Modular rack supports rapid growth for wholesaler
New storage system enables same-day delivery of millions of items each year.
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Based in southern California, Entertainment Earth stores millions of products to sell to its wholesale customers worldwide. With annual revenues of $50 million, the firm has experienced “an explosion” in business-to-business sales. After installing a selective “rack and rivet” shelving system in its expanded warehouse, the company has successfully kept its promise to customers to ship everything out same day or next day despite ever-increasing order volume.
Keeping up with the demand and maintaining a ready-to-ship inventory for the millions of items shipped each year is a welcome challenge for the company, which operates out of a 55,000-square-foot warehouse in Simi Valley, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. In early 2015, the company installed a racking system that would allow it to still store floor-level product on pallets and provide more shelf space for its growing product line.
The new system (Hannibal Industries) uses a rack-supported mezzanine design with multiple pick levels above the decks. This allows full pallets under the platform for newly received product storage, or for order picking for products that may be oversized. There are now four to seven levels above the deck, tripling the shelf space previously available.
According to Brian Ozinga, vice president of operations, shipping and receiving are faster and more efficient. “Catwalk-level shelving is superior in depth and grade to our previous floor shelving for small pick use,” Ozinga says.
From a safety standpoint, Ozinga says each rack’s flexible moment frame can flex or drift laterally during an earthquake, reducing the potential of the frame collapsing. Another significant cost-saver is that the entire rack system can be mounted on existing floor slabs while remaining compliant with seismic regulations.
Instead of welding or bolting a solid truss, the system uses only horizontal members, no diagonal components or connections that use ratcheted snug-tightened bolts. The footplates are smaller and the anchor bolts are closer to the columns rather than further away, allowing movement in all directions and relieving stress during a seismic event.
“This combination of strength, flexibility, ease of installation and reassembly is ideal for our growth,” Ozinga says. “And while we can’t predict the future, we know that if our business grows at the same pace it has for the past 20 years, further expansion is well within the realm of possibility.”
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.