Mobile shelving for off-site storage: What are your options?

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Storage is a universal need, as important to industrial manufacturers as it is to small-business retailers with limited inventory space or libraries with more books than staff members know what to do with.

But there comes a time when businesses and organizations must ask: What do I do if on-site storage isn't enough?

Before you consider moving materials off-site to storage containers or investing in a whole new facility, we challenge you to ask yourself a different question: Why isn't your on-site storage enough?

Off-site storage ought to be strategic, not reactive

No one spends incredible capital on off-site storage without good reason to. But jumping right to off-site storage as a solution to on-site storage issues fails to address the real problem: inefficient, inflexible shelving options.

Let's use libraries and library storage as examples. One library, compelled by an evolving media environment, now has a greater need for computer labs and communal spaces than ever before. So after conducting resource analysis and developing a responsive archival/retrieval system, this library decides to move a large portion of its collection off premises, giving patrons new resources without depriving them of valuable information. In this way, off-site storage makes sense, right?

Well, that depends: Did decision-makers at that library first weigh the benefits of a high-density storage system for on-site operations?

Mobile shelving can reduce storage footprints by 50 percent, thus maximizing the space adopters already own and pay for. It's entirely possible, even probable, that the one-time installation of a mobile shelving system would not cost nearly as much as constructing, maintaining and powering an entirely new off-site storage facility.

High-density HI-BAY MOBILE shelving from MontelHigh-density HI-BAY MOBILE shelving from Montel

Challenges of off-site storage logistics

If storage users can help it, they're far better off investing in smarter shelving solutions that keep their resources close by rather than at remote warehouses.

Off-site storage requires advanced cataloging and logistics networks designed to transport resources between facilities and central hubs. More importantly, these processes have to run like clockwork. Otherwise, retrieval or restocking problems will outweigh the value of freeing up space at the main headquarters.

If, for example, retail managers with off-site storage cannot check on off-site inventories or quickly truck in goods that are out of stock, they will miss opportunities to capitalize on hot trends and turn a profit. Without these frameworks in place, it's better to optimize on-site storage with custom mobile shelving than to risk hurting your business or organization in the name of helping it. More efficient on-site storage keeps everything under one roof and limits the amount of change necessary to adapt.

Are storage containers worth it?

Of course, there are other options available for off-site storage. The question is whether they're as beneficial as storage users need them to be.

One popular option – though we certainly don't know why – is the storage container. One pricing study found that storage container rentals could cost anywhere between $50 and $500 per month or more, not including delivery and pickup costs, which vary according to the renter's proximity to the rental company. Modifications, such as insulation or refrigeration, will drive up prices, and the best deals force renters into multiyear contracts. And for what? A big empty metal box that could run you hundreds of dollars every time you want to pull materials, merchandise or equipment from it?

Instead of throwing that money down a hole, organizations should put it toward custom on-site high-density mobile shelving they can use to store what they want as they want and access it whenever they want at no additional cost.

Support better off-site storage with high-capacity mobile shelving

Sometimes off-site storage is an unquestionable necessity. In those cases, storage users must be careful not to repeat history by investing in static, prefabricated L&T shelving and go mobile instead. Here's why:

  • Mobile shelving scales sensibly: High-density mobile storage allows users to grow without wasting space, taking advantage of every cubic foot and upholding good organization.
  • Mobile shelving changes with you: Mobile shelving systems from Montel require no tools or technicians to adjust. When inventory needs evolve, so can storage with minimal effort.
  • Mobile shelving offers diversity: Installations can be customized to include cabinets, lockers, bins, dividers and virtually anything else users could need. Ask your local Authorized Montel Distributor about how you can build a mobile shelving system all your own.
  • Mobile shelving makes room for success: No off-site storage facility is 100 percent storage. By optimizing the off-site storage footprint at all times, mobile shelving users save space for other necessities like offices and meeting areas.

For more information on whether you need manual, mechanical-assist or powered mobile shelving for your off-site storage facility or high-density industrial mobile racking for your warehouse, check out insights on the Montel blog or contact us today.

