Is it possible to over-think pallet rack?
I am a notorious over-thinker (often to my detriment); so in my world, it is possible to over think anything and everything. Even something as benign as pallet rack.
When I first entered the material handling industry, I knew absolutely nothing about material handling. I did not know what a pallet rack was. I was vaguely aware that conveyors exist (from the grocery store check-out and television programs like “How It’s Made”), but pallet rack and all of its incarnations had never even had a place in my consciousness. Material handling and supply chain logistics were not things I really acknowledged, let alone pondered–until I took a job selling material handling equipment.
Now, I am always thinking about material handling. I watch “Unwrapped” on the Food Channel because I enjoy seeing all the specialty conveyors in the food business. When I buy something in a store or order products online, I think about what the goods had to go through to get to me. I contemplate distribution centers and pick modules and consider how everything affects COGS.
I think about pallet rack the most. I contemplate the merits of push back rack, drive-in & drive through rack and flow rack. I write about it, I teach it and I dream about it. Yes, I dream about rack. My mind sometimes conjures up pallet rack nightmares. What is a pretty simple process–configuring rack for a customer–can become a horror show in dream land.
Not too long into my material handling career, I began training a new sales team. As this was my first, I was somewhat apprehensive. I had contacted one of our reps about sending me some brochures and training literature. After a lengthy discussion about rack, the rep gave me some great advice. And he got it from a California sales rep, a surfer-dude type. I am going to put it on a sign and tape it to my bathroom mirror: “Relax, dude, it’s just rack…” Pretty good advice.
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