Monday, September 8, 2014

AK Launches NEW Shelf-Clips.com Website

Ever spend a couple of hours searching online for a product you need, only to find that nobody has it, or that it takes 3 months to ship?  It’s a rhetorical question, because we’ve all been there at least once, and it’s endlessly frustrating.  In the material handling products world, most of the products people would search for are readily found.  There are an abundance of manufacturers and distributors around to meet the majority of customer demand.  Not included in this category of readily available products, however, are replacement clips for pallet rack and industrial shelving.

Pallet rack systems require safety clips to keep cross beams from being dislodged, and many industrial shelving systems require clips for the shelves to rest upon.  Like most products, these clips don’t usually last forever, and eventually most people will have to replace them.  But that can prove problematic, because searches for these replacement clips usually yield inconsistent and unreliable results, making for long and arduous search sessions, often to no avail.  Shelf-Clips.com aims to provide a solution to that problem.

Launched in 2010, the mission of Shelf-Clips.com is simply to provide customers with the replacement shelving and pallet rack clips they need.  So far, they’ve been successful in doing just that.  But, like any adept business, they’re constantly on the lookout to provide customers with more value.  Because of that, Shelf-Clips.com is proud to announce the launch of a new, revamped website. 
Don’t let the new logo throw you off — the new and improved website still offers pallet rack clips and shelving shelf clips, all shipping within 24-48 hours of service.  The revamped Shelf-Clips.com is simply a more informative, comprehensive, and user-friendly version of the old site.  The new site’s features include 3 multiple-angle pictures for each clip, as well as a brief informative video and descriptive paragraph, so customers know they’re getting the clips they want. Plus its mobile, so your able to take the ultimate tool with you right into your warehouse. No more printing out a picture then matching it up.

The new Shelf-Clips.com offers an easy-to-use alternative to the often long and frustrating traditional experience of trying to find replacement clips online, and presents an opportunity for warehouse managers and other users to make replacement clip ordering a more efficient process. Try out new updated clip search box as well.
Search for industrial shelf & pallet rack clips

Shelf-Clips.com is based in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  To contact them, reach them via phone at 855-289-2547, or email them at order@shelf-clips.com

http://shelf-clips.com

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Drafting the Winning Team: Combining Pallet Rack & Fantasy Football

By: Brian Koski

At +AK Material Handling Systems one of our team building exercises is participating in a Fantasy Football league as a company. We choose a night after work, order some pizza and enjoy selecting our favorite players for a chance at winning the coveted AK Fantasy Football Trophy. 2014 Represented our third year participating in a league together, and we were able to get 13 employees and a special guest to participate. We have found that this league strengthens relationships within our company and creates some good, clean competition within the walls of the company.

The goal of a Fantasy Football draft is to maximize the value of every draft round, or every dollar for those of you in auction drafts. The early rounds are made up of elite players that should deliver consistently and have minimal risk. As the draft proceeds, the cost of the player is less but the risk is generally higher, as the player may be injury prone or unproven. After having a blast at this year’s AK Fantasy draft, I started to wonder how our company would get drafted in a Fantasy Pallet Rack Draft. Well, I started thinking about the same terms that are used in the Fantasy Football world: value, risk, upside, tiers, handcuff, vulture, flyer, etc. As a company that specializes in pallet rack system projects, I thought it would be fun to define these terms and relate them to the process of choosing a partner for a warehouse project.

Value- Fantasy Football drafting is all about value. When it is your turn, you try and select the player with the most value to improve your team. When choosing your pallet rack supplier, value means getting higher performance from your provider than what you paid (drafted) them.

