Automation in 45 Minutes! Fully automated Rack Clad Warehousing solutions from SSI SCHAEFER

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As we emerge from the doldrums of the COVID disruption, we all find ourselves seeking new and innovative solution to bolster our business productivity and profitability, through various channels.

To generate higher margins and create higher efficiencies in our supply chains, we need to address several processes in our operations portfolio.

Logistics & warehousing infrastructures are a critical part of any supply chain operational model. We see a renewed focus on inventory positioning, given the attention on supply chain risk management and the exponential growth in e-commerce activities, as well as higher demand for cold chain logistics.

The last 30 years has seen an impressive evolution in warehousing configurations and their uses. Starting off with simple low level, “just storage solutions”, we have evolved to “high bay fully automated racking systems”, enhanced with technology that has created big shifts in the logistics efficiencies and productivity.     

Many innovations have been achieved and much progress has been made in storage and warehousing technology. But the new era demands more and better. This new demand is driven by the new paradigms created out of several of the recent disruptive events, which has made manufacturers, distributors and consumers re-think their supply chain strategies and value propositions.


Customer Challenges

At SSI SCHAEFER, we go beyond basic economic parameters. Our many years of industrial and logistics storage experience, points us to focus on our Customers’ needs and how we can help them succeed. Our Customers are searching for even better solutions for the future that would make their supply chain operations more resilient, technology enabled and scalable/adaptable to meet their Customers’ demands.

The challenges of our Customers, become our challenges. As a critical solutions provider, we have to help our customers conceptualise the optimum model for their business. Then design, build and deliver the best. The process may sound simple and in most part it is. But it is the expertise, knowledge and proven solutions delivered that make the difference. The E-Conomy SEA 2020 Report, has highlighted a significant shift in the buying behaviour across Southeast Asia. This is a key factor in consideration of the changing landscape and use of quality warehouse spaces.

Some may say a ‘warehouse is a warehouse’ – no big deal ! But for our Customers it is a very big deal ! And why is this so? Because aligning the Customers’ needs to the solution providers expertise is vital. This may seem obvious, but it is not always evident! It is about Customer and Supplier priorities and focus.

Whilst a solution provider is thinking about selling their solutions, the Customer is thinking about Risks, Time to deploy, Costs, Changing market conditions, evolving geo-political scenarios for location(s) and deciding on the right solution to their problem. These are very real Customer issues and considerations.

And it is based on these important Customer issues that SSI SCHAEFER develops the right solution for their purpose.


Advancing Innovative Solutions

Leveraging on the multi-component options available to SSI SCHAEFER as a solutions provider, with direct access to design capabilities, hardware, technology, various component materials and a sound knowledge of automated warehousing, gives our Customers a wide variety of options. The SSI SCHAEFER broad capabilities to develop and optimise dedicated solutions, are a critical asset for Customers.

Rack Clad warehouses are not new and the construction concept has been in the market for many years. However, using a rack clad concept, coupled with integrated advanced technologies, ASRS systems, smart building systems and optimised flows, which use advanced adaptive design methodologies, to meet Customer’s new realities, makes the SSI SCHAEFER Solution a very innovative, efficient and cost effective solution for now and future.

What is a Rack Clad warehouse ? “It is mounting a purpose design racking on a concrete base in the open air. The rack is then used as the supporting structure for the roof and façade. Other buildings could be annexed to the clad building to house all other supporting infrastructure. It is a very effective way to construct a warehousing and logistics facility, with scalability and speed.”

Whilst the functionality of each Customer’s solution is the main scope and priority, rack clad warehouses are proving to be extremely versatile in deployment. The concept maximises land space to improve land cost, since rack clad warehouses are built without using the traditional columns and racking supports that is critical for roofs, it makes the solution compact, have a smaller footprint with a highly optimised building height.  Customers can expect an even shorter time to market to serve their customers since the building construction time is short, and while the façade is aesthetically pleasant, these warehouses can fit into any environment, including urban areas without being an eye sore.

Rack clad warehousing solutions have been proved to save of operating costs where heating or cooling is much more efficient. This feature also makes this concept highly effective for cold chain warehousing and logistics applications where controlling temperature & humidity levels is so crucial. Typically integrated with technologies such as an automated storage and retrieval system and a powerful WMS, a automated warehouse eco-system would cut-down man and product interface and with the use of accurate inventory data, products damage & wastage can be drastically reduced or removed in the long run.

This flexible modality aids accessibility for easier proximity distribution in urban and suburban areas yet brings notable benefits for the operating distribution costs.            

Future Proofing Warehousing Solutions

The journey of a rack clad fully automated warehouse, begins with simple ideas for moving goods in and out of storage and adding value to the end consumer. But it is more than that. The journey gets more interesting and develops into a success story, when we truly deploy collaborative approach. Starting with SSI SCHAEFER and Our Customers, that develops into that deeper collaboration between Technology, Automation and Humans.

Understanding these dynamics is fundamental to defining the concept, designing and deployment of the best solution for the Customer’s business model. Customers may not be experts on Rack Clad Automated warehouses, but they are experts of the business model, their products and their Customers. They want to have Safe Operating Environments, Scalability for Future Expansion and Cost Effective investments, with operational solutions that can be deployed in any part of the world without constraints.

Embarking on a Rack Clad Automated Warehouse, is not just buying a service or a piece of hardware, but is really about a full engagement of many stakeholders to achieve a successful outcome. As such Project management and support is vital to guide Customers to attain the best from the SSI  SCHAEFER solution, a strong collaboration is required upfront – starting at the concept stage. This is where SSI SCHAEFER will support its Customer to design and develop the most optimised solution for their purpose. Working in close collaboration with Customers, we get to understand what are their specific logistics needs. By adding our experience, our partners with construction knowledge and our technology solutions, we can in a very short time, meet our Customers needs.

Making that important Decision

We often hear our customers ask if a rack clad automated warehouse is suitable for everyone ? This is a “big” question and one that deserves a considered response. Most supply chains today need to be robust, timely in execution, flexible in adaptation, efficient in operations and deliver accurate results.

Everyone is searching to deploy such characteristics into their logistics and warehousing models to create resiliency in their supply chains. It is for this reason that the SSI SCHAEFER answer is a very clear – Yes! 

A rack clad automated warehouse is a fundamental enabler to help embed critical supply chain characteristics into the execution of a warehousing and logistics model. It is an extension of the tactical arsenal that businesses need to effectively deliver its offering.

The SSI SCHAEFER 8 step methodology, has proven to be a very useful reference for all our projects. Let SSI SCHAEFER help you in this critical journey not only to discover the advantages of these solution but to enable you to deploy fast, effective and high returns on your investment.

For more details, please contact Allison Kho at

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