Filstorage help fast growing merchant PGR to optimise space
Optimising storage space in timber yards and warehouses is becoming increasingly important for merchants wanting to find efficiencies in how their businesses are run.
Although there are a range of solutions that can be retro fitted to maximise available space, unsurprisingly, the best time to factor this in is during the design phase of a new build.
This was the approach taken by fast-growing business PGR Builders & Timber Merchant when developing a new timber warehouse at its depot in Denbigh Road, Basildon.
The 4,650sqft warehouse stands on the site of depot’s former yard and has been created as a state-of-the-art indoor storage facility for the merchant’s comprehensive timber and prepared wood range.
To ensure space in the warehouse was maximised, PGR called in Yorkshire business Filstorage in the early design phase of the scheme.
The two businesses have worked together for nearly a decade, with the Yorkshire design and fit-out specialist having played a role in launching new depots or refurbishing existing ones for PGR in Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Egham, Harold Hill, Maldon, Rayleigh, Romford, and Southend.
Paul Massenhove, Operations Director at PGR Builders & Timber Merchant, said an integral part for of the process was ensuring easy forklift access to all parts of the warehouse.
He said: “Filstorage were involved from the start, creating the design and layout to maximise the space available. They also supplied and fitted the racking.
“They installed cantilever racking for the plywood and timber and A-frame racking for prepared wood and mouldings.
“The eaves on the building are 9m and we store timber five of six packs high. As a result, we use extendable forklifts that can lift product up to 6m.
“The designs had to facilitate easy forklift access to all areas of the warehouse so product can be stored and retrieved quickly.
“This brings real efficiencies to the depot and reduces the possibility of a forklift hitting the racking and damaging it, so saves time and money on repairs.”
But it’s not just in new builds that space can be optimised.
According to Graham Matthews, Filstorage regional account manager for the South East, when it comes to finding extra storage capability, timber merchants often find themselves looking to the gods.
Such proved to be the case in another of PGR’s depot, at Egham in Surrey, where creating useable space above the timber racking proved an effective solution.
The business installed pigeonhole racking with a floor and large pallet gate to open up the top half of the warehouse for storage of light side products that were taking up valuable space elsewhere.
Graham said: “The warehouse at Egham is 8.5m high but the timber racking doesn’t go above 4m, so there was quite a bit of space to be reclaimed.
“Pigeonhole racking is one of the most effective ways to do this, as is mezzanine flooring. Installing either of these is an efficient way of adding a significant amount of storage space to a building, and they are certainly far cheaper and less disruptive than moving.
“I think the pigeonhole racking opened up around 40m2 of entirely new space.”
Paul Massenhove added that with growth firmly on the agenda, efficient use of space was key to PGR Builders & Timber Merchants.
“Design, for us, is about optimising the space we have as this impacts on every aspect of the business,” he said.
“If product can be stored, located, and retrieved quickly, we sell more, damage less and keep out customers happier.”
With a range of innovative solutions now on the market, from different types of racking to mezzanine floors and other space-creating platforms, Graham added realising new timber storage had never been easier.
He said: “It is very rare that we can’t unlock more space in an existing warehouse, unless we did the original design. In that case, we sometimes struggle.
“But with new products coming out all the time, even then we can usually find those all important extra few square metres that help to bring real world efficiencies to a merchant.”