Seamless flow in the warehouse is the key to e-tail efficiency

As the fastest growing retail market in Europe, e-commerce looks set to form the mainstay of how we shop for products. It’s, therefore, no surprise that e-tailers find themselves under increasing pressure to provide faster, slicker solutions that cost less to service than their competitors.

This often corresponds directly to the efficiency of the order fulfilment process of the warehouse. Here, any weakness in the chain will ultimately translate as loss of profit. So, what can be done to ensure that an e-tail business maintains its competitive edge? Well, risk of disruption to order fulfilment can be greatly reduced by sourcing all Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) from a single supplier. This means that everything from bins, to shelves to racking and live storage is compatible, making the fulfilment operation seamless and free flowing. For example, bins that have been supplied by the same supplier as racking will not only move smoothly but will also have been designed to optimise space on the racking system.

An experienced Materials Handling provider will be adept at integrating all fulfilment components with the objective of increasing efficiency in a safe and productive manner. Here at Teepee, we not only design and fit storage solutions but also provide full warehouse fit-out services including mezzanine floors, industrial and office partitioning and safety barriers.  Our one-stop-shop package is designed to take the hassle out of expansion or refurbishment, giving our clients time to concentrate on business growth whilst we take care of the practicalities.

Looking to maximise warehouse efficiency? Contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team to discuss your requirements on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



The Importance of SEMA

If your company uses storage systems than the chances are, you will have heard of SEMA. You may be aware that using a company with a Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association accreditation is a good thing, but you may not be 100% sure as to why!
This blog is your potted guide to the organisation and why it is so important to the storage system industry.

SEMA stands for the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association and is primarily committed to promoting and extending the safe design, installation and use of storage equipment manufactured and supplied to its members. The Association recently celebrated its 50th birthday and works closely with leading safety bodies such as the HSE, CSCS and RoSPA.

Companies that manufacture storage equipment in the UK can apply for full membership, whereas companies such as Teepee Materials Handling, who supply and install SEMA accredited storage systems, can apply for SEMA Distributor status. In order to qualify, this means that we are independently audited on 25 key quality measures including the use of trained labour and correct storage design.

SEMA storage system promotes a three-stage process to maximise safety; design, installation and maintenance. Once your new storage system has been designed and professionally installed, regular maintenance is not only essential from a safety perspective, but also a legal requirement. SEMA Approved Rack Inspectors (SARIs) are specifically trained to SEMA standards and must undertake on-going CPD to ensure that their skills remain current and aligned with industry developments.

Teepee is proud to include a team of in-house SARIs that carry-out mandatory annual inspections for clients, providing invaluable advice for maintenance and repair. Teepee can also organise racking repair work removing hassle and delay for business owners.

In a nutshell, SEMA accredited suppliers provide a guaranteed benchmark for safety, high quality and experience. Look for SEMA accreditation whenever selecting a storage system service.

If you are considering a new system or need to arrange your annual inspection, contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team for a quotation on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Qualification Queries

As storage industry experts, we’re often asked questions about the safe installation of racking systems. Recently, we were asked if competent staff were capable of installing a pallet racking system or if the job had to be carried out by a qualified team.

The answer isn’t straightforward as although SEMA guidelines state that a competent person must install a racking system this is not a legal requirement, and it is down to the employer to assess the competency of their employees prior to carrying out any work.

All qualified racking installers have undertaken an industry qualified training course known as SEIRS. This training course provides the individual with the skills to install racking safety in conjunction with manufacturers assembly guidelines. The owner of the premises must assess whether his staff have the skills to carry out the task without presenting significant risk of injury to themselves or other people.

Should you decide to undertake this work, we would recommend you employ a SEMA racking inspector to assess the racking before loading, as this would eliminate any construction issues which may arise from a lack of experience.

In our view, it is far safer to employ an experienced, SEMA accredited installation team to remove risk and worry from this process. This also saves money in the long run as correctly installed systems are less likely to fail and need repair.

Considering a new racking system or looking to re-site your existing system?
Contact our friendly, SEMA accredited professional team for a quotation on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Safeguarding your storage system

Whether you’re moving into new premises, have a new storage requirement or it’s simply time to upgrade your existing storage facility, selecting a new system can be a mind boggling task. Fortunately, as a SEMA approved supplier, Teepee are on hand to help recommend a solution that offers the best efficiency and safety for your business’ needs.

