Category Archive: Warehousing

How Does a Warehouse Differ From A Fulfillment Center?

Warehousing

From the outside, a warehouse and a fulfillment center both appear to be very similar in that they are both usually very large buildings with several overhead doors and shipping docks. This allows trucks to easily pull in for loading or unloading of pallets full of goods for efficient pickups and deliveries.

Both types of buildings hold physical products of inventory for a wide range of business types, although this may be where the similarities end. Each type of building provides very different services for their customers even though the one thing going in and out are packaged products.  Most packages are delivered in corrugated boxes for shipping and may have been sent by a secondary packaging provider straight to a warehouse or fulfillment center.

What Is a Typical Warehouse? 

The main purpose of a warehouse is to store goods for a particular amount of time, either short-term or long-term. Warehouses can provide a cost-effective method for companies to store excess material and can free up capacity for manufacturers to continue to produce more goods. Depending on the type of business and production requirements, a warehouse may allow businesses to expand versus operating with limited space thus limiting production and sales. 

Warehouses are typically laid out for efficient storage with rows of stacked shelves holding organized boxes, containers, or storage bins. An automated inventory system like one that allows for scanning barcodes can help companies to have a real-time accurate count of all goods stored in the warehouse at any given moment. Storing goods on pallets and using forklifts to organize material is an efficient way of organizing products in a warehouse.

What Is a Typical Fulfillment Center? 

A fulfillment center is quite different than a warehouse in that it is typically bustling with activity moving packaged goods from inventory to shipping and on to their next destination. Many fulfillment centers contain complex machinery and equipment such as programmed conveyor belts and automatic scanning equipment to route packages to the proper destination for shipping. The next time you order something from Amazon and it arrives on your doorstep the following day, it was most likely shipped from the closest fulfillment center.

E-commerce companies and subscription services may utilize the services of a fulfillment center to get their products to consumers as quickly as possible, which is the main goal of a fulfillment center. In some cases, packages may even be routed from a warehouse to a fulfillment center and then on to the end user. Businesses that sell direct to consumers through e-commerce will utilize the services of a fulfillment center to efficiently pick their products from inventory and ship them according to online sales orders.

Who Packages the Goods for Warehouses and Fulfillment Centers?

One thing that both of these types of buildings have in common, is that the main commodity is always packages. Whatever item is being stored or picked for fulfillment better be packaged properly so that it does not come apart at the seams when being moved around in a warehouse or rolling down a conveyor belt. Businesses that utilize warehouses and fulfillment centers must have a reliable packaging service to keep their products moving to meet deadlines.

Some businesses perform this packaging in-house while others have realized the benefits of outsourcing packaging to contract packaging companies.

PPS Is a Leading Contract Packaging Company 

Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, is a recognized leader among contract packaging companies providing high quality packaging services for warehouses and fulfillment centers. PPS offers high-quality secondary packaging solutions such as flexible packaging, gift set packaging, variety packaging, as well as kitting and assembly. We differ from other secondary packaging providers in that our main focus is on providing jobs to our highly skilled staff of employees with alternate abilities instead of focusing on profits. 

PPS is blessed with a dedicated team of highly skilled individuals who love to come to work every day and go above and beyond to meet and exceed customer expectations. We utilize modern, automated equipment in our state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to dedicate customized packaging workstations to meet specific requirements. Contact us to learn how to improve your warehouse or fulfillment center operations with cost-efficient secondary packaging solutions that meet your delivery schedules and your budget.

Palletizing: Polyester Strapping Or Steel Strapping?

Palletizing Polyester Strapping Or Steel Strapping (1) Palletizing products is the common method of placing boxes of parts, products, or even heavy machinery and equipment onto a skid and wrapping tightly to ship securely. Palletizing allows for trucking and shipping companies to easily maneuver large amounts of product with a forklift and provides for an efficient method of shipping large quantities of goods. Typically, corrugated boxes, even plastic totes or heavy steel machinery and equipment is set on top a skid and secured with strapping or a shrink-wrapping type of material.

Companies planning to palletize and ship large amounts of good should determine the best way to secure all goods including the right type of strapping to use. The most common types of straps used in palletizing are polyester or steel.

Which Type of Strapping Is Right for Your Palletizing Needs 

Polyester Strapping 

One of the most common types of strapping used to secure goods on pallets is polyester (PET) strapping. Polyester strapping is used to secure many types of products and packaging including pallets of food and beverage, metal, timber, cinderblocks, corrugated boxes, and more. Polyester strapping provides superb load containment for long periods of time with high tension and less elongation than other types of strapping.

PET strapping is almost always produced from recycled materials and provides a higher tensile strength than steel strapping. This is important for shipments that travel a long distance or encounter many stops along the way.

