Problem: How to quickly move two separate parts departments to a new location with a limited amount of space, while leaving room for expansion
Solution: Back-to-back cabinets with overhead storage
Benefits: Cabinets could be pre-loaded and moved with no disruption in business. The new department is clean and organized.
Merging two busy shops into one at a new location is an ambitious task, to say the least. It’s even more ambitious if the goal is to make the move without disrupting business. That’s exactly what RDO Equipment Company, an equipment dealership specializing in John Deere® products, set out to do when it decided to consolidate two of its stores—one for agricultural and consumer products, the other for construction products—into a single new facility in Moorhead, Minn.
One of the more challenging aspects of the move was merging the two stores’ parts departments, but the RDO management team saw the challenge as an opportunity to make the department better organized. Their goal at the new store would be to tighten up inventory and keep everything easily accessible from the parts counter. With double the inventory in one space, meeting this goal would require a system that allowed for fast, efficient retrieval of parts with minimal time spent walking up and down aisles.
“We considered a number of different storage options for the new location, including racking and shelving,” says Terry Burchill, aftermarket manager for the combined store. In the old stores, parts were housed in a combination of steel shelves, pallet racks, and display fixtures. The new store would require something considerably more efficient. “We decided that cabinets would do the best job at optimizing the available space,” Burchill said.
RDO brought in Stanley Vidmar Storage Sales Engineer Michael Fiorito to create a layout for the new facility. Fiorito’s plan included back-to-back drawer units with overhead storage cabinets. The cabinets not only maximized the use of available space, but also left enough room above them for a mezzanine, should RDO need additional storage in the future. “The Vidmar cabinets will give us the opportunity to expand our storage capacity as we grow,” says Burchill.
Vidmar also helped make the move relatively painless. The cabinets came already assembled and fitted with drawer partitions specified by the customer. Rather than shipping the cabinets directly to the new store, Vidmar shipped them to the old locations so that RDO could load them up before the move. They were delivered completely stocked to the new facility. “The ability to pre-load the cabinets, then move them, is a big selling point,” says Fiorito. “If someone wants to relocate their parts room, this is the way to do it.”
Burchill also decided to purchase additional cabinets with overhead bins for the new special tools room. Tools that had been scattered throughout the tool rooms at the old stores are now stored neatly and cleanly. They are also easy to locate. “We fit our special tools from the two stores into a space the size of one of the old tool rooms,” says Burchill.
RDO is more than pleased with the efficiency the new storage system has brought to the business. “The amount of space we’ve freed up is significant,” says Burchill. As for the move, he notes: “Loading and delivering the Vidmar cabinets was the easiest part.”
John Deere is a registered trademark of Deere & Company.