8 Features to Look for When Purchasing Office Shelving and Lockers

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Published: 02nd February 2012
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Purchasing shelving and lockers for your office requires research to ensure that the units will meet the needs of your employees and prove long lasting. During the shopping and pricing process, look for the following eight features in shelving and lockers to get the best quality and value for your money.

SHELVING:

1. Modularity – Choose a modular system with a common frame panel that allows for expansion in any direction. This gives you the flexibility to grow your shelving as you grow your business.

2. Adjustability – Look for adjustable, not fixed, shelves within the unit. This ensures that shelving can be repurposed for employees with varying needs.

3. Strength & Durability – Quality shelving products come with the ability to increase shelf load capacity with shelf stiffeners. Look for this feature.

4. Uniformly Distributed Load – This type of construction means that your employees won’t have to worry when placing a heavy item on a shelf.

5. Versatility – Frame finishing panels, rear covers and top extrusions allow for a stylish finish in the office but are also optional and removable if the shelving will not be seen by clients or customers. You can save money with this feature by only purchasing finished pieces for regularly visible shelving units.

6. Finish – Look for a powder-coat finish. It provides a balance of style, strength and value.

7. Accessories – Dividers and bookends are essential with shelving. Only purchase units that have these add-ons. Otherwise, you will spend more time and money finding additional products to do the job.

8. Warranty – Expect no less than a 10-year warranty on your shelving.

LOCKERS:

1. Modularity – Just as with shelving, you want a locker system to grow with your company. Look for lockers that come as single units and in sets of two or three. This allows you to add on as needed and to save money when purchasing multiple lockers.

2. Fixed Features – With lockers, you should steer clear of adjustability. It is best to have fixed shelving and hooks in the units to avoid employee adjustments, which may cause damage to the units. Look for the standard hat shelf, coat rail and hooks regardless of locker size.

3. Strength & Durability – Fully welded steel, heavy-duty hinges and folded door edges result in the longest-lasting lockers.

4. Security – Each door must have provisions to fit cam locks, latch locks and flush locks. Also, look for welded door reinforcements for added security.

5. Versatility – Just as with shelving, expect a wide range of options in terms of doors. Card holders, stylish ventilation slots and flush inlay melamine are just a few of the options you should look for when shopping for lockers.

6. Finish – Only purchase lockers with an oven-baked powder-coat finish with corrosion-resistant metal treatment. This combination provides a balance of style, strength and longevity.

7. Accessories – Items such as locker stands, canopies and seats allow you to turn a bank of lockers into more of a changing area for employees. Stands are vital in wet rooms that receive regular hosing down.

8. Warranty – Expect no less than a 10-year warranty on your lockers as well.

In addition to seeking out the above features when shopping for shelving and lockers, have high expectations for the manufacturer. Look for one that makes the shopping process easier by listing all of the features and specifications of the units on its website. This allows you to do the majority of your research before beginning the pricing process. Well-respected shelving and locker manufacturers offer multiple ways to communicate during the shopping and pricing process as well. Consultation should be available by email or phone to suit your preference.

When you do speak with a manufacturer representative, provide as much information as possible regarding your office setup and employee needs. This will allow the representative to review the research you have done and tell you whether your choices will provide optimal storage and usage. In order to save time and effort on your part, you can contact a representative at the beginning of the shopping process and skip the research altogether.

Once you have decided on shelving and lockers for your office, ask the manufacturer to perform an on-site measurement visit to ensure that the units you buy will fit the given space. That way, you will provide the storage your employees need with your first attempt and avoid the hassle of units not fitting upon delivery.

Doug White writes about industrial design and workflow for a variety of trade publications. He recently helped a large company purchase shelving and lockers, and he recommended Dexion products because they offered the best mix of space utilization, safety and value.

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