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Warehouse & Distribution, Business

Showroom Quality in the Parts Department

Spacesaver helps a dealership expand capacity while contracting space.

March 15th, 2023 - 5 min read

Today’s average car consists of approximately 30,000 parts ranging in size from a ¼ inch-diameter diaphragm to a front frame large and strong enough to support the engine. And, while some car owners may have found a way for their vehicle to function (albeit noisily) without one or more of these 30,000 parts, dealerships must be able to provide each and every one of them at a moment’s notice for their customers.

Here lies the key issue for many, most…well, all dealers: How do they house all these parts in less space, and in a way that allows staff to access them in a timely and efficient manner? One of those dealers in the greater Omaha, Nebraska region decided to bring in some support from their local Spacesaver consultant when building a new facility dedicated to shrinking their parts department’s footprint while expanding its capabilities to provide the right parts for their customers.

Let’s take a look at how Spacesaver was able to reinvent storage of the wheel, door, and other parts for our client.
retail warehouse mobile storage system
retail warehouse mobile storage system

A Diagnostic Functionality Test

For housing products that help vehicles run, parts storage solutions of the past have been remarkably static. Characterized by numerous aisles of open-faced, fixed shelving storing parts big and small, warehouses were reaching their capacity with each passing year and part added to their respective dealership’s product offering. Not only were they running out of space due to this influx of products, but staff search time increased due to overcrowding, forcing owners to consider purchasing and developing high-dollar available land to accommodate growth.

For the ownership group at this Omaha dealership chain, expanding their established footprint was not an option. In fact, when the design phase of their new parts warehouse began, they entered the process with a goal of the finished product covering less space than previous buildings. So, having experienced success in utilizing Spacesaver’s systems at another one of their locations, they reached out to their trusted local consultant to help reduce space and the expenses of new construction from within.

auto part compact pallet racking on high-density mobile system
auto part compact pallet racking on high-density mobile system

Servicing the Service Department

Store a tremendous number of unique parts and materials on a myriad of storage solutions that combine to function as one unit. This was the directive for the new warehouse project. To accomplish this goal through efficient design, our consultant worked with the A&D team, owner’s rep, parts manager, and ownership group to identify what does and doesn’t work with their existing systems. From those conversations, it was determined that they needed to focus on the following solutions to optimize cohesion:

  • Mobile systems for safely storing slower-moving parts
  • Vertical lift systems to allow for efficient housing of and access to smaller parts
  • Tire carousel to organize these awkwardly sized, but highly used materials

Knowing they paired well with the dealership’s existing systems and those offered by the AC, owners chose Spacesaver’s storage solutions including High-Density Mobile Shelving (HDMS) systems, widespan shelving, and wired decking.

For all the details on Spacesaver’s High-Density Mobile System download the design guide.

The Full-Service Package

As mentioned, the decades-long industry standard had been to use static aisles. While this pales in comparison to a mobile system in terms of capacity, some staff members had a hard time envisioning how they would be able to access multiple aisles at the same time. To eliminate the occurrence of bottlenecks from individuals needing to access separate aisles, our team installed the HDMS units to allow access to two separate aisles at a time. From this, parts team members had access to a larger number of invaluable parts and materials.

Further promoting efficiency and safety, our consultant worked with the general contractor during the design process to facilitate proper power coordination and include a recessed rail layout for the HDMS system. In the end, the dealership was able to accomplish its goal of minimizing wasted floor space, increasing capacity, and improving access to thousands of vital vehicle parts.

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