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Automated Solutions for Storage Systems

Monitoring on-hand inventory and eliminating overstock are critical components of material handling. Poorly designed processes that hold product too long add significant costs in real estate, spoilage, taxes, and insurance, and also risk damaging goods and can create systemic bottlenecks.

Well designed storage systems and solutions keep product organized, enable it to be processed quickly, allow for real-time tracking, and increase safety. By optimizing the use of cubic space with the densest possible storage solutions, and integrating automated systems to increase efficiency and transparency, companies can reduce waste and increase efficiency, productivity, and throughput.

At PeakLogix, we’re a brand agnostic material handling systems integrator that specializes in innovative, bespoke automated solutions. By partnering with us, you can increase the consistency and efficiency of your distribution processes, from inbound receiving to outbound shipments and everything in between. We deliver customized solutions tailored to our partner’s needs that address issues ranging from ergonomics and employee safety to fully automated warehousing solutions.

Considerations for storage systems and solutions

Facility footprint

Typically, warehousing operations know it’s time to review their storage systems and solutions either when they begin to run out of space, or when they have the space but the organization of their product is so slipshod that they can’t keep up with orders.

In the past, managers were fairly quick to look at expanding their footprint or completely relocating to larger facilities. But with the increased cost of real estate, and the difficulty of finding prime locations close to key markets, finding ways to increase a facility’s storage density and improve its functionality are key to expanding capacity affordably.

Storage space

In theory, a warehousing operation should never reach maximal capacity. At that point, in order to receive new product, the congestion forces operators to move goods like puzzle pieces to make room.

An affordable first step to finding more room is to consider the facility’s vertical space. Can taller racks be installed? If you’re dealing with relatively small parts that don’t need pallet-sized slots, look to solutions like vertical lift modules or carousels that can increase storage density and free up space. Mezzanines can be added that can hold extra shelves and other storage over the main floor.

If you’ve maximized your use of vertical space, it may be time to update your storage medium to deep lane storage, or to automated storage and retrieval systems that can maximize both storage density and process efficiencies.

Short- and long-term storage needs

Short-term storage needs – defined in the industry as storage of less than three months – is often needed when a facility makes major changes to its layout, sees a sudden spike in demand, or consolidates large orders that it needs to separate for its different facilities.

In the industry, anything held for longer than about three months is considered to be in long-term storage. Holding seasonal goods until they’re once again hot, buying bulk goods that will take time to process, and even storing paperwork – like personnel, tax, or sales records – are all reasons for long-term storage.

Often, companies need both long- and short-term storage. Engaging with third parties – renting trailers, for example – can help. But, especially for meeting seasonal demands, creating flex space inside a warehouse is often a more efficient solution.

Storage types

Ensuring that your storage is capable of handling your products is paramount is creating efficient storage solutions. Simple block stacking or stacking frames may be fine for low throughput facilities dealing with pallet loads. But as demand and SKU counts increase, storage will have to improve. Double-deep pallet racks, drive-in racks, and pallet-flow and push-back racks are all economical upgrades for pallet loads.

For dealing with eaches or other small goods, companies can look to rack bins – storage containers designed to fit in racks – or shelves for economical, low-throughput solutions. As demand increases, companies should consider solutions that can pack goods more densely and allow for more efficient put away and retrieval, like carousels or vertical lift modules.

Hangers are another useful storage method. Systems can store small parts or pieces in bags that can be hung on moveable racks for dense, efficient storage.

SKU velocity

The fastest moving items should be placed in the most convenient area possible for both put away and retrieval, and should be stored in a way that allows for efficient processing. It isn’t enough to block stack your three fastest movers in a staging area just outside of receiving – inevitably, the item you need will at some point be at the bottom of a stack.

Instead, storage solutions that are sufficient to the task should be integrated into the processes. For some, that may mean a system of pallet flow racking. For others, it may mean a system that’s more fully automated and can handle cases or eaches.

Software support

To enable efficient processes and dense storage, companies need software that is capable of ordering the right amount of goods, of tracking goods as they are slotted, of receiving orders from customers, and of synchronizing processes as product is picked and shipped.

A robust Warehouse Management System (WMS) like ScottTech PickPro® can bring transparency into your warehousing operations, enabling real-time item tracking and coordinating all of the processes needed to move product throughout your facility.

Advantages to storage systems and solutions

Increase safety

Safety, especially for customers and personnel but also for goods and infrastructure, is a top priority in every company. But poorly designed storage solutions contribute to unsafe facilities in a number of ways. Items without a proper location might be stored unsafely, perhaps stacked too high or in racks that aren’t rated for its weight. Racks can be damaged. Machines can be poorly guarded.

Well designed storage solutions will quickly move perishable product into the proper temperature zones. It will create transparent systems so that incoming product will have a home, and outgoing product will be quickly and safely processed. Machines and throughways will be guarded with rails and partitions. And systems will be designed to be ergonomic and user friendly.

Efficiency and organization

One key to effective storage solutions is simply getting back to basics and ensuring that items aren’t only organized, but are organized in a useful way. Are seasonal, fast moving items staged for easy put away and picking? Are items that frequently move together stored along the same picking paths? Are goods accessible to operators?