There are three main criteria to consider when choosing. First and foremost, we must ensure a safe working environment so our proposals must take into account HSE regulations. Secondly, we must make sure that the solution presents good accessibility to assets and finally, the solution must minimise the risk of damage to stored goods.

When specifying a storage product, we follow SEMA’s simple principles which includes:

  • Safe manufacture offering full traceability of product
  • Safe design to meet strict codes of practice
  • Safe installation by accredited personnel
  • Ongoing rack maintenance through inspection and repair

In this way, we guarantee a product and installation process that clients can rely on to uphold the highest levels of safety standards.

Considering a new storage system? Contact our friendly, professional team for a quotation on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Staying safe on your mezzanine floor

Without doubt, mezzanine floors can be one of the most useful ways to increase useable floor space within your company. In terms of cost and speed, they can be an excellent alternative to relocation and here at Teepee, we regularly include them in our client proposals.

However, as most mezzanines are usually exposed and elevated, it’s important to maintain strict safety working practices when incorporating them into your business.

Here are our top five tips to staying safe on your mezzanine floor:

  • Keep your mezzanine area tidy and well-lit to minimise the risk of trips and falls.
  • Ensure suitable twin railed handrailing (1100mm high) is fitted to all exposed edges of the mezzanine being suitably designed to within stand imposed loads from personnel working on top of the mezzanine.
  • Install protective kicker boards (minimum of 100mm high) to all exposed edges to prevent small loose items falling onto operatives working below.
  • Ask Teepee for advice on fitting specialist mezzanine safety gates to significantly reduce the risk of injury and costly fines.
  • A safety load notice is displayed and your team know and observe the safe weight-bearing capacity of your mezzanine floor so that it is never put under excess stress.

As with all aspects of your business, rigorous and regular safety inspections should be at the heart of your operation. Our advice is to make sure that your mezzanine area forms part of your weekly safety check and that concerns are identified and rectified swiftly.

Transform your usable working space. For a free mezzanine quotation, contact our friendly, professional team on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk



Customising your workspace? Ask the experts!

We find that many businesses return after the Christmas break with fresh eyes and renewed zeal for how best to organise and utilize their work space. As we ease ourselves out of January and into February, we start to receive enquiries about how we might turn these visions into reality and it’s here that Teepee as industry experts, really add value.

Many clients know that they want to optimise space and increase productivity but are unsure what products to specify or how to make best use of their budget. Partitioning, be it for office or industrial space, usually forms an integral part of the requirement as clearly defined working areas are central to fulfilling the brief.

Steel partitions are ideal for an industrial environment and cover a wide range of applications such as clean rooms, factory segregation, inspection rooms, offices, secure stores and manufacturing workshops. This versatile and cost effective modular system is available in various panel configurations that can include combinations of steel, mesh and glass.

All panels are manufactured using either a single or double sheet steel skin, with standard panel heights ranging from 2440 – 3660mm high, which can also be multi-tiered to increase height where necessary. Extremely adaptable, steel partitions can provide acoustic and fire resistance properties on double skin partitioning systems which can be designed to meet individual and Building Regulation requirements.

If you’re thinking of re-working your office space, aluminium framed partitioning is a great way to introduce temporary or permanent areas, perfect for growing businesses with changing needs. This system is available in all glass, all solid or a combination of both. They are finished in a variety of different colour wallcoverings to match your corporate image. This modular system also has the advantage of dramatically reducing installation times when compared with traditional stud and plasterboard systems and can also be relocated at a later date.

If you’re contemplating reorganising your workspace but are unsure where to start, our dedicated, in-house design team are happy to have an initial discussion to outline possible options, free of charge. Call us on 01384 256969 or email sales@teepee.co.uk to arrange.




It might seem like a simple enough question, but it’s one that could have important implications when making the correct selection for your business, in terms of functionality, cost and safety.

As a general rule of thumb, shelving is a storage system that cannot be approached by mechanical handling devices such as fork-lift trucks or order-pickers. This is because shelving uprights are generally thinner and more vulnerable to accidental damage by machinery. Shelving is therefore usually hand loaded and has unit loads of less than 20 or 25 kilograms.

Contrary to popular belief, shelving is not classified by height and it is quite possible to have systems that have 3 or 4 tiers. However, these systems must always be located well away from any loading machinery and can under no circumstances be climbed on by operatives to retrieve goods.

Racking is, therefore, the correct solution if your business stores heavy loads or items in pallets, which need to be moved via mechanical means.