Steel Strapping 

Steel strapping is produced from multiple layers of a steel alloy and features a high tensile strength although less than the polyester strapping. Steel strapping does, however, boast a higher break strength than all strapping materials. Steel strapping may provide the best load containment for heavier steel items such as industrial machinery and equipment or for items that have sharp corners or edges.

The rigidity of steel strapping make it a popular choice for shipping loads that do not settle at all during transportation as it will not lose its shape. The rigidity of steel strapping may not be the best choice for products such as timber that may expand and settle based on the weather and humidity level encountered during shipping. This can cause load loosening which could be very dangerous or could damage the product. When steel strapping is bent, it loses a significant amount of its strength.

It is worthwhile for companies to speak to an experienced palletizing company to choose the right type of strapping to secure their goods.

PPS Provides Experienced Palletizing Services

Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, has been providing high-quality contract packaging, kitting, assembly, and other secondary production solutions including palletizing for more than 80 years. We offer experience in palletizing a wide variety of products for secure shipping from one of our 17 shipping and receiving bays. PPS is recognized as a leading secondary production, solutions provider, helping our customers to meet assembly, packaging, and shipping needs.

PPS offers packaging and palletizing services including stretch wrapping, heat shrinking, packaging and repackaging in corrugated or chipboard containers. We provide high quality production solutions with meticulous attention to detail. Contact us to learn more about our many production solutions including quality palletizing with decades of experience.

How to Increase Your Warehouse Capacity

Increase Your Warehouse Capacity
We all know that time is money, if you are wasting time you are not creating value. The same can be said for space. Manufacturers, logistics providers, and warehouse facilities know this all too well. It can be a fine line between optimizing your capacity versus over or under utilizing your space. Companies need ample space to store inventory, both purchased raw materials and processed finished goods, room for staff to safely maneuver, and the capacity to support continued growth.

So how do you optimize your warehouse capacity? There are some basic exercises and things that companies can do to make sure they are utilizing their production and storage space to the fullest potential. Doing a thorough evaluation of your warehouse utilization, evaluating the entire floor space layout, evaluating your packaging materials, and doing some housekeeping are some basic things you can try internally. Many companies are finding that they can save money by outsourcing to a contract packaging company.

Here are some of the most effective things to do to improve warehouse utilization and increase capacity.

Evaluate Your Warehouse Space Utilization

Believe it or not, you do not want your warehouse utilization to be very high. You want to break down your total warehouse space and your available storage space into cubic feet. To calculate your available storage space, measure the size of all of your pallet and storage racks to vertical storage capacity in cubic feet. Let’s say your total available space is 2,000,000 ft.³, and your available storage space is 500,000 ft.³, that gives you a storage utilization of 25%. This is actually a pretty good number as you know that there is plenty of room for adequate aisle space and room for your employees to maneuver.

Evaluate Warehouse Layout

With more efficient operations and organized storage, you open up floor space for other, profitable, operations. Consider the layout of your entire facility and make sure that all processes from receiving, to production, packing, storage and shipping follow a lean flow of materials. Ideally, products do not cross paths. Receiving docks are on one end of the building, where vendor materials are received, recorded and properly stored. When needed, they are moved efficiently to a production or packing area, depending on the process. From there, following the same flow, products are packaged or re-packaged, labeled, and shipped, without backtracking through the flow to get there.

Clear the Clutter

Clearing the clutter is a big part of lean operations going back to the Toyota Way and six Sigma practices. It’s proven that cleared pathways and organized storage significantly improve efficient operations, and as we said before…time is money. Literally everything has its place, and everyone should know exactly where to find it. This includes everything from work instructions to materials and even cleaning supplies.

Doing regular housekeeping does a lot more than improve the appearance of your facility, the efficiencies gained translate into dollars and an improved bottom line.

Evaluate Your Packaging

Evaluate all your packaging to be sure your boxes fit your products, without using larger boxes than necessary. This extra space really adds up to affect total capacity and costs added weight and dimension, and more money with packing filler material to protect your goods.

Consider a Contract Packaging Company

Many companies are saving money today by utilizing a contract packaging company. Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, provides packaging solutions to a wide range of business sizes and industries. We have been providing secondary production solutions including professional secondary packaging services for more than 80 years. PPS offers an experienced and trained staff dedicated to a job well done and providing high-quality products with quick turnaround.

PPS is a leading Midwest provider of many production solutions including kitting, assembly, wrapping and packaging. We work with our customers to provide customized, cost-efficient solutions that improve their product and process. Contact us to learn more about how to improve your warehouse capacity with the services of an experienced contract packaging company.