Coupling those fundamental issues with low-cost, user-friendly, state of the art technology like pick-to-voice or pick-to-light can dramatically increase order accuracy and efficiency.


Depending on the application, storage solutions have to be robust enough to handle heavy loads and small enough to densely pack small units. Fitting a warehouse with too much of the wrong kind of storage can mean stacking small items on expensive steel rated for heavy loads, or over stacking heavy pallets from the floor to the ceiling.

A well designed storage solution will match the appropriate storage to your needs, from heavy-duty steel racks to high-density unit storage.

Maximizing space

Maximizing the use of a warehouse’s cubic space has the obvious benefit of being able to store more goods. This can save a company the expense of expanding or relocating. But improving the use of a facility’s space brings many other benefits.

As a warehouse maximizes its storage density, organization and workflows have to be assessed, and typically are also made more efficient. Items are easier to find and processes easier to navigate. Accurate inventory counts means better customer satisfaction, and also improves ordering processes – if you know how much you have on-hand, and how much more room you have, then you can maximize your bulk ordering.

High flowthrough rates

Cross docking can be especially effective in industries that need speed or have high volume, such as fresh groceries or ecommerce fulfillment. Cross docking minimizes the time these goods spend in storage. This allows fresh product to be delivered while it’s still good, and orders to be shipped so that they can be delivered in the window the end user expects.

More than this, because cross docking requires less space than traditional warehousing, they can more easily be located near the end user. This shortens the distance of the final delivery, cutting both transportation costs and delivery schedules.

Important considerations when evaluating a systems integration partner for a storage systems and solutions implementation

Are they consultative?

When partnering with a systems integrator, one of the risks material handling companies face is trying to work with a partner that promises more than they can deliver. The integration partner smiles through consultations and then, behind the scenes, desperately tries to invent the technology they need to deliver on their promises. They miss deadline after deadline until their client reaches a point of no return – they’re willing to justify their costs by seeing any kind of benefit from their investment. Even if those benefits are well below what was originally planned and agreed to.

PeakLogix is not that kind of partner. We are fully consultative, and prioritize your goals and needs. We undertake a thorough discovery process so that we understand both the roadblocks you face now and the goals you have for the future. Our solutions are designed to help you move past your roadblocks, and scale with your business growth. We don’t offer solutions in a top-down fashion that refuses input and denies questions, but collaborate with you and provide the recommendations we believe will best suit your needs.

Are they vendor agnostic?

Vendor agnostic solutions providers like PeakLogix don’t push their favorite suppliers onto their customers. Instead, we work with our suppliers to find and test the applications for which their product is the best fit. We don’t pitch untested products as viable solutions, but rather look for the best solution that already has a track record of solid performance.

Being open to integrating the best solutions on the market — regardless of their manufacturer — means we can truly optimize solutions for our clients, and quickly adjust to changing demands.

Do they develop tailored solutions for your unique challenges?

Being a consultative, vendor agnostic firm means that we look at every project with fresh eyes. Yes, we have decades of experience that inform our decisions and help us quickly find solutions to problems — but we don’t try to force the same solution on every client.

Instead, we work with our clients to discover both their pain points and goals. And our approach often leads to two positive outcomes. First, the discovery of unknown root causes to problems that allow us to address systemic issues with solutions of a customized design. And second, the application of scalable solutions that will both meet today’s challenges, and scale in ways the company needs to meet its future goals.

Can they scale to your needs?

The changing urban landscape, an aging workforce, the large-scale adoption of ecommerce, and the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning have created challenges and brought opportunities that are continuing to change industries in every sector. Businesses need solutions that are more responsive than ever, with the ability to scale both up and down to meet a company’s growth as well as periodic changes in demand.

PeakLogix has been solving the material-handling needs of companies of every size, and in many industries, for over 30 years. We are dedicated to our own continuous improvement because we know that designing systems that will adapt to your changing business needs means being knowledgeable about changes in the industry. By offering adaptive solutions where appropriate, we bring added value to our partners.

Are they available when you need them?

PeakLogix started in 1989 as a material handling and systems integrator serving clients across the Mid-Atlantic. Over the past 30 years, we’ve completed thousands of successful projects and have grown to become a thought leader in the industry and a national provider of innovative solutions, software systems, and automated technologies.

From the beginning of our working relationships with clients, our team works to discover your goals and challenges. We collaborate with you to develop solutions that meet your needs today and also lay the groundwork for your future growth. When your project is complete, we offer services including 24/7 system support, operator training, and maintenance and repairs.

At PeakLogix, our partnerships are our priority.

What logistics, automation, and distribution solutions should you consider for your storage systems and solutions?

Racking and shelving

Creating an efficient warehousing operation means selecting the right kinds of storage solutions for your needs. Filling a warehouse with heavy-duty racking and putting everything on it from small boxes of parts to heavy pallets of solvents may solve some safety issues, but will be both expensive and inefficient.

