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The importance of using galvanized steel for food storage

When it comes to the food industry, businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area have the unique responsibility of manufacturing or selling products safe for human consumption. Before food items reach the public, however, they have to be stored in a safe, protected environment. In restaurants, kitchens, or warehouses, the preferred food storage options are shelves, and one type enjoying a surge in popularity is galvanized steel shelving units.

Hilicom is the storage shelving solutions leader in the Greater Toronto Area and provides a wide range of galvanized steel shelving options to a variety of industries and businesses, including restaurants and other organizations in the broader food industry that deal with manufacturing, distribution, and sales to consumers. Each of the galvanized shelving units we sell are custom configurable, can be accessorized, and are considered “food grade” because they can store food without the threat of contamination possible with other shelf coating materials.

About Galvanized steel shelving

Galvanized steel shelving units are made from steel with anti-corrosive properties thanks to the chemical process it goes through during manufacturing. Each roll of steel used to make the shelves we sell are coated with several layers of zinc oxide, which protect it from rusting and make it impervious to environmental damage – rain, ice, snow, high heat and humidity, and extreme cold. One of the reasons galvanized steel shelves are so popular within the food industry is because the coating is durable and hard to scratch, making it ideal for applications in commercial kitchens or other high traffic areas where it may get bumped into or experience other impacts.

Read more about the galvanization process our shelving units go through HERE 

In order to make the steel rust resistant, it’s combined with another alloy – zinc – that is less likely to corrode when exposed to rain or water. As the steel is submerged in liquefied zinc, a chemical reaction happens, permanently bonding the two together. But this shouldn’t be confused with applying paint or another type of sealer because that’s not what happens. In this case, the zinc becomes a permanent part of the steel, hence the phrase “galvanized” steel. The outer layer is all zinc, but subsequent layers are a combination of zinc and iron, with the interior made of pure steel.

One form of galvanization is called “Hot-dip” galvanization, and is the process of coating the steel with a thin zinc layer by passing it through a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of around 460 degrees Celsius, or 860 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the metal is exposed to oxygen, the zinc turns into zinc oxide; when the zinc oxide is exposed to carbon dioxide, it goes through another metamorphosis and becomes zinc carbonate. Zinc carbonate is usually a dull grey, fairly strong material which inhibits or stops further corrosion and protects from environmental damage.

Galvanized steel shelving is ideal for the food industry, where product is often stored in near freezing conditions to preserve taste and other properties. If necessary, these types of shelves can easily resist damage when they come into contact with high temperature surfaces of nearly 200 degrees Celsius or 392 degrees Fahrenheit.

How does the hot-dip galvanization process work?

  • The steel is thoroughly cleaned of all oil, grease, dirt or other items during the manufacturing process using a caustic solution to kill bacteria or other contaminants.
  • The galvanized steel is then rinsed off.
  • During this process, it’s not unusual for the surface to be coated with a thin flaky layer of iron, oxide, hematite, or magnetite which is removed with a pickled acidic solution.
  • The pickling solution is rinsed off.
  • Zinc ammonium chloride is then applied to the steel to prevent oxidation of the clean surface when exposure to air. Oxidation would occur if some of the layers of the steel are damaged before the zinc ammonium chloride is applied.
  • The steel is “hot dipped” into the molten zinc bath and kept there until its temperature matches that of the zinc bath.
  • Finally, the steel is cooled in a “quench” tank to reduce its temperature. Afterward, it can undergo further processing and be made into rolled steel for different applications.

Galvanized shelving and the benefits to the Food Industry

While galvanized steel shelving is well known for its wide range of applications in construction and industrial settings, it’s only fairly recently that galvanized steel shelves have become acceptable within the food industry.

Food grade shelves are slowly gaining in popularity for many of the same reasons such shelves are used in other settings, among them:

  • Galvanized coatings often cost less than other types of protective coatings for steel.
  • Galvanized steel shelving is almost invariably more economically in the long run because it lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
  • A longer life. The galvanized coatings on steel shelves can last 20 to 25 years in most settings depending on environment, and some are expected to last upwards of 50 years.
  • Galvanized steel shelves are extremely reliable, made from the highest quality 3.1B certified high tensile steel coils available.
  • Toughest coating. A galvanized coating has a unique metallurgical structure which gives outstanding resistance to the kind of damage you might see within a busy commercial kitchen or other food industry-related setting.
  • Every part of galvanized steel shelves is protected from corrosion or other damage.
  • Galvanized steel shelves, because they are so durable, are very easy to inspect for damage. If the galvanized coating appears smooth and consistent to the naked eye, chances are there is no underlying damage.
  • Galvanized steel is extremely rust resistant and can easily weather high humidity which may be experienced in an industrial kitchen, or the extreme cold the shelving would be subjected to from industrial grade freezers or other cooled areas.

Whether you’re interested in rack mounted galvanized steel shelving units, stand alone shelving, or storage options in another configuration, the experts at Hilicom can help you find a solution that accommodates your needs and budget restrictions. For more information or to receive a free quote, visit us online or call us at 888-434-6101.

 

Maximize Your Profits with These Retail Shelving Ideas

Today’s retailer faces the same challenges no matter who they are, where they’ve set up shop, and no matter what products they sell.

