When tire storage was an afterthought in the construction of a Vancouver Porsche Dealership, they found an innovative way to make space.
When you’re selling one of the top luxury car brands in the world, customers expect customer service that goes above and beyond that of a typical car repair shop. Vancouver Porsche Centre’s service department surely meets those expectations, with specially-trained technicians offering services such as valet, roadside assistance, and seasonal vehicle checks.
“The tires would have to be manhandled, and access was constricted which limited them to a smaller inventory.”
– Bruce Middleton, Hi Cube Storage Products
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However, there was one issue hindering service technicians’ ability to perform services quickly and efficiently. When Vancouver Porsche Centre was constructed, tire storage was an afterthought at best. But with tires retailing for upwards of $650 apiece, they soon realized tire storage should have been taken into consideration much sooner.
In the absence of other options, they put the tires in the only available section of the service bays – a small mezzanine above the tire balancing area. In the mezzanine area, the only options were to pile tires on the floor or put them in standard tire racks. Putting tires on the floor put them at risk of damage, but the racks were lacking in capacity and often required technicians to remove multiple tires to access the ones they needed. “Either way,” said Bruce Middleton, a representative working on the project, “the tires would have to be manhandled, and access was constricted which limited them to a smaller inventory.”
The amount of overhang space needed on each shelf to properly store tires.
Not only was the tire storage inconvenient and time-consuming, but it was also detracting from sales. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, service and repair account for 60% of car dealership net profits, making it a lucrative part of the business. Vancouver Porsche Centre offers winter and summer vehicle checks, which assure them at least two visits each year from clients. A popular optional add-on during these checks is a seasonal tire swap, but new tire sales are often an impulse purchase. When tires were not readily available at the dealership, the sales opportunity was often missed. Adding to the storage woes, the dealership stored clients’ off-season tires until they were needed for the next season. This meant storing dozens of sets of tires year-round in the same space needed for new tires.
The Fixed Operations Manager at the dealership saw how the tire storage issue was affecting customer satisfaction and sought out options to maximize their insufficient space. They found it with the help of Hi Cube Storage Products Ltd., an authorized Spacesaver distributor. Bruce Middleton, a Hi Cube representative, introduced the Operations Manager to ActivRAC 16P, a heavy-duty mobile shelving system. After writing the business case and cost/benefit analysis for the system, the Operations Manager knew ActivRAC was exactly what they needed. With shelves that could slide apart to eliminate static aisles, the solution was ideal for the constricted mezzanine space.
Since installing ActivRAC 16P, car services at Vancouver Porsche are much more streamlined. “The ActivRAC easily doubled the tires they can store, but they can still access each tire as needed,” the contractor noted. Since change-over seasonal tire sets are stored for clients and not frequently accessed, the ActivRAC allowed for a much higher capacity of new tires on hand for sale when needed. Service times decreased as technicians were able to access the tires more efficiently. In fact, the new tire storage system was so effective that when the dealership’s sister company saw the results, they pleaded the case to install ActivRAC at their company as well. “Tire storage is very often an afterthought, so mobile storage helps them a lot,” Middleton said. “They love how this system handles tires.”
Service departments are responsible for much more than tires. Check out how we helped Dave Kehl Chevrolet store three times the parts and tools in their service department.
“Tire storage is very often an afterthought, so mobile storage helps them a lot.”