5 school shelving ideas that have absolutely nothing to do with library storage

Here are four examples of areas at your school that could use better shelving - and no, none of them is a library.
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Here on the Montel blog, we've talked a lot about library shelving systems. And why not? As digitization and multimedia resources change how people seek out information, libraries must adapt. They are, after all, the stewards of that information. In our minds, mobile library shelving helps librarians rise to the occasion.

But what if your library is more than just a library? What if your library is part of a school or university? If that's the case, extra space in your stacks may be but one of your many storage concerns.

Here are five examples of areas at your school that could use better shelving – and no, none of them is a library.

Stock your cafeteria with all the best foods and supplies.Stock your cafeteria with all the best foods and supplies.

1. Cafeteria

It's always better for the budget to buy food in bulk, right? Well, not if you lack the space to properly store your plus-sized groceries. Mobile storage systems in your dining hall can save your school money by allowing staff to take advantage of low-cost wholesale ingredients and keep perishable goods in a clean, controlled environment. Organization never tasted so good.

2. Arts programs

Let's face it: These days, there's little room left for arts education. No, we're not talking about space measured in square footage but rather dollars available in school budgets. Any proposed investments to arts programs, therefore, must demonstrate a great deal of value to the school board before they are approved. Does a custom mobile shelving installation make the cut? Consider the versatility of these shelving modules:

Music department
Ever tried to fit a sousaphone on prefabricated static shelving? Not many have. But thanks to our manual, mechanical-assist and powered mobile shelving units, you won't have to either. They're built with easily adjustable shelves that don't require tools or professional assistance.

Properly store expensive musical instruments.Properly store expensive musical instruments.

Theatre department
Who knows what next year's spring musical will be? Better play it safe by storing all your costumes on clothing racks and in bins available for any of our mobile storage solutions. Check out this custom mobile storage installation we made for Laval University and its theatre department. It even included shelving for the school's audiovisual equipment.

Save costumes season after season.Save costumes season after season.

Fine arts department
Student artwork deserves the same level of preservation used in museum storage. Collapsible, accordion-style mobile shelving installations can protect their masterpieces from damage – and perhaps a campus cat burglar or two.

Hang student paintings on double-sided mobile art racks.Hang student paintings on double-sided mobile art racks.

Best of all, a single custom mobile shelving installation can serve all three departments. Reach out to your nearest Authorized Montel Distributor to find out more.

Safeguard student health with organized medical supplies.Safeguard student health with organized medical supplies.

3. Nurse's office

In elementary and middle schools, nurses act as de facto pharmacists, administering doses of important medication and safeguarding emergency medical supplies. So don't these health care professionals deserve the same resources pharmacists, clinicians and doctors use to save space in their facilities? And isn't it imperative we keep potentially hazardous materials out of the hands of young students?

High-density QuadraMobile shelving, for example, won't take up much space, but it will deliver a great deal of storage power and organization. Moreover, custom locking mechanisms can prevent unauthorized access and tampering.

Mobile shelving keeps all college sports equipment organized.Organize all your college sports equipment.

4. Athletic department

Even though we've discussed sports storage on this blog about as much as we've discussed library storage, we don't mind repeating ourselves: Any school or university with an active and diverse athletic department should consider the benefits of installing space-saving mobile storage.

Montel can help your school design a one-of-a-kind mobile storage system that combines lockers, cabinets, drawers and more. We can even customize your end panels to match your school colors or proudly display your logo on each unit. If your coaches are tired of cleaning up after every game or replacing broken or lost equipment, add mobile storage systems to your locker rooms. They encourage organization and reduce your storage footprint.

Secure weapons with smart storage features.Secure weapons with smart storage features.

5. Campus security

Every student deserves a safe learning environment. That's why smart leaders overseeing large universities and college campus arm their security professionals well with guns and other equipment stored in mobile weapon storage. High-density shelving protects the integrity of security assets and restricts usage to those who are authorized to carry them.

Summer break won't last forever. Start your school year off right with mobile storage. Check out the Montel catalog for information about all our different storage modules and customizable features.