Smart storage solutions key to efficiency

“In most cases though, it’s a safe bet that new storage systems aren’t the first strategy that comes to mind,” says Cameron Firth, managing director of Storeplan.

He said while it’s easy to get tied up in the day-to-day operations of running a rural store, taking a moment to think about the environment you operate in can unlock a host of opportunities to improve efficiency, consistency, productivity and the effectiveness of your merchandising efforts.

Not to mention, a safer, compliant and generally more pleasant store for customers and staff alike.

“Once you experience the ease and flow of working in a space where there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place, you'll appreciate the leverage opportunity that can come from thoughtfully designed, high-quality storage,” Mr Firth said.

This leverage can come from being able to locate items quickly and accurately, a more streamlined order fulfilment process, increased storage capacity and improved stock management efficiencies, to name a few.

And when it comes to your retail area, optimal display shelving configuration can enhance your in-store experience, creating a vibrant shopping hub that customers want to visit.

All of which can add small but compounding improvements to your bottom line.

Since 1990, Storeplan has been creating customised industrial storage solutions for rural stores across Australia. Storeplan provides a full spectrum of services from space assessment, measuring, planning and design, construction and installation.

While top quality products and innovative solutions are central to the Storeplan’s offering, Mr Firth said it’s the personal, supportive approach that has forged the company’s market-leading reputation.

“To me, it is satisfying to help rural stores increase efficiency and safety by maximising and streamlining their storage spaces with high-quality storage and merchandise display systems.

“I love to see store owners and managers set up to be able to focus on what matters the most, running their business and taking care of customers safely and efficiently,” he said.

Here’s just a sample of the custom storage solutions Storeplan have created for rural store clients in recent years.

New showroom and warehouse layout

The challenge: To create an office, showroom and warehouse fit-out for a rural supplies business in a new location. The design needed to maximise the use of available space to showcase products effectively and store bulk items safely and efficiently.

This job was unique as the new store was built in the iconic Barrabra art silos and grain processing facility – creating a new retail and warehouse space within an existing building.

The Storeplan solution: Combining aesthetically pleasing design and superior functionality, Storeplan delivered a versatile solution that ensured the space was used to its maximum advantage whilst also creating an inviting retail experience.

The retail element included Supashelf Gondola display shelving and Tech micro bins, while the warehouse fit-out featured Selective Pallet Racking for ease of access and superior safety.

Planning for growth

The Challenge: Create a storage system that would continue to grow with a rapidly expanding rural store in Grafton.

To keep pace with business growth, the client was building a new combined warehouse and retail store. The primary requirements for the new storage system were to create an efficient warehouse layout that would accommodate growth. Safety and accessibility for staff and customers alike were also key priorities.

The Storeplan Solution: A bespoke storage system layout that ensured the maximum number of pallet spaces configured for flow and efficiency while meeting relevant safety and compliance standards.

A combination of pallet racking and dangerous goods (DG) cages ensured ease of access for large items and bulk inventory. Gondola display shelving was used with the Verge handrail system to create a welcoming and visually distinct retail area.

This solution ensured that customers had a safe, accessible and enjoyable shopping experience without disrupting the flow and efficiency of warehouse operations.

Most importantly, the entire storage and display system was designed to meet the business’s immediate and future needs as it continued to grow.

Making the most of vertical space

The challenge: To optimise trading and storage space for a rural store in Rockhampton.

In addition to creating greater holding capacity within the existing premises, the business also needed a storage system that would enhance overall efficiency and safety.

The Storeplan Solution: Optimise the use of vertical space and create adjustable storage solutions to accommodate the wide variety of goods stored.

Using a versatile industrial pallet racking solution, Storeplan was able to maximise the client’s use of vertical space. In addition, fully-adjustable shelving was installed as well as custom-built, fixed mesh cages for enhanced security of dangerous goods.

Lockable mesh cage shelving system

The challenge: Securely store spare parts for a farm equipment supplier based in northern Queensland. The storage needed to be both lockable and ensure visibility of the items in storage at all times.

The Storeplan Solution: A highly durable, safe and secure shelving system finished with a mesh enclosure made from custom engineered steel frames and lockable mesh panelling.

The new system was secure, enabled maximum efficiency and ensured full visibility of all products in storage.

In addition to the design and installation of new solutions, Storeplan works closely with customers, such as Elders Rural Services, to ensure ongoing safety and compliance of their storage systems.

Elders safety and risk business partner for QLD and NT, Allen Smythe, said that for more than a decade, Storeplan has played an instrumental role in ensuring their sites are safe, compliant and efficient.

“Elders Rural Services has engaged Storeplan to complete the annual pallet racking inspections in two states: 39 sites across NSW and 41 sites across QLD.

“Our tag line of ‘Safety towards zero harm’ extends to all areas of the business. It is imperative for both our staff and customers to have a safe and enjoyable experience in our stores, whether it’s in our showroom or warehouse areas.

“Pallet racking and shelving systems play a key role in ensuring the safe storage and display of all our merchandise, chemicals, and bulk products – without these systems, our stores would be an unsafe, inefficient, and disorganised operation.

“High quality and compliant storage systems are a necessity to ensure the protection of our people – customers and staff alike,” Mr Smythe said.

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