Risk- You’ve heard the phrase “Risk for Reward,” right? Well, in Fantasy Football, it may be ok to take some risks late in your draft in hopes of some late rewards, but that’s not the case when choosing a pallet rack supplier. Not knowing if you will get the performance needed to complete your project correctly, safely, and on schedule is not a risk worth taking when selecting your pallet rack supplier.  Does your partner have BTS?  (see below)

Sleeper- A fantasy football “sleeper”, is a player that drafters seem to pass over while drafting because they do not see his value. In a Pallet Rack Project, products that may be over looked by a rookie supplier while trying to keep costs down are considered Sleepers. Proper rack protection and safety products would be considered “sleepers,” because they hold great value for a small investment.

Bust- These are also the type of fantasy football players you want to try and avoid — they look good on paper, but are expected to have declining statistics from the previous years. In the pallet rack industry, “busts” can be compared to companies that look good on the internet, but whose actual facilities are merely fluff. They don't have the inventory advertised, or are not actually located at the locations they have listed. BUSTS.

Deep Bench- Drafting a deep fantasy football team is very important, because injuries happen and it’s necessary to be prepared for the worst. In the same sense, having a stocking distributor as your pallet rack supplier is also important, because when you need rack systems in your warehouse immediately, a 4-5 week lead time just won’t cut it.

Bad Team Syndrome-
In Fantasy Football, “BTS” happens when there is a talented player stuck on a bad team — typically you want to stay away from these players. You will also find BTS in the material handling industry. Certain companies are not set up to handle pallet rack projects. They specialize in other products, such as forklifts, docks, doors, etc., and are not prepared to provide you with the service needed to complete the project.  The team in this case would be salespeople, project managers, rack manufacturers, installers, and so forth.

Handcuff- Handcuffing means having the backup player on your team so that, if the starter gets hurt or under performs, you will have a quality player in their place. Our philosophy is the same, except we typically use 3-4 handcuffs with our projects. As we have grown, we have developed relationships with multiple suppliers in the pallet rack industry.  If a project takes a twist and the preferred vendor cannot deliver, we have a plan B, C, and D.  Again, the main goal is to mitigate risk.

Vulture- This is my favorite fantasy football term. Vultures are companies that come into a project late (“sure, I sell pallet rack”) and try to buy the project at a low price.  They are generally a one-trick pony (low price, low quality, and inexperienced). Be advised and stay away from the Vultures.

Obviously, I would expect most companies to choose (draft) a company that brings a quality performance every time at reasonable price. There’s no hype — just consistent results for every project. When you draft this team, you get elite results with minimal risk (see handcuff). Think of Peyton Manning last year in the 2013 draft: he had a reasonable cost (2-3 round), but provided elite results.

Hopefully this lightened up your day and provides a bit of guidance the next time you’re selecting a pallet rack supplier.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pallet Rack Installations: Why Professional Installation Matters

In times of old, it was commonplace to do nearly everything yourself; from house maintenance and construction, to making clothes, to growing and hunting food, self-reliance was a must.  Then, with increasing availability of inexpensive services, came the trend of hiring others to do things for us, which resulted in a widespread lack of skills and unnecessary spending.  So, unsurprisingly, the winds have once again shifted, and people are taking to their tool sheds to engage in DIY projects. 

While there is worth in being able to do things without needing to hire others to do them for you, there are some things that simply should be left to professionals.  Gas appliance repairs, roofing work, checking for underground electrical wires are a few examples of things that should be left to professionals for safety reasons.  There are also jobs that should be left to professionals due to the standards of quality enforced by the professionals, which many amateurs may not be able to meet.  We can all probably think of a few things we’d rather leave to the pros because, put simply, they’re a lot better at it, and it shows in the end result.  Pallet rack installation is a combination of both of these categories.

Installing pallet rack may seem straightforward enough at first — “hook the beam into the upright slot, put the wire decking on top, whatever,” you might think.  However, it’s not quite this simple, and the stakes are extremely high when it comes to ensuring your pallet rack is installed correctly.

