When it comes to material handling warehouses, products and services can be like the pulse of an operation. As the industry evolves, some in the business are creating success by maintaining a mix of ongoing innovation with focus on fundamentals, like strong business partnerships. It is a recipe for efficiency in a fast-moving industry, according to some business leaders.
A need for speed
Quantum Storage Systems works with distributors of all sizes, according to Ed Granger, director of sales. The company bills itself as “the leading manufacturer and supplier of bins, bin systems and wire shelving all at the guaranteed lowest prices,” according to the website. This includes everything from “rugged and strong stackable storage bins to tough durable nesting shelf bins for the industrial, material handling and consumer markets,” the site said. Granger said the company has regional sales managers working with independent reps nationwide.
Quantum therefore offers “a broad ability to get up close and personal with the distributors across the country,” Granger said. “We handle everything from seven-figure mega distributors to $7 mom and pop-type distributors,” he said. When it comes to services, Granger said the ability to move quickly is key in the current environment.
“Speed is king. Having inventory available to ship quickly is really important,” he said. Quantum, which has a million square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space, has the ability to “get product out the door quickly,” according to Granger. “People are really expecting a much higher level of service,” he said, adding that the expectation is a trend likely here to stay. “I don’t think anyone is going back to longer lead times,” Granger said.
The company combines the use of top-of-the line tech in product manufacturing with the kind of personal business connection that has long been key to service, according to Granger. In a given year, he said Quantum will produce 50 million bins. When it comes to products, Granger noted that Quantum’s storage solutions can help companies expanding or reorganizing; whatever the end user is employing to become more efficient. On the bin side, Quantum offers a diverse range of sizes and types totaling about 25,000 SKU’s, according to Granger. “There’s plenty to choose from,” he said.
Leaders at Quantum are anticipating as strong a year in 2024 as this year has been, Granger said. Some of this is due to the company’s diversification. “Quantum has grown double digits every year in the last 15 years,” said Granger, who noted the business sells to schools, restaurants, hospitals, manufacturing, and electronics companies.
“In one of those years, one product category might have been off or one business segment,” Granger said. “But it seems like if one sector drops off, another picks up.” The business typically comes out with new products each year, based upon the knowledge of the market and industry, according to Granger. “We like to be known as innovative rather than reactive,” he said.
One of Quantum’s latest products is Crystal Clear Bins, available in four different sizes. “It’s really literally glass clear. These are like looking into a glass,” said Granger, who said the product is made of plastic. “I really think it’s going to be great in the health care industry, in pharmacies and labs. Places where the items in the bin are critical to get to quickly if you need them,” he said.
Quantum produces the Crystal Clear Bins in the company’s four most popular sizes. “These are the same sizes we made several years ago out of wire mesh. Those were very, very successful,” Granger said.
A need for space
As warehouses adapt to the evolving industry, the way space is utilized is also a key consideration. “Space is key. Space is money,” said Levi Cook, owner at B&M Warehouse Services LLC. The Georgia-based company provides several variations of pallet racking as well as dismantling solutions to companies across the southeast.
The business’ install services include pallet racking, push pallet racking, safety railing, modular offices, mezzanines, and cantilever racking, according to the business website. “People are going to more of the very narrow aisle racking systems,” said Cook, who said the business is also seeing trends like more shuttle systems for bulk storage. “We’re seeing a lot of companies, because of the bottom line, have to make the current space work,” he said.
Cook said B&M Warehouse Services has worked on quick jobs like rack repairs as well as projects with a wide scope. A racking job may take two to three days, or perhaps a week. A shuttle system or larger project runs around four to six weeks, according to Cook. “I’m working on a shuttle system now for a large company. They are in a tight spot with their storage. They don’t want to split manufacturing from warehousing. They are making the best of the space,” he said, describing the project.
Also in demand lately is modular construction within warehouses, according to Cook. “That goes back to safety, which has also been pushed to the forefront,” he said, noting guardrail systems and other racking and safety solutions have been popular with the business’ clients.
As technology advances and the industry evolves, Cook said those working on warehouse products and services can aim to grow as well. He noted that B&M Warehouse Services works to stay ahead of changes in the industry by “tracking and tackling new things.” “It’s an interesting time right now. With conveyor systems and even AI coming into the picture, you can see the whole industry shifting,” Cook said.
About the Author:
Eileen Mozinski Schmidt is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Greater Milwaukee area. She has written for print and online publications for the past 13 years. Email Networkeditorial@MHNetwork.com or visit eileenmozinskischmidt.wordpress.com to contact Eileen. If your company would like to be featured, email Networkeditorial@MHNetwork.com