On the dreaded “Black Friday” in the U.S., even major retailers like Walmart and Target face the same problem – how to get more products in front of shoppers, display them safely, and generate sales.

But brick and mortar stores face a greater challenge than ever before: Competition from online retailers with fewer overheads, fewer employees, and the means to display their wares via the Internet without having to worry about fancy retail shelving.

At Hilicom, we’re helping businesses move products and drive sales with creative and affordable retail shelving solutions to fit every need and budget.
Hilicom offers custom shelving solutions to fit any business need, and there are many kinds of retail shelving units available for business owners to choose from, among them:

  • If your business sells gift items, dishware and other small or fine inventory, glass is an ideal retail shelving option as it looks clean and bright thanks to the amount of light it lets in – assuming you keep the shelves clean of dirt and smudges. To enhance the shopping experience, attach glass shelves to the walls at different levels, and place stand-alone glass cases in areas that experience the most customer traffic.
  • Mobile shelving is a terrific retail shelving option as they allow business owners to quickly reconfigure their floor space, and move in-demand items closer to where customers end up – near the cash register or checkout line.
  • Business owners who wish to create an industrial or rugged look with their stores often select modular shelves, which provide the advantage of shelves at different heights than can be easily adjusted. These are ideal for products such as tools, sporting goods, outdoor gear, toys, and shoes. Modular shelves can be free standing, or attached to walls, depending on the kinds of goods they store and how the sales floor has been designed.
  • Floating shelves are unique retail shelving options because they are often attached to both sides of half or three-quarter height walls. They are perfect for displaying boutique items like handbags, jewelry, hats, gloves, and other accessories that get handled frequently by customers.
  • Many of our retail customers also utilize and re-purpose items not originally intended as retail shelving units, such as armoires, kitchen cabinets, and modular closet systems.

Retail shelving solutions are used to fulfill a business goal of displaying products and driving sales, but they also should fit the overall design of the store and be functional and multi-purpose – attracting customers to products that are attractively positioned and easily accessible. Small businesses are at a disadvantage because they can’t always stock as many items, so they must maximize whatever space they have as efficiently and creatively as possible.
When it comes to unique, functional, and customizable shelving storage solutions, no company in the Greater Toronto Area is more qualified and dedicated to your success than Hilicom. Hilicom’s adjustable Retail shelving solution is zinc coated, boltless and rust free. More so, you get a life-time warranty and full support.

If you have questions about retail shelving or other kinds of storage, call us today at 1-888-434-6101 for a free consultation.

Choose the right storage system for home or business

Regardless of your storage needs – whether you own a small retail store selling mobile phones and accessories, or have a large movie or book collection at home – it’s critical to keep items efficiently stored for sales or peace of mind. As a business owner, it’s impossible to store and sell products if they’re not organized, and as any movie fan with a large DVD collection will tell you – it’s nerve racking trying to find your favorite movie if it’s not categorized or alphabetized properly.

At Hilicom, we’re the leading provider of high quality storage systems for homes and businesses and can help you find the right shelving system for all your needs. Each of the storage solutions we sell are custom designed, made from the finest steel available, and are easily customizable based on the weight and dimensions of the products you need to store.
Depending on your needs as a business or home owner, adjustable shelving may be the perfect choice because of its flexibility compared to other types of storage units. If you’ve begun researching what kind of shelving system to buy, there are a number of things to keep in mind: The purpose of the storage, location and environment, weight and dimensions of the items to be stored, the kinds of items that will be stored, how accessible the items will be, and finding the right system that is both high quality and economical but will meet all of your needs.

  1. The purpose of the storage. Too often, we’ve talked to customers who walked into a home improvement center or membership-only warehouse club and bought the first adjustable shelving system they saw without ever considering its purpose. This can be a terrible mistake for many reasons. For instance, if you have a collection of porcelain figurines you inherited from your grandmother, an open shelving system may not be the best choice. Similarly, most storage systems you buy at retail outlets aren’t designed for heavier items, like storing tires or heavy machinery.
  2. Location and environment are two other important considerations. If you are storing items in an outdoor area, then you need high quality, galvanized steel shelves that can take a beating from rain, wind, high and low temperatures, not to mention the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures characteristic of Canada’s harsh winters.
  3. Depending on weight and dimensions, a durable, high strength adjustable shelving system can be the perfect solution, especially if you’re storing athletic equipment, automotive parts, small appliances, or anything else of varying size.
  4. The type of shelving you choose also depends on what you’ll be storing. While wood shelves painted to match the décor of your home office may be nice to look at, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to support your full-size scanner and printer, not to mention the collection of hardbound, 800-page Microsoft certification textbooks you’ve owned for 20 years but can’t part with.
  5. Accessibility is another issue to think about. Once you know what you need to store, have you decided on how often you’ll need to get to those items? How will they be accessible, not only for stocking the shelves, but also removing the items?

Finally, it’s important to find a shelving system that meets your storage needs but is economical and durable at the same time. At Hilicom, our experienced design professionals can help you evaluate and prioritize your requirements, show you what options are available, and educate you so you can make an informed purchasing decision.