Pallet rack is made from steel for a reason: it’s generally used to hold a lot of weight — many thousands of pounds, usually.  When this type of weight is being stored on a tall, relatively slim structure, the importance of correct installation, down to every little detail, cannot be exaggerated. Even the most minute misplacement of a component or absence of a safety pin could spell disaster.  Professional installation means your pallet rack is attentively and deliberately installed by those who do so for a living, and can offer you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pallet rack is assembled the way it was intended to be.

While safety is paramount, productivity is never far behind, and pallet rack installations done by professionals will deliver the results you want by ensuring the pallet rack system is installed to function the way you want.  If you have your pallet rack system designed by professionals (which we advise), then it stands to reason you would have it installed by professionals as well.  Even if your pallet rack isn’t designed by professionals, professional installation will all but guarantee that your pallet rack is installed correctly, and in the right position, in order to deliver optimal performance to your warehouse.

As it turns out, there are also more specific reasons why it’s important to have your pallet rack professionally installed.  Consider these points from AK’s own Rack Systems Specialist +Brian Koski:

“An improper rack installation will void the manufacturers’ warranty”

“Our crew will safely install rack 2-5 times faster than most customers who choose to install the rack themselves.”

“Professional rack crews are properly insured, and have the right equipment to safely install pallet rack.”

If you’re in need of professional pallet rack installation, or simply are interested in learning more about the process, give us a call at 800-722-5908 or email us at sales@akequipment.com to chat with one of our friendly pallet rack design and installation specialists.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AK Receives 2013 Baker’s Dozen Award from Ridg-U-Rak

There are a lot of elements that contribute to the success of a company, both tangible and intangible, and which can vary from business to business, and industry to industry.  Beyond these, and more specifically, there are factors that complement each other in the creation of a successful material handling outfitter.  Meaningful business relationships, quality product offering, and, of course, product sales all fall within this realm, and the opportunity to work each day towards goals such as these is one of the things that excites us about what we do at AK. 

August 13th, we were proud to be presented with the 2013 Baker’s Dozen award from Ridg-U-Rak.  The Baker’s Dozen is an award given annually by Ridg-U-Rak to its top 13 distributors, and is gauged both by sales volume and total activity throughout the course of the year. This is our fourth consecutive year obtaining the award.  


As one of the largest pallet rack manufacturers in the whole of North America, Ridg-U-Rak pumps out a staggering 100 million pounds of pallet rack each year.  They’ve been a force for innovation since their inception over 65 years ago, and continue to be one today.

We’re grateful to Ridg-U-Rak — It’s an honor to be ranked in the top tier of distributors for such a sizable company — as well as our loyal customers, without whom selling pallet rack would be impossible.  We hope it’s a positive indicator of our progression as a leader in pallet rack and material handling equipment.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fun Friday. ALS #icebucketchallenge Accepted by AK Material Handling Systems

It’s happened — the viral trend that’s sweeping the nation and leaving participants drenched in ice water has reached our headquarters in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  We couldn’t be happier about it, too.  The Ice Bucket Challenge, also known as the 24-Hour Challenge, challenges participants to dump a bucket of ice water on their head, make a donation to The ALS Association, or both.  How does one become a participant? Prior to dumping ice water on their heads, participants nominate others to do the same, and the trend continues, growing exponentially larger.  The sensation has caught the attention of celebrities as well, with a number of public figures volunteering their efforts in videos that have already reached millions.

Yesterday, +AK Material Handling Systems  was nominated by MH Installations, and today we’re proud to say we’ve joined the fight against ALS by doing a team ice bucket dump.  Twelve of us, clad mostly in tee shirts and swim shorts, dumped five gallon buckets of ice water on our heads, and it was great.  Whenever an opportunity to simultaneously give back to the community and build team camaraderie presents itself, we do our best to make the most of it.



We hope those of you who are able to will join us and the countless others who have either donated or participated in the challenge to help raise awareness. As a company we are making a $250 donation to the cause.

And who are we nominating?  Unex Manufacturing, MHEDA, and WPRP - Pennsylvania!

