The recent installation of a new vertical storage machine at Kennards Hire Penrith has allowed staff to optimise available storage space, and make retrieval of equipment faster and easier. The machine was installed in May, and it has proven to be highly successful.
A vertical storage machine is an innovative solution that takes advantage of high warehouse ceilings, enabling equipment to be stacked right up to the roof. The 7.14m high machine is easy to operate – the equipment is placed in the drawer at the front and then it’s lifted to a storage shelf higher up. Laser sensors detect the height of objects and determine how to stack everything to maximise space.
Retrieval is easy – once a staff member has requested a piece of equipment, the machine can locate it, retrieve and dispense it via the drawer at the front within 30-40 seconds, cutting down on customer wait times.
Housed on 20mm steel plates, the machine weighs in at 12 tonnes when empty, and can weigh as much as 24 tonnes when full.
By freeing up space that was previously used for storage, Kennards Hire Penrith has created more room for equipment display. Instead of multiples of the same items, a single example of each item is on display in the showroom. Once a customer selects what they want using the display items as a guide, their chosen piece of equipment is retrieved from the machine.
The machine is filled with a range of smaller equipment including demolition saws, tarpaulins and smaller generators, along with the entire range of Hilti equipment. Because all these items are in a single place, staff no longer have to retrieve items from multiple locations within the branch, improving the level of service they are able to provide to customers.
What are the benefits for customers?
The machine has benefited customers in two main ways:
- Faster service: Because all of the smaller equipment is stored in a single location, it’s easier to serve customers quickly. Before they got the machine, staff had to move around to different locations in the branch to retrieve multiple items to fill customer orders. Now it can be all done from one place, speeding things up considerably and allowing staff more time to interact with customers.
- Less manual handling = improved safety: The machine comes with its own lift, so there’s no need for staff or customers to reach up to higher shelves to retrieve items, or to bend down and fetch things off low shelves. There’s also no need to carry equipment around the branch. Overall, this means a lower risk of injuries and a generally easier, more convenient process for everyone. Safety is always an important consideration at Kennards Hire.
The vertical storage machine is a perfect example of the innovative approach and simple solutions that are integral to the success of Kennards Hire. Improving processes and operational capabilities makes customers’ jobs easier and safer too.