For more information about our award winning storage systems or a free quote, call us at 888-434-6101.

Is your warehouse slowing you down?

For any business that depends on warehouses to move products in and out of the supply chain process and drive sales, it’s critical to have facilities that are well designed, efficient, safe, and have the proper storage systems in place for inventory regardless of weight or dimension. At Hilicom, we’re the number one company in the Greater Toronto Area for industrial shelving, and our design experts can help you find the right solutions for all your needs.

A number of factors determine the overall efficiency of your supply chain process and how a warehouse functions, but two areas that businesses sometimes lack vision in – especially with newer companies or businesses in transition from one owner to another – are storage options and warehouse layout.

Storage Options

Regardless of the business you’re in, warehouses are crowded, fast-paced operations that sometimes run 24/7 with products constantly arriving and moving out, being rotated on warehouse shelving, or moved from one location to another to accommodate new inventory. But that doesn’t mean processes are as efficient as they should be, potentially slowing down your warehouse when what you really need is organization and speed – both of which can be improved with the proper storage solutions.
Because most warehouses operate at capacity, different shelving systems not only free up valuable floor space, but can result in inventory being stored and accessed easier. When researching warehouse design and storage options, it’s important to consider the types of product being stored, weight and dimensions, and any special needs like storing items requiring refrigeration.
At Hilicom, all of our industrial shelving systems from Metalsistem are made from 3.1B certified high tensile steel coils that meet or exceed EN 10204 standards and are highly customizable to accommodate a wide range of products of different sizes and weighing up to 15 tons.

Warehouse Layout

A key component of warehouse and supply chain efficiency is how the facility has been designed in terms of floor plans. Architectural design that takes into consideration health and safety issues, environmental impact, location, and the number of employees and how the company and warehouse will interact with the surrounding community also ensure the facility runs at maximum efficiency.
Part of optimal warehouse design is planning for the future, a good deal of which revolves around projecting new growth opportunities, and the needs of employees and customers. Warehouse space needs to remain functional and adaptable, meaning floor plans can be changed as necessary and different types of warehouse shelving and other storage solutions can be installed. This is where the design experts at Hilicom excel, working with clients on innovative and space-saving storage solutions like mezzanine shelving and other shelving options so they can focus on sales.
Different products require different storage solutions. For instance, within the food industry – manufacturing, distribution, retail, restaurants, or other businesses – efficient, modular, and specialized “food grade” storage systems are in high demand because not all food products safe for human consumption can be stored on shelving made of certain materials. This increases the need for flexible, galvanized shelving ideal for cold storage.
An efficient warehouse floor plan includes the type of shelving you need, and how much will fit in available space. This is another key consideration, as it will influence your decision to purchase customizable systems rather than storage that doesn’t meet your needs or takes up too much space.

Finally, a well designed and efficient warehouse depends on many factors, obvious such as climate control, energy needs and power consumption, office space and work areas for employees, to less apparent issues like environmental impact, loading docks, and storage areas.

Call Hilicom today for a free consultation and help with your industrial shelving solutions

3 Mistakes businesses make when selecting a storage solution

Regardless of the products or services your company specializes in, you will always need the means to store items. If you are a partner in a medical or law practice, you may need storage shelves for physical files and records. If you run a data storage facility where you lease space, you will need storage racks for computer and networking equipment. If you and your partner run a small chain of retail automotive supply stores, then you will need a storage system in place for tires, rims, vehicle parts and many other items of varying dimension and weight. Each storage need presents different challenges, such as the items being stored, and how they will be accessed by employees or customers.

The point is simple: The need for storage, and planning for it, should never be minimized. At Hilicom, we are the recognized leader in the Greater Toronto Area for innovative, affordable, and customizable storage solutions for all your needs, regardless of budget, space limitations, or the items to be stored. Our design staff has the expertise to help you determine your requirements, plan for storage, and select the right product.
When it comes to planning for storage solutions, business owners often make three critical mistakes: Lack of planning storage specifications and requirements, not defining the storage process, and choosing the wrong storage materials that will not meet their storage needs. Taken individually, none of these would appear to be the end game to running a business efficiently or selecting the right storage shelving, but when they occur at the same time the results can be crushing.

Not Planning Storage Specifications and Requirements

Many customers assume that storage specifications and requirements will magically take care of themselves, as if a team of Storage Fairies flew into their warehouse overnight and dropped off a set of blueprints. It is not that easy, but is less daunting if you know what you will be storing and can follow these four steps:

  • Determine what kind of material handling equipment is needed, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, operator-up machines, or other equipment. The less space you have between storage shelves, for instance, will help determine if it is best to use an operator-up machine (with some models only needing six feet of aisle space to operate in), or a forklift (which may require a span of 12 feet or greater between storage shelves due to turning radius and other factors).
  • Plan out your storage racks. Once you know what kind of items you need to store, taking into consideration weights and dimensions, you should then be able to determine how many racks are needed and how many will fit into existing floor space.
  • Determine the optimum storage size of your product.
  • Make sure your warehouse or other storage facility includes separate areas for receiving and docking (shipping) operations.