Please remember that both shelving and racking systems require independent annual inspections by law, so it’s vital that you engage a trained professional to perform this service. At Teepee, we are proud to provide SEMA accredited inspectors and inspection prices start at just £185 + VAT.

Arrange your inspection by contacting our friendly team sales@teepee.co.uk or calling 01384 256969.




If your current business premises are starting to feel a little cramped, the chances are you’re contemplating a move.

As companies grow, the need for versatile space often increases at a faster than ideal rate, meaning that a costly and inconvenient move can seem like the only option. Here at Teepee, we know that needn’t be the case.

We’ve been helping to transform businesses for over 30 years, creating flexible, additional space within existing premises. Whether you’re looking to create additional areas for offices, storage, production or staff, mezzanine floors can double your usable space and cost significantly less than relocation.

Although in most cases mezzanine installation is simple, we’ve also worked on many complex projects where the installation has required planning permission or even floor piling. Our fully project managed service will identify the best ways in which to structure a mezzanine floor taking into account end use, location and access points.

Our team will plan space to maximize usability, complete with electrical points, lighting, heating and water feeds. We work hard to understand your business’ needs and our experience is invaluable in identifying potential project pitfalls and how to avoid them.

We’re expert at keeping clients operational during fit out with minimal downtime, either working seamlessly with other contractors or offering a full turnkey solution.

Find out how we can save you time, money and free up some space. Contact our friendly team by emailing sales@teepee.co.uk or calling 01384 256969.



Red. Amber. Green

As many of you already know it is a legal requirement to have an annual ‘Expert Inspection’ of your storage equipment such as racking, shelving, mezzanine floors and cantilever racking by an independent qualified inspector known as a ‘SARI’.

The ‘Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association’ (SEMA) and ‘Health Safety Executive’ (HSE) recommend a three pronged approach to maintaining best practice in racking safety. This involves operators reporting damage as they find it, with the business being responsible for carrying out regular monthly inspections by a trained supervisor known as a ‘Person Responsible Storage Equipment Safety’ (PRSES).

To promote awareness of storage equipment safety, SEMA hold a popular fortnightly training course to provide individuals with the skills to assess and document the condition of storage equipment on a monthly basis. To identify damage, SEMA introduced a traffic light system to the course to help delegates categorise damage in order of severity. It’s a great initiative and one we believe can be successfully applied in a live environment. Here are the key points:

RED – Damage is twice SEMA tolerances, requires immediate offloading  and isolation. Repairs must be made using genuine components in line with SEMA’s Code of Practice.

AMBER– Damage greater than SEMA tolerances, loads should not be replaced once unloaded. Repairs must be made using genuine components in line with SEMA’s Code of Practice.  Should repairs have not been carried out within 4 – weeks of notification of damage, this will become a red risk and require immediate offloading and isolation.

GREEN– Falls within SEMA tolerances and should be documented for consideration during your next inspection.

By introducing a damage classification system to your routine monthly inspections, not only do you help ensure the safety of your team, you reduce long term maintenance costs and promote safety within the working environment.

Time for your annual inspection? Call us to arrange with a SEMA accredited inspector on 01384 256969




Bowing – How much is too much?

So you’ve bought your new racking system, installed and loaded it carefully to within the tolerances recommended by your supplier and you notice that some of the beams are bowing. Is this anything to worry about? The short answer is, it could be.

Here at Teepee, we are accredited by SEMA, the Storage Equipment Manufacturing Association who produce safety guidelines for the industry including Codes of Practice for safe levels of deflection. This states a maximum deflection of span / 200 when a pair of beams is under maximum load. This may look most noticeable when the lower run of beams is viewed along the aisle.

In order to check, SEMA suggests using a line of string held taught immediately under the beam so that you can vertically measure from this to the underside of the beam. Measure at both the centre and the ends of the beam and don’t be tempted to measure to the floor as the floor can be uneven to begin with.

SEMA also recommend that a minimum of 75mm clearance to allow a pallet in and out of its location and deflections should be nowhere near to this.

If you have any concerns about bowing, an inspection from one of our SEMA trained and accredited inspectors can quickly provide peace of mind. Not only can we advise on situations such as these, but we also maintain and repair storage and racking systems, providing a convenient one-stop service for busy clients.

Racking inspections start from just £185* Contact sales@teepee.co.uk or call us on 01384 256969 for further details.


*Prices subject to formal quotation