A customer was experiencing regular ongoing problems with the insulated loading dock doors at their retail stores. The doors were not subject to extreme operating conditions, and efficient store operations reduced the door use to a minimum, so they were not overworked, but experiencing a very high level of urgent breakdown attendance, door damage, unsuitable products and expensive repair costs. There appeared to be an obvious problem that had remained undetected up to this moment in time.
There were also concerns over poor quality products and paintwork; overall, there was an apparent lack of quality insulated sectional door product available that addressed the particular needs of the customer, and their specific store operations. Certain door parts and components, in particular, were suffering damage regularly.
Door track and internal lower door panel damage were common, this affected the store operation and efficiency, creating store security issues once the parts failed and were leading to unnecessary repair and maintenance costs that no one was identifying and addressing. Up to this point, the customer had not been aware of all the issues in their entirety. Once they were made aware of them, they recognized this and took action, requesting an investigation into the causes and to seek a solution.
1) To conduct a detailed study of the loading docks and insulated dock doors, taking into account the store operations over an eight (8) month period from 2018 through to 2019.
2) Identify all the causes of the issues; specify and design a new insulated loading dock door specifically for this Retail store requirements and operations.
3) Identify any areas of concern, whether known or not, to the customer.
4) Identify where improvements and superior quality products will resolve identified issues. Offer improvements and overall offer a superior quality product to that which is currently on offer from the existing suppliers.
A case study was compiled from these store visits, using documentary evidence and photographs; revealing a pattern of issues being experienced in almost every store. A B Equipment was transparent with the customer, and highlighted the repair costs, to date, that they had spent with A B Equipment on insulated loading dock door repairs alone.
Up to this point, no other business had offered this to the customer or spent the amount of time required to put together a detailed and comprehensive report.
Our studies brought us to the conclusion that no current door suppliers were identifying or addressing these issues for the customer, so there were no door packages available to them to suit their specific requirements.
Because there were no suitable products available, we decided to start again from scratch and designed and built a new door specifically for the customer and their store operations; it is so unique to the customer that it is simply called ‘The Door’.
We actively sought out Australian made products for the new insulated door specification, where they were available. Our remit was to resolve all the issues with a permanent solution, and we achieved this with active consultation and study, honesty and transparency and many years of industry experience and knowledge. We wanted to improve the insulation rating of the door to R3.0 by sourcing the most up to date new products. We needed to add an extra layer of store security, improve the appearance of the paintwork by employing new patented paint technology, utilize PIR safety beams for protection, utilize internal hazard warning hatching on the interior of the lower door panels for visual effect and awareness, supported by internal impact beams.
All the components and parts are readily available in Australia, backed up by parts and service availability in every state, which was another critical aspect of our design remit.
We have future-proofed ‘The Door’ by adopting the most up to date products and features, and because the door design is unique it can accept new and improved products or features as they become available, so the door can be upgraded instead of being replaced, this was another critical aspect of our remit.
Finally, we were able to offer the new ‘Door’ to replace existing doors or for new store builds, at a price that is very competitive with the current supply. The customer now receives a superior quality door product, designed and specified by A B Equipment that addresses their needs, offers them cost savings in reduced energy consumption and virtually eliminate breakdowns and costly repairs, for no extra cost.
For the trial of the new ‘Door’ we supplied and installed the new door into their retail store with very high door repair costs and breakdown attendances, this was a deliberate choice to target the worst-case store and demonstrate just how good our door design was.
It has been three (3) months since the new ‘Door’ has installation and there has not been a single breakdown component failure or part failure, and there is not a single scratch or dent on the door; every feature we have specified is valid and works. The new ‘Door’ has improved the safety for the operators as well as eliminating unnecessary repairs; the specified features have created cost savings for the customer and improved store and loading dock operations and safety overall.
The installation of the new ‘Door’ took six (6) hours, due to the thorough study, planning and correct specification, including the removal of the old existing door. The installation was completely trouble free, and the new ‘Door’ worked perfectly from the start without any glitches.
A B Equipment provided thorough training for the store’s staff, which including demonstrating the features. Both the installation and the training was completed within seven (7) hours, and the store was fully operational again.
The interest and excitement this new door design has generated within the customer’s company are more than we could have expected. It has very quickly been adopted and owned; the features, design, component quality and safety aspects are clearly visible for all to see. The new ‘Door’ is undoubtedly fit for purpose and does exactly what it was designed to do.