Not Defining the Storage Process

The storage process is a multi-faceted approach that in a modern warehouse or other facility includes not only physically storing items, but an end-to-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that controls and monitors your business and all of its departments. Storage is a major component of any ERP system that a company with storage needs will employ across its organization.
Effectively planning and defining the storage process looks at many factors that will determine warehouse efficiency and how profitable a company is during a fiscal year. Some points to consider include:

  • Dock operations, which are a classic example of storage resource planning that is often disregarded until mistakes have been made. The dock is an important hub for unloading and loading product, checking for damage, and verifying the counts of items listed on the delivery receipt.
  • Receiving operations. Receiving duties often include the dock functions, and is the starting point for inventory control in the warehouse.
  • Storing operations, where product is typically moved from a docking area to a holding area. From there, controls are in place to track items, verify where they should be stored, and get them to right storage location.

Part of the storage process also includes ongoing maintenance of storage shelving and equipment like forklifts, keeping the storage area clean, safe, and efficiently organized and facilities management related to the storage (this would include heating, cooling, and ventilation systems).

Choosing the Wrong Materials

From our experience, a critical error that many business owners or managers make is choosing the wrong materials for the products being stored. Keep in mind that certain storage shelves that may be appropriate in a residential environment, such as wood, glass, or plastic, are not suitable in a commercial or industrial warehouse or other types of businesses – unless the units are set up in an office or employee lounge and used to store things like books, CDs, or other small items.

All of the storage systems we design and install are manufactured by Metalsistem using prime quality 3.1B certified high tensile steel coils that meet or exceed EN 10204 standards. Galvanized and rustproof, they are highly customizable and can not only withstand extreme weights – storing items weighing up to 15 tons – but also are certified for use in the food industry to hold refrigerated or frozen products.
Storage requirements for products are normally dictated by the manufacturer, which in turn follows local or federal government standards on containers, boxes, and other storage systems. The materials used to hold product also affect how efficiently a warehouse or other facility operates.

Final Thoughts

Running a company is never easy as business owners have to juggle a variety of concerns, like profitability, employees (training, payroll), market share, safety issues, facilities management, environmental issues, and even media and community relations. The last thing an owner or manager needs is a poorly planned and implemented storage system.

At Hilicom, we have several years of experience working with companies in a broad range of industries and offer design and installation services to meet your needs.

Call us today at 888-434-6101 for more information and ask us how can we give you best storage solution.

Things to consider when buying shelving system for your home or business

If you are in the market for a shelving system for your home or business, there are literally thousands of options to choose between. From local hardware stores to big box home improvement centers to specialty retailers who sell storage systems online, the range of shelving materials, style, size, and functionality for each unit can be intimidating, sometimes resulting in consumers buying a product ill-suited for their particular need.

At Hilicom, we have been the premier storage solutions company in the Greater Toronto Area for several years, and we can minimize those hassles by helping customers select the perfect shelving system for their home and business. Our highly trained and experienced designers and consultants work with each client individually to understand their needs, and customize a solution respective of goals, deadlines, and budgetary concerns.

When it comes to selecting the right shelving system, a number of factors need to be considered before a purchase decision has been made, among them: Safety Regulations, Assembly, Size and Mobility Issues, Custom Accessories, Weight Capacity, and Budget.

Safety Regulations

Whether you are buying a shelving system for home or office, it is important to keep in mind safety issues and how they can affect your purchasing decision. In Ontario, local safety regulations are modeled after the broader National Building Code of Canada and, to a lesser extent, by the Canadian Standards Association – Occupational Health and Safety Program. Laws and regulations are in place to ensure shelves are made with the right materials, built to government standards, and are appropriate for the type of storage requirements in question.
For instance, in a commercial or industrial setting, it is highly unlikely that wood, glass, or plastic-based shelves would pass fire regulations – whereas the type of lightweight, high-strength galvanized steel shelves designed and installed by Hilicom meet all provincial and federal building and safety codes. Each custom designed shelving system we sell is manufactured by Metalsistem, which uses only the best 3.1 certified high tensile steel coils that conform to the EN10204 standards for quality and durability.

Assembly

Many consumers, particularly homeowners, make quick decisions on the kind of storage system to buy without taking into consideration assembly issues. Certain kinds of shelves require a multitude of tools for assembly, but each shelving system from Hilicom is boltless in design – meaning the only tools needed for assembly are elbow grease and a sturdy, rubberized mallet or hammer. You will never need a screw driver or other hand tools to put together one of our storage systems.

Size and Mobility

When buying a shelving system, it is important to consider the overall dimensions of the unit and how much it weighs. This is especially critical if you have assembled shelves in one spot, and need to disassemble them or move the entire unit to someplace else in your home or business. If the shelves are assembled inside a small storage area or closet, for instance, will you be able to move them out of the doorway by yourself, or without taking them apart first?

Custom Accessories

If your needs are based on storing items of different sizes, like file boxes, books, compact disc cases, or small parts, the typical shelving system purchased at a member’s only style warehouse store could be woefully inadequate to meet your demands. In this case, the systems designed and installed by Hilicom are highly customizable not only in terms of spacing between individual shelves, but in configuration and the kinds of items they can easily accommodate.

