The Material Handling Industry represents a vast array of equipment, inventory storage products, engineered systems and automated picking and handling solutions. Most people, when looking for a material handling solution provider, will start with the basics. Our clients typically find us (McGee Storage and Handling) when they search basic keywords or phrases such as "Pallet Racking", "Warehouse Rack", "Material Handling", "Mezzanines", "Conveyor", "Industrial Shelving", "Panelized Buildings". "Parts Picking" , "Warehouse Management Systems" and so on. When you add a zip code (or city) representing the location of your facility the results are narrowed for you and presented on your monitor. Gone are the days of flipping through weighty pages of hard copy "Yellow Page" directories in search of a business that might be able to help you.
So where exactly do you start in search of a reputable Material Handling Solution Provider?
Ask yourself, What is most important?
Do you need local support? Perhaps you are moving your operations, or setting up another separate facility and you're attempting to oversee the logistics remotely. Available knowledge and resources at the local level will likely be very important to you.
You might already know a great deal about the materials that need purchasing. Maybe you have drawings of the site and facility and architect has completed a preliminary layout showing areas: receiving, staging, parts storage, work in process, packing, shipping , etc.
How would you benefit, exactly, from on-site local consultation? As they say "devil is in the details". An experienced material handling solution provider will have the knowledge needed to address local building and fire codes. Is permitting required at the county and/or city level? Local code / guideline enforcement vary considerably from literally one county (city) to the next. Also, if you plan to fill the vertical space in the facility, concrete footers and or special design considerations may be required to accommodate loads. These factors and others should be discussed upfront and should be accompanied with a site visit.
What about Installation? Most of our clients have a hard date on the schedule to "go-live". Is their appropriate man power and resources available locally to accommodate?
A simple parallel is when a homeowner considers renovating or building a home. Why do a vast majority of people look to a local, licensed builder (general contractor) for help as opposed to seeking pricing and information on line. Or contact a national builder? It is no difference when choosing a material handling provider.
Years of experience (32 to be exact) has taught me that anything can go wrong on a project. It is most likely when an outsider comes in and attempts to do business the way they did back where they came from. Its too late when the materials are sitting on site only to find out that local codes wont allow the racking system the way you planned on using it. If the system hasn't been checked with building and fire codes - trouble. Many, many times I have had to tell a new call in client in a jam that they can't store product over 12' off the ground without adding an in-rack sprinkler system.
What is the bottom line? Local is best. You will still have choices... here is where it may get a bit tricky. Is the local provider primarily a supplier of product? Product wholesaler compete on material price but what else are they able to provide? Does the provider duck questions regarding permitting and engineering? If so - watch out and Buyer Beware ! A full service provider is able to carry you through the entire process, from Design Engineering, to Solution Alternatives, to Implementation and finally Inspections....APPROVED!
I invite you to investigate us further at McGee Services