5 May 2014

In my home town of Christchurch it's the rainy season. It's the time of year when we get day after day of rain showers. The weather clears, but not usually for very long before the next shower. This year has been particularly extreme with much flooding.

For the window industry this means that less of their product is required on site as the builders don't usually want to be installing windows in the rain. When it does clear all the builders want their windows delivered at once. The challenge is to manage the stored product efficiently and also minimise storage damage to finished goods.

By 'efficiently" I mean in way that allows the staff to select the required house lot when it's needed and quickly get it onto the delivery vehicle and on its way to site. This is not achieved by stacking house lots against house lots against house lots.

To minimise storage damage to finished goods is also very difficult and very expensive if you get it wrong. Each time an item is man handled there is a risk of damage.

The first step to addressing these issues is to make sure you have enough finished goods storage area for your worst week. Most plan their factory layouts for a typical week and get caught short when it rains. Most factories are tall enough for vertical lengths of extrusions (needed at the start of the factory process but not at the end), and hence can stack finished goods 2 units high at the finished goods end of the factory. Mezzanine floors work well.

The second step is to setup your factory so it has storage systems which allows the easy manipulation of house lots. Demountable frames are ideal as finished goods are loaded onto them off the production line and they can be forklifted into and out of  storage very quickly.

The third step is protection products such as our Profoams. These help reduce damage to finished goods in all types of storage and transportation systems, and only work if you have enough of them for your worst overstocking nightmare.

The final step is the delivery solution. Systems which are quick to load and unload mean that turnarounds are quicker and more deliveries are achieved per day. Our Window Transportation System speeds this process.

Let it rain …….