When searching for warehouse/office spaces I forgot one thing, a loading dock. Well, I didn’st actually forget it, I just didn’st think it would matter that much. I was so focused on finding a clean and large space, that I mistook a very large garage door for a loading dock. I somehow thought it would do the trick.
Boy, was I wrong. As soon as we got Batch 2 in I knew immediately that I screwed that up. At the time, I didn’st have my masters in 18-wheelers. Even though we could request a lift-gate on each truck, only 1 out of 5 would come with one. We would go so far as to call that morning to make sure they came with a lift gate, and still, no luck! We either had to send trucks back to the terminal and have them put our pallets on a smaller one, already equipped with a lift-gate, or continue to beg our neighbor to borrow his forklift. We finally realized we HAD to find another solution.
At first I thought we could create our own loading dock, have Coulter and Craig, my step-father, build it. That idea was quickly squashed. Then I thought we could get something that rolled up to the trucks, and have a ramp go directly into the warehouse. Lets just say I am not the engineer in my family. Neither option was a go.
When we were waiting for Batch 3 to arrive, the QP team came to grips with the fact that we had to rent a fork-lift before we started to receive our pallets. We needed to optimize our space, stacking pallets on top of each other, and we wanted to be able to quickly get the pallets on and off trucks. We couldn’st buy one, they run about 30-45k, and the cheap and beaten used ones on craigslist would most likely breakdown. So, after having an electrician come and do some rewiring, and installing a charging station, we now have an electric forklift. So far it has been extremely helpful, and 100% well worth the price tag.
The forklift is a symbol for how things are progressing and the new kinds of challenges we are facing. We are growing and before long we will be moving a whole lot of popcorn in and out of our warehouse. The logistics required to keep things moving are pretty heavy. For example, we had 9 pallets of popcorn arrive the other day, we have pallets of oil arriving Monday morning, and then have Batch 4 due to arrive in about 2 months. Packing thousands of QP boxes, If we don’st carefully plan ahead, one glitch will cause Quinn Popcorn to come to a screeching halt. Those of you who buy on Amazon or AbesMarket.com have already seen us learn the hard way. Just one consequence of flying by the seat of our pants!
Luckily we convinced C.V. to come on board a few months ago. He is a machine; quietly and efficiently getting a million ducks in a row every day. Oh, and about Amazon, they will be receiving several pallets this week!
Finally, we don’st yet have a name for the forklift. Any thoughts?
*C.V is currently the only one operating it. I might learn one day, but unless I have a basketball court to test drive it in, I am not touching it!