Managing inventory and pushing product around is a major part of owning a business. This process involves lots of different steps, but one of the most important is storing pallets and products with confidence. If you don’t store your products correctly, you may get behind on a large order or lose thousands of dollars in ruined merchandise. It can be a real struggle to keep products stored safely if you have nowhere to start. That’s why we’re sharing our quick tips for how to store pallets and products with confidence.
First Off, Know Your Storage Environment
Before you can store products confidently, you must understand the storage environment they’ll be kept in. This is the place where your inventory is going to wait for days, weeks, or even months before it can be shipped. The storage environment will vary drastically depending on your type of business. Some may work in a controlled environment where temperature and sun exposure can be controlled while others have to help their products survive in the elements. Each type of location will require different packaging materials to combat the challenges of storing your products.
To help you out, here’s a simple list of what you should know about the storage environment:
Once you know what the storage environment is like, you can prepare your products for their waiting period and know they’ll be ready to go when it’s time to ship out.
Plan Ahead for the Timeline
The amount of time a product will be stored can vary, and the longer the wait will be, the more prepared your packaging should be. You’ll need to provide a different level of protection depending on the amount of time a product will be stored. If you fail to provide the right protection, your products might be damaged or unable to ship.
For example, some items at construction sites may be left outdoors for weeks while projects are completed. Often, these materials are covered by plastic sheeting. But not all plastic sheeting is made the same. Some are able to withstand UV light for extended periods of time while others might melt into the products and ruin them. This is why knowing your timeline is important for storing products with confidence.
Products that are stored in a controlled environment, like a warehouse, will not need extended UV protection most likely, but they will need to be bundled securely to avoid load failures over time. If your stretch film is only able to retain the load for a month before breaking, you shouldn’t store things longer than what the film can handle. Time will affect the types of materials you use, so it’s critical that you understand how long products will be stored.
Pick the Right Materials
Now that you have a good understanding of the storage environment and how long your products will be there, you can start selecting the right packaging materials. Everything you choose should be prepared for the storage environment and the length of time items will be stored. This is the only way to have confidence in your packaging and inventory management system.
Items that are packed in boxes can be bundled for easy storage. This requires either stretch film or strapping to do the job. When selecting your stretch or strapping, you’ll want to pick materials that withstand the amount of stress your products will create. For example, polypropylene is a lightweight strapping material that’s ideal for shorter periods of time because it loses tension quickly. Polyester strapping, on the other hand, retains tension for longer periods of time, making it ideal for longer waiting periods before shipping.
When it comes to outdoor exposure, products need a lot of extra protection. You’ll want to select materials that are UV resistant, water-proof, and rot proof. The type of packaging materials you choose can drastically affect the security of your products, so you need to make sure they’re fit for your application.
Don’t Forget About Safety
When thinking about safety, you not only want to keep your products safe, but also those who will work around them. When loads fail, they can fall on top of workers or people passing by. If the load is heavy, it can cause injury or even death. That’s why securing your products the right way for storage is critical for safety.
You’ll also want to consider the safety of your products in terms of tampering and theft. If you know your products will be exposed to people you can’t trust, you should use packaging materials designed to prevent theft. This includes types of shrink film that show signs of tampering or tamper-proof packaging that prevents people from messing with your products.
We hope you’ve learned a lot about how to store pallets and products with confidence. The key to any inventory process is to be aware of the challenges you’ll face and to prepare for every possible outcome. Here’s to making your inventory more secure so you can remain confident in every product you ship.