How to Re-Slot Your Pallet Racking

Do you like spending money on things you’re not using? Neither do we. But what about wasted warehouse space? When it comes to storing your products efficiently, space equals money. Generally speaking, the more efficient a warehouse’s layout and configuration is, the more likely it is to have a positive effect on the bottom line.

Is your pallet racking making poor use of your valuable vertical space? Oftentimes, the solution is to re-slot your pallet racking. What do we mean when we say “re-slot?” Re-slotting your racking simply means adjusting your beam levels so that there’s minimal wasted vertical space. To see a great example of valuable and unused vertical space, take a look at the image below.

two red arrows illustrate the vertical space being wasted because the product is too small to necessitate large overhead space

Just as time is money, space is also money when it comes to storing products efficiently. Wast space means wasted money.

There are a lot of normal and expected things that can result in poor vertical space usage, like fluctuating inventory. Items that were once taking up a full 48″ of space in a given bay and shipping every day may be moving at a snail’s pace the next quarter, leaving empty space in its place. Or, maybe a beam level that was once used to store a taller product is now being used for something with a lower profile, but the beam levels were left the same. Seemingly little things like these are easy to miss, especially if they happen gradually.

Of course, few warehouses get it perfect. There are always a few unpredictable changes here and there that need to be priced into the overall warehouse efficiency formula. But the more pallet positions with unused vertical space there are in a warehouse, the more potential there is for opportunity cost. When this starts to become apparent, a common reaction is to propose getting more warehouse space or additional storage equipment. After all, if space is starting to run low, those are two commonsense solutions. The problem arises when space isn’t actually running low, but is instead being poorly utilized. This is when the solution of re-slotting pallet rack presents itself as a more cost effective solution to buying more space or a new storage system. Compare the image of well-used vertical space below to the image at the beginning of the article.

Wire decking stored on a wooden pallet on selective pallet racking with a bright green check mark over the top right corner of the image
Installers installing selective pallet racking using a forklift and scissor lift

Re-Slot Your Pallet Racking to Save Money

At this point you might be thinking, “Re-slot my racking? That will take forever.” And depending on the situation, you may not be completely wrong. But, it can save you money in more ways than one, and is a good use of your time that can pay dividends. You’ll also get to avoid the money sink of renting new warehouse space before it’s necessary to do so. All of this isn’t to say that re-slotting your pallet rack is a cost-free solution; there’s no free lunch, and warehouse personnel will need to spend some time (money) unloading product, rearranging beam levels, and loading it back on. You may also need to buy more pallet rack beams to create new, lower-profile levels.

Re-Slotting Your Pallet Rack

The re-slotting process itself is fairly straightforward, but should be carried out with safety as a top priority. It will involve unloading pallet rack beam levels so that the beams themselves can be rearranged to a more suitable height. While this is going on, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated staging zone for the product being displaced and keep unnecessary personnel away from the area. The beam level reconfiguration should be done by a trained professional with experience assembling and disassembling pallet racking. Once beam levels are re-slotted, product can be placed back on the now more-efficient pallet storage racking.

Need a Total Reconfiguration of Your Racking?

At this point, you may want to reconfigure your whole racking layout. If you want to have it done professionally, you can work with a warehouse layout and design specialist. Have one of our experts take a walk through your warehouse and provide a CAD drawing of your optimal layout. Be sure to let them know of any questions or preferences you have. Also, remember to keep warehouse safety codes and standards in mind, and ask your dedicated salesperson if you’re unsure about compliance. Allow yourself some time to think and review your plans. But, don’t wait around if your warehouse isn’t serving your business needs. After all, the purpose of re-slotting and reconfiguring is to increase space and productivity.

Need help? We’re ready to listen and answer your questions. Give us a call at 800.722.5908 and we’ll provide the information you need to take the first steps forward.

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908