When the season changes, so does the inflatable industry. Our partners in the northern states will shut down most ot their operations (except for indoor events), while our partners in southern states will have to put away the water units for a few months. In either case, you will want to properly prepare your unit for long-term storage.
Space Walk of Middle Tennessee absorbed an enormous amount of business last year, tripling their DUT sales from 2014. That kind of explosive growth can create logistical nightmares for storing, cleaning, and delivering dozens of inflatables each weekend, without sacrificing the great customer service that sets the branch apart from their competitors.
David Sells however managed this growth with ease, using simple, organized techniques that he shared with us on our visit to his warehouse this spring. Check it out below!
Rack Storage with Magnets
For many large branches, rack storage and a forklift become necessary expenses. Storage space is expensive, and making room to clean is even more difficult. Taking your storage vertical helps keep the floors open for cleaning.
You may notice the white labels under certain units on the rack. These labels are all magnets with unit names listed on them. Designating a specific unit to a specific spot in your storage area will ensure your delivery crew never grabs the wrong unit when they’re doing an early-morning load-in. Because these labels are magnets, it’s easy to reorganize your racks if the need arises.
“Did I clean that unit or not..?” A horrible question to have to ask yourself, especially if you know it means an unnecessary re-roll of the unit. Try using a tagging system to eliminate the ambiguity.
At MUR a yellow tag indicates a unit that still needs cleaning. A red tag indicates that the unit is damaged. Sells keeps a roll of yellow and red tape on all of his delivery vehicles and warehouse forklift. This means there is no excuse for his delivery team to not label units properly and promptly. The process is simple, rip off a string of yellow ribbon and tie it to the unit’s strap – rip off after the unit is clean.
Pre-Assembled Concession/Accessory Boxes
It is easy to forget the small things, whether you mean to grab some Space Walk swag or sno-cone supplies. Sells knows that his guys won’t remember to count out the right number of sno-cone cups when they’re loading 800 lb water slides for morning delivery routes.
To avoid this MUR pre-packages their accessory boxes for the weekend, loading them up with all of the necessary supplies for each event. The customer name is written large on the outside of the box, making it easy for the delivery team to grab-and-go!
Tarps serve many purposes, especially reducing the amount of mud kids track into a perfectly clean water slide. But they can become a cleaning hassle all on their own.
MUR deploys mini-pools with their water slides, leaving them at the foot of the slide’s stairs. This forces kids to give their muddy feet a quick rinse before running back up the slide for another ride.
Hopefully one or more of these techniques can help you claim some authority over your storage situation 🙂 If you’d like to pick David’s mind on some of these techniques you can shoot him an email.
Want to make your life easier when you’re getting ready for a weekend-full of rentals? An organized and clearly labelled inventory can help managers and their staff when packing up trailers and trucks for deliveries. Read on for some pro tips in organization from around Space Walk Country.