Safety is a busy distribution facility’s No. 1 priority. These operations can't afford to have accidents or equipment not working properly.
Just because you have a smaller operation doesn't mean you don't face similar security, safety and operational issues as larger operations.
Food and pharmaceutical facilities have to be extremely conscious of any potential air leaks, visible light and energy loss.
When protecting and monitoring the thermal envelope is critical — such as in a cooler or freezer facility — sealing the loading dock door and lock leveler is imperative.
Creating and maintaining a safe work environment is the keystone of any successful warehouse and loading dock operation.
Temperature-controlled facilities (such as cold storage facilities) pose unique challenges as they are specifically designed to accommodate a range of different temperature and humidity needs for all varieties of products.
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Trevor Walker has been in the warehouse and supply chain industry for more than five years. As plant manager for Propak Corporation’s Kansas City, Kan. location, Walker has witnessed his share of excess wear and tear on his facility’s equipment.
Walker’s 65,000 square-foot warehouse operation experiences has a high volume of traffic with 500 total trailer transactions per week across only 11 dock doors. With the facility delegating the work amongst five forklifts, there comes a high degree of operational risk – even with a properly trained staff.
The high volume of trailer activity generated a growing need for dock door panel repairs and replacements. This was primarily due to forklifts constantly colliding with door panels. The forklifts were not only damaging the doors’ bottom panels, but intermediate panels (those above the bottom panel) as well.
Increased downtime due to frequent panel replacements
Twice a month, Walker had been having to replace door panels, which was slowing production and increasing downtime at his facility. As a result, his repair and replacement costs had risen to more than $1,000 per month. Walker knew he needed to quickly resolve the issue at hand. He determined the quicker he could find the right product solution, the quicker his repair and replacement costs would drop.
“I was trying to find a solution to the recurring panel damage so it wouldn’t happen anymore,” said Walker. “I needed to eliminate the problem.”
Fortunately for Walker, he was able to find the ideal product solution he needed from local aftermarket solutions Representative Rob Jackson of Premier Material Handling.
Jackson introduced Walker to the FLEX-BACK™ Panel and urged him to try the product on a trial basis at his Propak facility in May of 2017. That product trial would be the turning point for his troublesome damaged door panels problem.
To kick off the product trial, Walker installed the first FLEX-BACK Panel on his highest traffic volume door. From May to September 2017, he closely monitored the new door panel’s performance as it withstood repeated abuse. It wasn’t long before Walker realized the FLEX-BACK Panel could reduce or even eliminate his monthly door repair and replacement costs. Once the trial stage concluded, Walker wasted no time in declaring the FLEX-BACK Panel was the product solution he had been looking for.
Repair costs reduced, safety improved
“Deciding to go with the FLEX-BACK Panel was an easy decision. It has not only greatly reduced my repair costs, but it has also boosted the safety on my loading docks,” Walker shared. “The product is definitely doing its job.”
Having seen the product’s advantages firsthand, Walker laid out budget that would allow him to add one FLEX-BACK Panel every month until each dock door had been upgraded.
So far, Walker has followed through with his plan. Since September of 2017, he’s reinforced four more doors with FLEX-BACK Panels.
Walker is well aware of the fact that with the high volume of daily traffic, human error is the nature of the industry. Although forklifts are still hitting dock doors, the FLEX-BACK Panels and the doors themselves have yet to succumb to what he calls “the nature of the industry.” As a result, APS Resource has certainly gained Walker’s trust due to the FLEX-BACK Panel’s ongoing performance and reliability.
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