At the time of writing this blog I've just spent my first week of being both Mum and Dad to my daughter Lorelei, while my wife and son are offshore. If you're a solo parent you have my instant respect! I'm one down and one week to go before they return, so at least for me the end is in sight. Lord knows how solo parents do this for week after week, monthly after month, year after year.

Anyways, the glass and window industry.…. during the last week I've been helping out some local glass and window customers with issues relating to the weather. In Christchurch where I live we are mid-winter, and our city has just had 400% of our months rainfall in a very short period. Some came as hail and snow, but mostly as consistent rainfall. Many construction sites are flooded or bogged, and not many are wanting their windows delivered, so the stock is fair piling up in the plants which make windows. Most factories are sized for "just in time" or "lean manufacturing" or 
"MRP" and "MRP2" (for those old grey haired manufacturers), so most don't have the spare space needed to store weeks of production of finished windows and doors.
So, how would your factory cope with no deliveries of finished product for a week? Do you have plans for additional storage? One of the challenges is that if you keep stacking units against units you create a nightmare for yourself when you need to deliver any one unit – shuffling of finished goods is not only time consuming and hard on staff, it also increases the likelihood of damaging your most valuable stock – finished goods. The best storage system allows easy access, which is usually the first trade-off to find more space. 

One solution is to create a messanine floor in your finished goods area. Most window companies need tall ceilings of 6 metres or more for the start of the production process (handling linear lengths of material) but by the time processing is complete most finished units are less than 2.5 metres tall. So this creates an opportunity (yeah yeah, I know, in an ideal world ..) to create a two-storey finished goods area. Messanine floors work really well for demountable frames as finished loads can be simply forklifted into and out of storage with minimal disruption. So I know not all factories are ideal environments, but I challenge you to consider where in your factory you could build a messanine style floor to create additional storage should you one day need it.


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