Selecting the right storage solutions for your needs, and configuring them in a way that optimizes your processes, is one key to keeping costs low and efficiencies high.

stow e.scala®

Tote-compatible processes can be enhanced by e.scala® from stow, a fully automated goods-to-person order fulfillment system. With e.scala®, systems of as few as 500 containers can be easily cost-justified, and the system can be scaled up to meet the needs of much larger operations. The system is designed for high-density, double-deep storage that gives 100% uptime 24/7.

The benefits of e.scala® include a climate-controlled environment, on-the-fly recharging of its robots, and low-maintenance, automated, multi-level storage that is free of conveyors, lifts, or sequencers. Instead, totes are moved on sled-like robots that move through the storage area like cars in a parking garage. If a robot should need maintenance, it can simply be removed from the rotation and replaced, without impacting the rest of the system.

WMS Software (PickPro®)

ScottTech PickPro® is our proprietary Warehouse Management Software (WMS). It’s a fully independent, system-agnostic, web-based software solution that can control all aspects of distribution, and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any material handling company.

ScottTech PickPro® can serve as a standalone solution, or integrate with your ERP. It can incorporate AS/RS equipment and all the peripherals, track and manage inventory of both parts and goods, and layer seamlessly with your software architecture to provide granular feedback on, and control of, your operations.

Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal Carousels are a cost-effective way to quickly add storage capacity and increase put away and retrieval accuracy and efficiency. They are ideal for high throughput facilities and high speed picking, and can increase storage density by up to 75%.

Horizontal Carousels are generally arranged into pods or zones. Multiple carousels in a pod can create variable access points to create an efficient, worker-friendly layout that can triple average pick rates.

Pick to Light

Pick-to-light is a cost-effective solution that streamlines warehouse picking operations and increases picking speed, accuracy, and productivity. Especially in omnichannel fulfillment centers, pick-to-light solutions enable the reliable processing of high numbers of SKUs, while increasing efficiency.

Pick-to-light solutions are often a good entry point for a warehouse’s automation transformation. They can work as standalone systems, or integrate with Warehouse Management Software, enabling them to easily scale with a company’s growth.

Robotic palletizers

Robotic palletizing and depalletizing increases the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of your operations. Automated palletizing increases throughput, lowers shipping fees, and helps optimize the use of space in a warehouse and shipping container by palletizing items more compactly. Automated depalletizing allows your processes to maintain a steady throughput, increases worker safety, and increases efficiency.

Automation can eliminate, or at least reduce, the manual labor associated with palletizing and depalletizing, freeing that labor to move on to more value-adding and rewarding tasks. With the right end-of-arm tool, they can handle everything from the heaviest boxes and pails to the thinnest slip sheets and dunnage.


Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RSs) optimize productivity and operational throughput through the combination of data-driven optimization, warehouse management software, and labor reallocation. Especially in ecommerce, the manual storage and retrieval of small pieces can drain a facility’s profitability. By automating this non-value-adding task, companies can increase both profitability and employee morale.

Any business that deals with the movement and storage of physical goods needs fast, accurate, and efficient storage and retrieval systems. AS/RSs integrate with a facility’s WMS to allow for increased throughput in decanting, reracking, and conveyance of goods; expanded floorspace through the maximization of vertical storage; reduced or avoided capital expenses related to expansions and reallocations; and lowered labor costs.


Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) enhance productivity and workflow in both manufacturing and distribution facilities. AGVs help streamline processes, decrease delays, and move heavy, bulky materials efficiently and safely.

Guided vehicles use a number of navigational methods, tailored to your facility’s needs. They can be customized and programmed to follow the paths in a facility that are safest for staff and most efficient. They can be an integral part of a facility’s material handling and also programmed for complementary tasks such as trash collection or other housekeeping tasks.

Vertical lift modules

Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) are ideal for expanding a facility’s footprint by maximizing vertical storage while also improving throughput rates and reducing labor costs. Vertical lift modules can be ideal for small parts and pieces, as they use inserters and extractors to automatically move trays of goods in and out of compact storage. They can also work with cases, totes, and large items.

VLMs provide user-level access for restricted goods, have basic user controls, and integrate with existing software management systems. Because of their small footprint, they optimize vertical space while freeing up valuable floor space.

Pick Modules

Pick modules use pallet or carton flow racks to push eaches, cartons, totes, or containers through a facility. PeakLogix integrates a variety of pick modules that can be tailored to your facility’s needs.

Pick modules can allow operators to pick small parts quickly and reliably, increasing speed and accuracy in assembly, manufacturing, or distribution processes.


Especially in large warehouse environments, deep lane, high density pallet storage is key to an efficient process that maximizes pallet density. PALLET RUNNER® can be configured to operate either with both first-in, last-out (FIFO) and last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory models, making it ideal for nearly all large scale inventory models.

With the semi-automated PALLET RUNNER storage system, you can store more while optimizing the flow of your operations. With deep lane storage, each item has a discrete channel in the racking system, which makes both put away and retrieval more efficient and keeps items properly rotated.

Advance your operations.

Schedule a consultation.

Tell us about your needs and we’ll have someone contact you to talk about the various storage solutions for your operations.