Founded in 2006, Denali Ingredients serves the dairy, ice cream, bakery and food service industries as a leading supplier of chocolate coatings, fudge sauces, powders, fruit varieties, stabilizers, extruded products, flakes and other ingredients. The manufacturer also services the ever-growing gluten-free, organic and non-GMO ingredient markets.
With ingredients in such high demand, Denali experienced rapid growth, as it opened a second plant in 2009 and a third in 2018. To accommodate its expanding business, Denali used outside warehousing services that decreased the processing time.
However, Jon Manegold, warehouse manager, and Robb Hinn, vice president of operations, knew exactly what they needed to do: create a new space internally for dry storage, cold storage and freezer storage. This space, in particular, would allow them to maintain their customer focus on providing the quickest lead time in the industry (at 15 days)—and position themselves for continuous growth.
To achieve these goals, Denali partnered with Wisconsin Lift Truck, whose consultants stepped in to offer advice on a winning solution (which included a pushback rack) that brought their vision to life. Specifically, the pushback rack offered Denali the high-density storage it needed. To load, pallets are placed with a forklift on nested carts that ride on inclined rails. Each pallet is then pushed back by the next pallet loaded, thus exposing the next cart.
For unloading, the front pallet is removed, allowing other carts to roll gently to the front. Because the facility has 2,400 pallet positions, it needed something robust—the pushback rack provided the quality and durability the project required.
Denali also purchased a stand-up electric counterbalanced forklift to work with the pushback rack.
“Not only were ergonomics [of the lift truck] 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 [that] was quality built and reliable,” says Manegold.
As a result of these purchases, Denali is now poised for future growth.
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