Learn more about #icebucketchallenge here: http://www.alsa.org/news/archive/als-ice-bucket-challenge.html

Thank you MH Installations for the Challenge!

Check out the videos from Unex Manufacturing, MHEDA, and WPRP - Pennsylvania!

Unex Manufacturing MHEDA WPRP - Pennsylvania

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Meet the Faces Behind the Brand: Tiege Quinn

Today we’ll be continuing our Meet the Faces Behind the Brand blog series. This week’s face behind the brand: Tiege Quinn. Tiege is a warehouse specialist at +AK Material Handling Systems, and also manages new product inventory.  Equally important, he’s an adept angler, regularly competing and placing in fishing tournaments; if anyone here at AK needs advice on how to catch more than a nice sunburn on their next fishing outing, they know where to look. In this interview, Tiege talks about AK’s company culture, what he’s got playing on his iPod, and, of course, his affinity for rod and reel.

Tiege, what is your role at AKMHS and how long have you been with the company?
My role at AK is warehouse specialist/ new product inventory management and I have been with the company for three years.

How would you describe the company culture here at AK?
The company culture here at AK is all about teamwork and top quality service with an emphasis on having fun while we do it.

What excites you most about the future at AK?
It is excites me to see us growing with our team out in PA and shipping more and more across the country.

You’re a fishing guru.  Can you tell us a little about that?
It is true I am a die hard fisherman. I'm in my third year of fishing bass tournaments with a local BASS Nation club and also do a lot of fishing and teaching with my son Tobias.

What’s playing in your mp3 player or car stereo right now?
My radio is on 93x my iPod is on Nelly country grammar. I like a bit of everything

What do you enjoy most about what you do?
What I enjoy most about what I do is the fact that I don't have to go to the gym to lift weights after a day of work and knowing that I work for one of the BEST company's in the state.


  Tiege Quinn Fun Facts: 

- Tiege hasn’t taken a car to a mechanic in over 10 years. 

- He got his first bass at age 10, fishing in a flooded corn field on the side of the road.

- He’s a former military police officer.

- He has one child named Tobias.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Meet the Faces Behind the Brand: Jake Koski

Today, we continue our weekly blog series, “Meet the Faces Behind the Brand,” in which we get to know the people that make AK Material Handling Systems a great place to work.  This week, we talked with inside sales/rack specialist Jake Koski.  Jake works hard to ensure AK’s customers receive the helpful, professional experience they’ve come to expect from AKMHS.  In this week’s installment, Jake talks about what it’s like to work with his dad and brother in-law, his opinion on what makes AK such a fun place to work, what excites him most about the future of the company, and other topics as well.


What is your role at AKMHS?
I am an inside sales rack specialist.

How long have you been with AK?

12 years

What is the most exciting aspect of your position?

One of the most exciting aspects would be working with the customer from start to finish. It’s very gratifying to see the project through to the end.

What excites you the most about the future at AK?
I would say the growth of the company. I’ve been here 12 years and it’s amazing what has changed in that time. So I’m very excited to see what the future has to bring.

Do you have any role models or people you truly look up to?
I do, most of them are family members.

How do you think AK was able to be ranked as a Top 100 Company to work for three consecutive years?
Hard work, dedicated team members and drive to succeed!

As most people know AK is a very tight company, can you share what it’s like to work with your father and also your brother in-law?
 It’s great! I’m guessing not to many people can say they get to play pool with their dad at lunch every day. It’s nice working with my brother in-law to but he is afraid to play me in game of pool.

In Five words of less describe Jake Koski:
Dedicated, Honest, Fun and Reliable


  Jake Koski Fun Facts: 

- Spent a month abroad in Australia visiting his sister. 

- Shot his first buck at 300+ yards in Northern, MN

- Caught a Marlin in Mexico with his buddies. 

- Has four older sisters with twelve nieces and nephews 

- Self proclaimed Fantasy Football Nerd 

- Has dog named Remi