Wow, it’s been a fast paced month since my last NBR column – how time flies when you’re busy.
Business in NZ must be strong – Storepro has had an all-time record month and quarter for sales. This means the retail sector must be solid; if we are spending in the shops then the warehouses and distribution centres need to be full to keep up. We are certainly having to think of new ways to maximise capacity!
We have seen considerable growth with automated satellite shuttle systems around the country lately, with the ability to store and select a pallet using remote control – much safer, faster, sustainable and accurate than traditional racking with forklifts. For example, Storepro are currently in the midst of a 16,000 tonne (1,440,000 bottles) wine project in Auckland – mostly for export. This utilises under 70,000 square feet of warehouse with Storepro’s latest design and technology. A few years ago the same project would have possibly required 300,000 square feet of storage space, so the cost saving and efficiency in Storepro’s innovation is significant.
At the other end of the spectrum Storepro have a dedicated surplus racking division that specialises in recycling and reuse of second-hand materials. Not only a saving for the customer, but helping to save our planet. This area is also busier than ever – perhaps the old Kiwi ways of trying to save a dollar never really change!
We are also seeing continual growth from Christchurch with new branches and divisions opening up again. Our Christchurch operation is very busy supporting the local business community, taking on new staff to keep up. Hopefully we are past the worst of the earthquakes. One benefit for the industry that earthquakes did have was making our whole warehousing and racking industry safer. Higher standards and new health and safety laws have meant re-engineered base designs; thicker and stronger profiles; and greater levels of compliance. Although compliance is costly for all, Storepro’s in house design team and independent engineering team ensure standards are met and ultimately safety is paramount.
To close – I was in Melbourne last week at a trade show and bumped into a customer who said “You understood my business and you saved me $1m last year… thank you.” In short, this was done by simply designing and building the warehouse storage systems correctly, directly attributing to his bottom line.
After twenty years in this industry, for me, its not about the product itself but how it is used and applied to benefit and provide a genuine solution to our customers. As our company vision states “we seek to develop the most innovative, professional and profitable experience for our clients. Our passion is for our customers, and providing them with an unparalleled level of service”
This is what keeps us at Storepro motivated – a loyal happy customer.