Weight Capacity

For the average homeowner, shelving needs may be limited to storing boxes of seasonal clothing, small appliances, yard equipment, hand tools, toys, sports equipment – all the things that naturally accumulate in a busy household from year to year. As such, the weight capacity of the shelving system is not an issue. However, in a commercial, industrial, or retail setting, storage systems that can accommodate a wide range of items of different weights and dimensions are a better choice.
At Hilicom, our line-up of Metalsistem products includes those for light to medium duty applications (Super 1-2-3, Unirack, Super Inox) and heavy duty requirements (Super 4-5-6, Superbo, SuperBuild, UniBuild, and Unicant).
The Super 1-2-3 modular shelving system is a versatile solution perfect for light storage requirements that would meet the needs of most home shelving needs. Best of all, each system in the series is interchangeable and can be mixed to meet different needs based on the items being stored.
In a commercial or industrial setting requiring a shelving system capable of storing truly heavy items, the SuperBuild pallet racking system is the obvious choice. Pallet racking is a storage system where products are stored flat on pallets, most often in horizontal rows with multiple levels and normally accessed using a forklift truck. SuperBuild is near legendary for accommodating extreme weight capacities of up to 15 tons – perfect for storing machinery, tools, and heavy vehicle parts and accessories.

Budget

In order to find the ideal shelving system for home or business, consumers need to take into consideration not only what they are storing, how and how often the items will be accessed, size and weight, but also how much they can afford to spend or have budgeted.
Too many customers we have spoken with over the years have made a quick decision based on what they can afford, rather than spending more time looking for a configurable, affordable shelving system to meet all of their needs. At Hilicom, this is never an issue as our consultants design custom systems based on unique requirements, with each product line able to grow and accommodate future needs. Instead of buying a completely new system, our clients can customize existing systems and save money in the long run.

At Hilicom, we specialize in innovative, configurable, and affordable shelving systems for home or business that can meet any requirement or budget.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call us today at 888-434-6101 to speak with one of our storage design professionals.

 

Top 10 ways to plan your warehouse or distribution centre

In today’s competitive business climate, with the global economy just beginning to recover, it is more important than ever for business owners to realize as many enterprise-wide efficiencies as possible to drive profits and growth. This includes not only research and development, but manufacturing, marketing, distribution, accounting, human resources, and what sort of shelving system is best suited for a warehouse or distribution center.

As the leading storage solutions company in the Greater Toronto Area, Hilicom is uniquely qualified to help business owners find affordable, high quality, and configurable shelving systems to meet their needs. We are famous not only for our attention to detail, but outstanding customer service and value.

To find the right industrial storage shelving for your business, each owner, manager, or design consultant must look at factors unique to that business. In a large scale enterprise, an off-the-shelf, “cookie cutter” type solution is not only unsuitable for specific needs, but also could be costly in the long run due to inefficiencies and the need to find replacement systems as the business grows.

Here are the top 10 Ways to Plan for Your Warehouse or Distribution Center.

  1. Develop a budget and stick to it. Business owners sometimes make the mistake of not planning their budget, or taking into consideration previous expenditures and projected expenses. Forecasting is critical to planning, and must occur before buying decisions are made related to a particular shelving system or other storage product. In doing so, it is always advisable to include a line item for “other contingencies” – or unexpected expenses that may arise if the warehouse begins stocking products of a certain dimension, weight, or type that were not planned for originally.
  2. Put goals and objectives in writing. Each of these should coincide with the broader business goal of profitability, but specific items to think about include: Minimizing warehouse operating expenses, increasing storage space and accessibility, maximizing available storage and configuring for future growth, and achieving each of these with the lowest expense in terms of labor and other resources.
  3. Document the process, from start to finish. Just as a house or office building cannot be constructed without plans, planning for your warehouse or distribution center and required industrial storage shelving will fail without the process being documented. This means interviewing warehouse staff about how they do their jobs, how product flows in and out, where items are stored, and how the operation can become more efficient. Not speaking with the people actually doing the work is a critical failure point for any business.
  4. Collect information and data related to existing space, forecasts for additional space, staffing requirements, dock locations, entrance and egress points, and environmental concerns – such as whether or not stored items have certain heating, cooling, or other environmental needs. This is especially important when selecting a shelving system for cold storage of food, chemicals, or other items with expiration dates.
  5. Analysis. Now that a budget has been established, goals have been determined, the warehouse operations have been documented, and other data has been collected, the next step is analyzing the overall information and whether or not the plan can be realized. Keys items to consider in this regard include: Product flow, docking, reviewing industrial storage shelving options, sorting equipment, staffing levels, training needs, the effect on other departments, and will the warehouse benefit from such systems.
  6. Create a detailed project plan. This should encompass all facets of creating an optimum warehouse or distribution center, taking into consideration not only the planning process, but the physical requirements as well. In this regard, it is advisable to work with a business process professional with experience in warehouse efficiencies, and one certified from the Project Management Institute (PMI). A PMI-certified project manager has the experience and business expertise necessary to create a detailed project plan that will include tasks, milestones, staffing, hours estimate, budget, and deadline.
  7. Find an executive sponsor within the company. Industrial storage shelving is important in any warehouse setting, but getting the facility up and running also requires the oversight and decision making powers from a senior level executive who will approve plans, sign off on each step of the process, and make other key decisions as necessary. This person may not be involved in minute details, but has the experience and authority to break through inertia that happens with large, enterprise wide projects.
  8. Implementation. The implementation phase of the project is where all plans transition from concept to reality, where risks are mitigated, new processes are put in place, and the overall goals and objectives are met. 
  9. Ongoing Management. Even in the most technologically controlled warehouse environments, ongoing, physical management is necessary to gauge how well the storage facility operates, use benchmarks to determine success, and suggest ways to improve process flows.
  10. Post Project Review. Once a warehouse or distribution center is up and running, it is not unusual for a Post Project Review to take place. The goal is not necessarily to look at corporate profitability related to the new storage space, but rather how the plan developed and was implemented. This review is normally led by the executive or other senior level manager, and requires input from staff that is critical to the supply chain process, from forklift operators to dock supervisors or other employees. Typical questions as part of the review include
    • Was the plan implemented efficiently?
    • Did we meet our budget and timeline?
    • What went wrong?
    • How were issues mitigated?
    • What can we do to make the process more efficient to drive future growth?

