nature. Staff are safe and happy, and costs saved can be attributed elsewhere on even further improvements.

There are of course advantages and disadvantages to any kind of system, entirely depending on your specific need and the requirements of the product you’re storing. Understanding what these are and discussing your choices with an expert from Nene will make sure that you end up with the right result for you, tailor made to your business demands.