Don’t Forget Your Maintenance
Inspections tend to reduce inconvenient call outs and identify problems before they become serious. However, apart from a natural resistance to inspection costs, actually doing a mobile base inspection properly is not easy. Most inspections more often than not take place in freezer stores. The warehouses are busy, making it difficult to inspect the mobile bases sequentially. Reach trucks are not always on hand to remove pallets to expose motors and pinions. The most frustrating aspect is receiving no feedback after sending the report and repair quote to the client. When the repairs are finally authorised, often several years later, the increased costs make clients unhappy.However, we have noticed that clients who have their Storax systems inspected regularly and do the resulting repairs, if any, have lower overall costs. The cost saving can be significant. Another spin off is an improvement in the standard of forklift driving as the operators know that their impact damage will be picked up.
But the situation is continuing to change. Some customers, especially those who have experienced a rack collapse, are now required to supply rack and mobile base safety reports and certificates to their insurers. This follows the UK experience where company executives have been made responsible for rack collapses. But whereas UK warehouses and cold stores do weekly in house rack inspections, and only use outside experts to provide an objective check, in South Africa, pro-active in house rack inspections are extremely rare.
This is why Barpro is now encouraging customers to sign up for Service Level Agreements or SLAs. With an SLA a customer gets an additional interactive 3 dimensional record for each mobile base showing what needs replacing now as well as components that need to be “watched.” Under SLAs, inspections should be done at least twice a year and as such the reports will give a good service history for each Storax system. The racking superstructure could also be checked, although this will obviously take longer and will be done on an “as seen” basis. Being confident that regular inspections will be beneficial for the customer, it may be possible to offer a discount on spares bought as a result of an SLA inspection.
If anyone has any comments or suggestions as to how SLA inspections could be further developed to suit their requirements we would be happy to consider them. So much so that the contributors of the best 5 suggestions will each receive a free rack inspection tool. Please address the suggestions to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.