This process normally does not involve finger r pointing or assigning blame.

 

Succeeding in any business can be time consuming, expensive, and require knowledge, experience, and other resources that many businesses fail to consider before constructing a warehouse or other storage facility. At Hilicom, we are committed to helping businesses find unique and affordable industrial storage shelving for all their needs, regardless of scope or budget.

Select the best storage racks for your business

As any business owner will admit, rack shelving for their retail space, shop floor, warehouse or other storage area is far different than what is required for their home. For most homeowners, stocking a 50 pound bag of rice or other dry goods is a bit less complicated compared to a business owner who needs to store and access coiled steel that may weigh several tons. In order to choose the right storage racks, it is critical to know what is being stored in the first place and how each item will be accessed. At Hilicom, we specialize in helping customers navigate storage problems that could slow down their business – or make their home pantry a jumbled mess of boxes, canned goods, or other items.

At Hilicom, we can help your business grow and operate more efficiently by custom designing and installing purpose-driven shelves that meet all of your needs, including budget requirements. Part of this process involves what is commonly referred to Flow Analysis, which underpins successful business and warehouse management the world over.

Flow Analysis

Flow Analysis is not as difficult as it seems, and helps owners, managers, and other staff optimize how stored items flow through a storage area. The goals are fairly simple: Minimize handling costs inside the warehouse by reducing manual intervention and increasing automation, figuring out the most efficient disposition of inventory arriving at the warehouse, and determining how items can pass through with the least resistance from people, systems, or other stored items. Improving product-flows in any business, especially a warehouse, correlates to how the business operates and allows for more efficient fulfillment opportunities – in other words, bringing goods in, and shipping them out for distribution or sale. These are all critical factors to growing a business and expanding market share.

Selecting the best storage racking for a business is not as complicated as it seems, but requires careful planning and execution in order to be truly successful. Here are things to be aware of: Using the First-In/First-Out (FIFO) Storage Management System, Determining Item Density, Product Flow Requirements, Forklift Access Requirements, Capacity Limits, and the Types of Items being stored.

The FIFO Storage Management System

The First-In/First-Out (FIFO) Storage Management System sounds funny and, in fact, is a methodology that grew out of early accounting systems where there was a need to gauge when a stored item was used compared to its original storage date. Today, this is a system that has been repurposed around the world to keep warehouses and storage facilities running as efficiently as possible.
At Hilicom, many of the lightweight and high strength galvanized steel storage systems we design and install are perfect for the FIFO method, particularly in the food industry where perishable items are regularly stored. Other businesses where products have an expiration date are served by the FIFO method, too, including chemicals, paints, and the pharmaceutical industries.
The idea is simple. With the FIFO method, the first item that was stored will be the first item to be used or shipped out. Products that are stored first, the oldest on the storage racks, are always used first and result in regular turnover as products arrive.

Determining Item Density

To pick the correct rack shelving for a business, business owners or managers need to consider how many items will or need to be stored in a specific area. In an enclosed space, the best option is a scalable and modular storage system, such as the Super 1-2-3 or Unirack systems from Metalsistem.

Product Flow Requirements

Storage racking plays a critical role in efficient and successful warehouse product flow, and such requirements need to be considered before a buying decision is made. When it comes to storage solutions in such an environment, it is important to: Buy the right products, and sell them as quickly as possible; spend as little time handling items as possible; and maximize all resources needed for efficient product flow, including space, people, equipment, and time.

Forklift Access Requirements

In many warehouses and other areas where rack shelving is utilized, it is common that products are accessed using forklift trucks due to their dimensions and weight. One issue that is sometimes overlooked are forklift access requirements; in other words, how much space is needed between shelving and other storage systems to accommodate a forklift – specifically its height, width, and turning radius. Experienced and skilled forklift operators have no problem directing their truck forward or backward, but there also must be space so the vehicle can turn if necessary without backing up.

