Flowerline streamlines packing process with loading ramp
25 September 2018
One of the country’s busiest floristry packing companies, the company streamlined its loading process and increased capability by installing specialist loading bay equipment designed and manufactured by Thorworld Industries.
Performing as packers for leading online florist, PrestigeFlowers, Mansfield-based Flowerline runs a busy year-round operation which further intensifies in the run up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mothering Sunday. While the company has consistently fulfilled client expectations from its premises - which previously did not feature a specific loading bay - director, Julian Ridgard, felt his operation’s packing process could be better structured and made more efficient with the addition of specialist loading bay apparatus.
“We’d maintained successful momentum regarding our packing process, but knew it could be improved, enabling multiple operational factors to be made safer and more efficient.
“We use the services of Royal Mail to distribute deliveries; a system which relies on filling York Roll Containers with up to 40 delivery boxes, then safely manoeuvring 49 of those containers onto one individual articulated lorry. On any standard day we may load just one articulated lorry using a fork lift. However, when our busy periods take full effect, such as Valentine’s Day, we can load in the region of 39 lorries and have the need to take on additional agency staff to make delivery deadlines.”
Julian explains how during such Peak periods, pressure to pick up the pace intensifies. If a fork lift is unavailable, or if temporary staff require specialist training, the whole packing process slows down. To improve efficiencies and keep busy periods flowing, he chose to research options for an appropriate loading system.
Julian was able to visit Thorworld’s manufacturing site, and discuss with Ian Langan, technical and engineering director, his exact loading situation, so the most appropriate solution could be presented.
Ian adds: “By listening to Julian’s requirements, it became clear that Flowerline needed a walk ramp solution that was portable and could be transferred quickly from vehicle-to-vehicle. It had to be lightweight too, so an operative could move it by hand, rather than with a fork lift truck.
“The solution we designed was ideal, as it could enable pedestrian staff to manoeuvre trollies by hand along the walkway and up the ramp into waiting lorries. Specialist labour wouldn’t be required to enable the ramp to perform to full capability, and to use the apparatus safety, temporary staff would simply need to follow simple loading guidelines, rather than receive specific training.
“The ramp has also reduced both the amount of time a fork lift truck has to work and the time it takes to load a lorry, helping Flowerline to be more cost effective and efficient.
“We were extremely impressed with the concept Thorworld presented,” Julian adds. “As we talked through our requirements, we envisaged the ideal loading solution taking shape, thanks to the experience of a knowledgeable manufacturer.
“At the time of the briefing, Christmas was fast approaching, which means we’d given the team a tight timeline to work to. Thorworld, and Darmax – the managing agent involved in the project – met timescales to the exact day, and provided finished equipment that is high spec and high quality. The service we’ve received has been top notch, and the now completed and installed ramp has turned out to be everything we’d expected.”
James Corfield, director of Darmax says: “We’re delighted to have been involved in a project which has provided Flowerline with superior quality and a well-designed solution; all within a specified timeframe. By visiting Thorworld onsite and having the opportunity to see the standard of its equipment, and see products being demonstrated, Julian has been able to envisage a solution that would best meet his company’s loading needs. We’re pleased to have fulfilled the project’s design requirements and ensuring the equipment was up and running by December 18th - a realistic time for Christmas deliveries.”