Available Airspace Means Small Parts Storage Solved

Aug. 1, 2008
This case history about Bay State Pools comes courtesy of VertiSpace. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content

This case history about Bay State Pools comes courtesy of VertiSpace. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

The ability to walk from shelf to shelf to pull filters, pumps, small hardware, and other small parts to assemble orders for pool supply customers is an effective way to work for Bay State Pools, a large East Coast distributor of pool and spa supplies.

So when the general manager of what was to become their ninth location, in Springfield, VA, went to the drawing board to design her warehouse, she looked to her experience in the industry and at the company’s other locations. And when she noticed the 22-foot ceilings in the drawings she was studying for the 24,000-square-foot building, she knew the answer was right there.

“A mezzanine is a great thing to use,” said General Manager Diana Cunningham. “You’re already paying rent for square footage; so you can use your air space, which you’re not paying for.”

Bay State installed a VertiSpace mezzanine over the winter of 2006 in time for their location’s grand opening in February. The new warehouse included a 20’ X 60’ X 9'11" mezzanine, with bar grating deck, stairs with landing, 96 linear feet of two-rail handrail and a swing gate. Diana was glad that VertiSpace’s design was flexible, with no set requirement for where they needed to attach to the mezzanine. This allowed them to postpone a major logistics decision until the last minute: which direction the stairs would face. Once the installation had begun, it became clear where they would be best situated-facing the back of the warehouse, allowing plenty of open space under the mezzanine for interaction with customers at the order counter.

Small parts storage and retrieval can be a time-consuming and tedious task if not done well in their workday. “A mezzanine was the best way to stock the small parts in my mind, and it doubled our storage space,” she said. “It’s not feasible to try to put more stuff higher on the racks,” and the mezzanine was a better alternative to installing rolling racks or cherry pickers.

“My employees can walk everything up and down, unless material comes in on a pallet, then we use a forklift to put it up through the swing gate,” she said.

The orderly, clean look of the warehouse wasimpressive when the Open House was held for customers and others from the company who came to see the newest branch in February. And the doubling of storage space is sure to be needed for a location in the hot, humid and well-to-do northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.

MHMonline.com welcomes relevant, exclusive case histories that explain in specific detail the business benefits that new software and material-handling equipment has provided to specific users. Send submissions to Clyde Witt([email protected]), MHM Editor-in-Chief. All submissions will be edited for clarity, content and style.