Denali Ingredients is a leading supplier of chocolate coatings, fudge sauces, powders, fruit varieties, stabilizers, extruded products, flakes and other ingredients for the dairy, ice cream, bakery, and food service industries. The company is known for making your favorite treats extra delicious, as well as catering to the increasing need for gluten-free, organic and non-GMO ingredients.
Denali began in 2006, and have experienced rapid growth ever since, opening their 2nd plant in 2009, and 3rd in December 2018.
Needless to say, these ingredients are in high demand.
In fact, the ingredients are in such demand that they had to use outside warehousing services, which slowed the process as ingredients were not on hand in the same facility. But with the quickest lead time in the industry at 15 days, they knew it was important to create a new space to maintain the quick turnaround and continuous growth of their operations and product lines. This is also where Wisconsin Lift Truck came in.
Denali’s Jon Manegold, Warehouse Manager, and Robb Hinn, VP of Operations, knew exactly what they needed to do, and Wisconsin Lift Truck was there to bring their vision to life.
With an empty warehouse ready to store ingredients at all temperatures, Wisconsin Lift Truck consultants stepped in to advise on a winning solution that would accommodate Denali’s dry storage, cold storage, and freezer storage.
Shortly after, Steel King’s Pushback rack was chosen as Denali’s cold and dry storage solution.
THE PUSHBACK STRATEGY
Pushback rack provides Denali the high-density storage they need, more pallet positions and fewer aisles, serving as the most fitting space utilization option. The new rack system also qualifies for a FIFO (First in First Out) inventory system, providing the best access to ingredients and improved inventory management. Additionally, the food industry is one of the largest users of FIFO pushback rack systems, and rightfully so as they are crucial to their business. The pushback storage rack can offer up to 90% more storage space than traditional selective pallet racking. To load, pallets are placed by forklift on nested carts riding on inclined rails. Each pallet is then pushed back by the next pallet loaded, exposing the next cart. For unloading, the front pallet is removed, allowing other carts to roll gently to the front. With high-density storage systems, fewer aisles and forklifts are needed.
Denali’s new facility will hold a total of 2,400 pallet positions, which is one reason they needed some-thing robust. Steel King rack provides the quality and durability they require, as well as convenience as they are a Wisconsin-based manufacturer.
EVERY RACK SYSTEM NEEDS THE RIGHT STAND-UP FORKLIFT
Denali also purchased a Linde E20S stand-up electric counterbalanced forklift to work with the push back rack. When asking Jon why they chose the Linde he explained, “It was mostly due to the unmatched ergonomics of Linde forklifts.
“I had experience with Linde forklifts at a prior company, and my operators were happy with the comfortability of the trucks throughout their entire 8-hour shift.” Manegold also mentioned, “Not only were ergonomics important, but we needed a narrow aisle forklift due to the rack design we had chosen, and we wanted a brand of narrow aisle forklifts we know was quality built and reliable.” Denali had collected information on a number of options before going with Wisconsin Lift Truck and had received four bids before consulting with the Wisconsin Lift Truck design engineers. When it came down to choosing a firm to take on the job, the engineers knew exactly what the facility needed.
Jon and Robb both agreed that they appreciated the high level of collaboration and solid communication throughout the process, which was key to the end success and goals of the project. It was described that the partnership throughout the process was flexible, and offered the best space optimization and density storage for their needs. It was also helpful that both Jon and Robb had prior knowledge of racking systems and the different types, which helped to move things along and communicate effectively on both ends.
In addition to the push back rack design, Wisconsin Lift Truck’s design engineers provided solutions such as adding tunnels to the freezer rack systems for maximized space utilization.
Another added bonus was to have the rack system painted in custom colors to match Denali’s company logo. This decision was also made to ensure that each section of the pushback rack was bright enough so that forklift operators can easily see what they are doing.
Overall, the project has created space for future growth, expansion, and many more sweet additions.