13 Jan The Importance of Site Surveys
What is a site survey and why it is important for your operations?
At Toyota Material Handling Systems, our goal is to evaluate the needs of each customer and provide the best solution that optimizes their material handling spend. A site survey is the most important step to help you find the best solution for your operation. Our trained material handling consultants visit your location to inspect the work areas and understand the environment to help offer you the right solution to work as efficiently as possible.
So what exactly does a site survey entail? Once our material handling consultant comes to your work area, they will gather crucial data that is needed to present a logical solution. There are different data points that we observe at depending on what outcome you, the client, are seeking to achieve. However, there several key pieces of data that are needed to get the conversation going in the right direction.
- What is the weight of the material you are handling? This is an obvious one but it does not make it any less important. This data determines the size of the forklift you will need. Your forklift capacity must exceed your heaviest product to eliminate the risk of tip overs.
- What are the dimensions of the material? Load center is just as important as the capacity. If you are handling longer materials you could need a larger capacity truck or longer forks.
- How high are you lifting your materials? Our material handling consultant will take multiple measurements of you racking to calculate exactly how high your mast must go to safely place items in their rack positions.
Some other things we will observe during a site survey would be racking layouts. How many pallet positions do you have? How wide are your aisles?
Here are some examples:
A company’s warehouse has narrow aisles and the operator is using a reach truck to bring the pallet down, select the items needed by hand and then return the load back to its original location by using the reach truck.
In this case, it is a very inefficient way to pick products because it wastes both time and money. Our material handling consultant would recommend a Toyota Order Picker as the best option. This can be used with narrow aisles, lifts the operator to the product for selection and brings the operator down rather than bringing the whole load down to the operator and then putting the whole load back in its original location.
Improving Warehouse Storage
A site survey can help you determine the best solution for your storage problem. There are many times that our material handling consultants hear “we don’t have enough space in the warehouse.” They might have rack aisles that are wider than necessary. This causes limited pallet positions which could leave the user having product in undesignated areas on the floor. In this situation, we would suggest shrinking rack aisles and possibly, building specifications permitting, adding height to the racking. This provides many more pallet positions for those items on the floor. It also gives the user room to grow.
We understand it is difficult to allow outside vendors into facilities during a pandemic. Our representatives are required to follow strict guidelines highlight by the CDC both inside and outside of our offices. We assure you a safe visit!