Capacity Limits

Buying and installing the right storage racks also depends on the items that are being stored, especially their dimension and weight. Wood, plastic, or glass shelves that are fixtures in many homes and retail stores are unsuitable for the heavier requirements of even the smallest warehouse. Depending on the type of business, it is not uncommon for Hilicom to work with companies that need shelving systems that can accommodate products weighing up to 15 tons – like heavy duty machinery, tools, and raw materials. If your business has extreme storage needs, we can work with you on designing and installing a customized system featuring Metalsistem’s SuperBuild pallet racking system.

Types of Items Being Stored

Storage needs are driven not only by budget – how much the owner or manager can afford to or is willing to spend – but the kinds of items being stored. If you run a small retail store selling cellular telephones and accessories, a large, floor to ceiling shelving system would be ill-advised and, in some cases, may even be dangerous. At Hilicom, our experienced consultants work with each client to evaluate their needs based on the kind of items being stored, and what would be the most efficient and cost effective solution for their money.

Hilicom is located in the Greater Toronto Area and is the industry leader for custom designed and affordable storage solutions for warehouses, home and business.

To learn more about how Hilicom can help you with your storage needs or to receive a free quote, call us today at 888-434-6101.

Plan the Right Way for Heavy Duty Storage Requirements

Depending on the kind of business you are in, not all storage solutions are the best choice for your needs. If you happen to run a small engine repair shop with product on display for the public or in a warehouse with access to service bays, light duty wooden or glass shelves would be the worst choices possible. The same goes for an industrial warehouse, where heavy duty shelving is the only option for storing product weighing thousands of pounds and of different dimensions or shapes. In a case like this, the storage professionals at Hilicom can help you evaluate your shelving needs and design a solution that is efficient, scalable, and saves on floor space.

At Hilicom, we are the number one heavy duty shelving contractor in the Greater Toronto Area, and we have designed and installed systems for a wide range of clientele, including those in the food industry, tire sales and service, document management, and many others. Each of the storage solutions we sell and install are custom designed for individual clients, meaning you never have to worry that you are getting a one size fits all system that will lag behind your growing business.

There are literally hundreds of manufacturers of heavy duty shelving systems, but in our experience the best in the business is Metalsistem, an industry leader in affordable and high quality storage solutions since 1970. Each product is made using high quality 3.1 certified high tensile steel coils that conform to the EN10204 standards for quality and durability.

Benefits of Working with the Best

We have grown our business and established ourselves as the leader in heavy duty shelving systems because of our commitment to quality, innovation, and working closely with each customer to understand their specific needs. Each client works with one of our highly trained and experienced design professionals and is lead through a process that focuses on discovery (determining storage needs), design (crafting a storage plan that looks into the types of products to be stored, floor space, and other requirements), and finally installation.

Once a plan comes into focus, we begin looking at different storage options and the benefits of working with a storage solutions provider such as Metalsistem. What is the Hilicom difference and how does it benefit companies looking for heavy duty shelving solutions? Consider the following:

  • Each client receives a unique, purpose-driven plan and cost estimate.
  • Hilicom offers an industry best five year warranty on goods and services, on top of the warranty provided with every Metalsistem branded storage product.
  • All shelving systems are boltless and easy to assemble without the use of special tools.
  • Each system is made from galvanized steel that is rust proof, durable, and can be used in a wide range of environments, including cold storage.
  • All Metalsistem units are customizable and can often be combined with each other for even more storage options.

Planning is the Key

When it comes to building a home, a contractor is not able to begin construction until plans have been drawn up and approved, which requires careful planning and deliberation. The same goes for choosing the right kind of heavy duty shelving for your business. From looking at space requirements to environmental concerns to accessibility, many factors determine how successful you will be – which can have a direct affect on growing your business.

Different goods require different storage systems and, thankfully, Hilicom works with a broad range of Metalsistem products to fit those needs. For extreme, heavy duty items, there are several product lines that can be customized including UniBuild, and UniCant, both of which utilize a pallet racking storage system.

Pallet rack is a storage system where items are stored on pallets (a flat transport structure also referred to as “skids”). This is system allows for storage in horizontal rows with multiple levels, and is most often accessed using forklifts.

The UniBuild Heavy Duty Pallet Racking System

The UniBuild pallet racking system is light, sturdy and modular – qualities that Metalsistem products are famous for and which make it easy to add to other storage units as storage requirements change.
Some of the many benefits of UniBuild include:

  • Beams made in standardized sections for pallet racking and other heavy duty shelving requirements. 
  • Variable material thickness using connectors with five anchor points welded to either side.
  • Improved connection characteristics for heavier loads.
  • Durable and corrosion resistant, thanks to galvanized components manufactured with the Sendzimir process.
  • The system can be configured as a drive-in system to maximize storage space.

The UniCant Cantilever Racking System for the Storage of Long Items

For businesses that have a large number of items to be stored that are heavy and of varying lengths, Hilicom recommends the UniCant heavy duty cantilever system which is ideal for storage requiring clear and continuous loading levels. The benefits include:

  • Increase the available space between levels and their load bearing capacity without endangering the safety of the installation.
  • Available in different arm lengths and load bearing capacities, making it ideal for storing items like wood panels, sheet metal, plastic and metal profiles, and semi finished goods.
  • The system is self sustaining and does not need to be installed to walls or other fixed objects to ensure maximum load bearing capacity.

At Hilicom, we are the industry leader in providing innovative storage solutions or all of your storage needs, regardless of the business you are in. In addition to heavy duty shelving for commercial, industrial, and retail applications, we also work with private homeowners who require lighter duty shelving for home offices, garages, and other areas where space is at a premium but would greatly benefit from efficient storage options.

If you have questions about heavy duty shelving or are wondering about the benefits of galvanized steel over other shelving materials, call us today at 888-434-6101 and one of our design consultants would be happy to introduce you to the advantages of working with Hilicom.

Expand Your Retail Space with Mobile Shelving Solutions from Hilicom

If you are in charge of a retail store – whether it is of the discount “dollar” store variety selling low-priced wares, or a high-end fashion boutique catering to more discerning clientele – one thing never changes. You never seem to have enough shelving to either display product on the sales floor, or store them efficiently in the stock room. The need for high quality, customizable and affordable storage solutions is a growing market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and no company is better positioned to lead that surge than the professionals at Hilicom.

In a case like this, when it’s difficult for employees to find products and customers are becoming frustrated by the lack of organization, an ideal option are custom designed mobile shelving units from Hilicom. Because of our industry leading expertise and experience, our consultants and design team can help any retail outlet find the right shelving system for all their needs and which fit a pre-determined budget.

Plan Carefully for the Right Storage Solution

From our experience, a critical mistake that many small retail business owners or managers fall victim to is not thinking through their storage requirements before making a purchase decision. If a retail store has a recognizable brand, storage and shelving should accentuate it in a positive manner and not overwhelm the rest of the business. This means understanding the type of products to be stored and displayed, how much space there is to work with, and who will be accessing items and how often. This is where Hilicom comes in, helping retail businesses assess their needs and presenting them with the most affordable mobile shelving solutions available.

When you begin reviewing your storage requirements, here are some questions to ask:

  1. How many square feet do I have to work with?
  2. How much room is there between floor and ceiling?
  3. Where will the mobile shelving units be installed?
  4. Who needs access?

Each of these questions are important, and our consultants will not only help you answer them, but review other storage scenarios that may apply and what your options are before making a final decision.

What are Mobile Shelving Systems?

Despite their name, these types of storage units are not shelving systems supported by casters that can be rolled from one location to the next, and you can’t buy them from Target or your local home improvement warehouse, either. They are far more specialized and exclusive. The system is divided into shelving sections, with each section seated on a level track, allowing the heavier units to be moved with little or no effort at all. Today’s most advanced mobile shelving units are operated by electrical motors and can be moved with the touch of a button or very little physical effort.

There are More Benefits than Meet the Eye

At first glance, many customers look at examples of mobile shelving systems without truly seeing the bigger picture or grasping the significant benefits that these types of shelving offer. The less organized a retail store is, the less room there is for new products – resulting in fewer customers and declining sales. What are some of the benefits of the customizable system we offer?

  • More floor space. Our mobile shelving units are much more economical compared to other high density storage, generally resulting in a minimum floor space saving of 50 percent or greater.
  • Like any other business, a retail store functions at optimum efficiency with an organized administrative staff in charge of billing, ordering, and documenting merchandise. None of that is possible with bulky and overstuffed file cabinets – lateral or otherwise – making mobile shelving an ideal solution.
  • The mobile shelving units we sell are customizable and scalable, meaning they can be easily adapted and expanded with growing business needs.

Metalsistem and Hilicom – A Winning Combination

The storage systems we customize and install are manufactured by Metalsistem, a global leader in innovative storage and shelving products since 1970. Metalsistem uses only the best 3.1 certified high tensile steel coils that conform to the EN10204 standards for quality and durability. All of the mobile shelving units are boltless and can be assembled without special tools; are galvanized and able to withstand a wide range of environmental factors like rain, snow, or heat and will not rust; come with a wide range of accessories; and, perhaps best of all, each include a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, in addition to a five year warranty from Hilicom.

When it comes to mobile shelving for the retail market, two product lines from Metalsistem that outshine competing systems are the Super 1-2-3 and Unirack shelving systems for light to medium duty needs. When combined with Metalsistem’s new Mobile-T System, both offer greater flexibility and storage options than ever before:

  • Fast & Easy Assembly due to minimal number of components.
  • Safe, low profile rails that do not need sub-floor between each rail.
  • Include mobile bases with simple rails and do not have any gear mechanism.
  • Cost effective with attractive pricing, based on different storage needs and custom designed plans.
  • Up to 75 percent savings in total storage space.

Metalsistem’s new Mobile-T system is available in three configurations for maximum flexibility: Pull-out, Lateral, and Side-by-Side.
As the name implies, pull-out mobile shelving units do not move from side to side, but are rather pulled toward someone retrieving a product from one of the shelves. Lateral mobile shelving units offer a unique configuration that reminds one of book shelves in a library: As you face the units, you have a full view of each shelf, with the units movable from side to side to reveal another unit behind or beside. Side-by-side systems are very similar to lateral units.

At Hilicom, our design and installation experts are focused on helping you find quality, scalable and customizable storage solutions for all of your retail needs. For more information or to receive a free consultation, please call us today at 888-434-6101 or visit us online.