Angling Yard Ramps Into Warehouses

And Time Flies

YRG: Industry Contributions
Preventing This From Happening

We like a recent article from our friends at ThomasNet: “The Key to Inventory Management: A Closer Look at Warehouses.”

In it, they spotlight the manufacturing, storage, and distribution workflows as rightfully major links in the supply chain, all through the prism of warehouses. And they describe a number of types of warehouses. Three of them, briefly:

Storage Warehouses “often house slow-moving goods, providing a place to safely store them without cluttering production and distribution warehouses, and usually contain pallets of slow-moving goods for transportation to distribution centers and sorting facilities.” Picture lots of forklifts and pallet racks.

Distribution Warehouses “are generally responsible for order fulfillment and house fast-moving goods. They are particularly common for the fulfillment of consumer packaged goods and other products.” Picture a standard pick, pack, and ship operation.

Sorting Warehouses “are used specifically for collecting large bulk shipments and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable chunks for distribution warehouses to ship.”

The Yard Ramp Guy has been in business since 2011, and in that relatively short period of time we’ve seen some rather prominent shifts in how the supply chains operate. In particular, the sorting warehouse environment has grown.

Leading part of that charge is Amazon’s model, an interesting flow process of storage, distribution, and sorting facilities. It’s the “last-mile” delivery scenario that has become an industry disruptor. Depending on factors like membership and local availability of any given item of inventory, we might receive a package via established courier services, an Uber-like driver in his/her car, or what the company calls the Amazon Locker, a local public location the customer accesses directly to collect a package.

So, that’s one new development at the end of this house-that-Jack-built scenario.

What interests us in the warehousing situation is time. CNN might have “accidentally” started this revolution in 1980, when Ted Turner began his 24-hour cable news channel. Suddenly, the news wasn’t radio’s every hour on the hour broadcast, or the three national TV networks bringing us half an hour of evening news. And then the Internet happened. Today, the news cycles turn at a dizzying clip, leaving traditional journalism scrambling to adapt.

Time seems condensed in many arenas of personal and business life. With that, consumer demand in many of the industries we serve also has accelerated, to the point that the ability to deliver goods in a timely way is more prominent than ever when companies evaluate two or more competitors toward contracting into a partnership.

FedEx’s slogan – “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” – now seems outdated, yes? Now we have same-day and even two-hour delivery for certain things.

All of which circles back to the warehouse landscape. Manufacturing and distribution centers work best when they expedite their physical workflows in smart, strategic ways. That includes, in no small measure, the ability to move inventory to and from delivery vehicles.

And that’s where we play an important part in the process. With minimal maintenance, our forklift ramp and loading dock inventory functions solidly and without complaint. We’re proud to contribute.

This week, our man McCoy Fields discovers a man who spent years working on his map. Naturally, McCoy compares it to lawn care.

And it all makes perfect sense. Click HERE.

Yard Ramps and Structural Integrity

Two Different Meanings, Same Results

In our business model, we speak of “integrity” in at least two ways.

The first involves the integrity of our business—how we approach potential customers, existing customers, vendors, members of the team, and manufacturers.

The second involves the integrity of the yard ramps and stationary dock ramps that we sell and rent.

In our eyes, both involve structural integrity. How we structure our business model is just as important as how a yard ramp itself is structured. Both are essential to our never-ending campaign to earn your trust and your business.

This came to mind when we happened across this map of global shipping routes. You’ll see the continents in black, with commercial shipping density lined in red. What strikes us about this map is the origin and destination points. Naturally, as we’re looking at ocean freight, these points all begin and end at a coastline.

The Intersection of Yard Ramp and Inventory
The Yard Ramp Guy: Connections and Integrity

Zone in on, say, the United States, and one thing becomes clear: our major ports sit in the most volatile places. The West Coast, prone to earthquakes. The Gulf, prone to hurricanes. The East Coast, prone to hurricanes.

While these ports by no means represent the final destination, they’re essential to the supply chain. And they’re seemingly in the most vulnerable locations.

Just as those crews secure their ships to the port prior to loading or offloading, your yard ramp’s security—whether a stationary ramp bolted to the bay or a portable ramp positioned at the back of a delivery vehicle, wheels up—is essential to the safety of the crew and inventory and to the streamlined flow of operations.

That’s why The Yard Ramp Guy team will spend a lot of time discussing your requirements. Mike will ask you many questions about the specific dimensions of your forklift, your loading dock, your inventory prior to sale or rental. And that’s why Jim will explore the width of your company’s driveway and operations staging, toward offloading a purchase or rental and any turnkey services you may require. And part of that turnkey service is bolting and welding, toward providing a safe, secure ramp.

Your yard ramp’s most vulnerable points echo that shipping route map above. It’s where your inventory disembarks from the ramp that most concerns us. We want you to keep your crew safe. Your customers want to receive undamaged inventory. Everybody needs and deserves structural integrity.

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Graphic: B.S. Halpern (T. Hengl; D. Groll) / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

This week, our man McCoy Fields gets sick…of how we misunderstand the symptoms of getting sick.

Take the temperature of his insight HERE.

The Industrial Supply Chain

The Yard Ramp Guy’s Place in the Flow

YRG Supply Chain
Yard Ramp Guy: Helping the Flow

The term “supply chain” gets tossed around frequently in the business world.

Sometimes we muddle the meaning, with companies using it as a marketing meme to promote an in-the-know posturing.

More frequently, companies and publications utilize “supply chain” for its (more or less) actual definition: how products make their way from the origin point to end-user destination.

For example: a widget company orders raw material from, say, Fargo, to its factory in Chicago. The finished widget is then packaged in bulk and sent to an order fulfillment center in Kansas City, from which we receive our widget in Honolulu. That’s the supply chain—Fargo to Honolulu, via Chicago and Kansas City.

Each “link” in that chain involves factors of logistics, cost, and time, all of which contribute to the cost of our widget.

The Yard Ramp Guy is especially interested in those individual links in the supply chain. And here, we put the process under the microscope.

We often write in the blog about our yard ramps and dock ramps working seamlessly in the background to help optimize and streamline our customers’ business operations. Specifically, we take pride in our inventory—with minimal required maintenance—helping get your inventory from one elevation to another at the locations needing a lift, or a lowering, on your company property.

What does that involve? Most of the time it’s either of two things: a portable yard ramp, easily placed into position or out of the way; or a stationary dock ramp, fixed into position, with no required movement.

Both scenarios place our Yard Ramp Guy inventory as integral parts of your supply chain. If nothing else, our business is about movement and flow.

For your business, that means reduced time to and from the delivery truck, for production, or to and from your warehouse, for shipment to—eventually—the end user.

As always in the manufacturing and industrial world, time is money. We’re honored to help businesses throughout the nation reduce time and save money.

This week, our man McCoy Fields roams Europe and the United States...and finds the outer limits of his freedom to roam.

Take a walk with McCoy HERE.

Appreciating the Yard Ramp

Incline Benefits

Appreciating the yard ramp
The cost-effective beauty of a ramp.

Why a yard ramp?

Over the years, we’ve fielded thousands of phone calls from people looking to buy or rent a quality forklift ramp from our inventory. Whether a potential customer knows the precise specifications, needs our perspective in order to meet the requirements, or requires a custom solution: these conversations themselves are essential.

We always want to get it right. In our business, the only surprises should be how smoothly the discussion and transaction have flowed, from first call to delivery to putting the ramp into use.

Trust is very much part of this process. The Yard Ramp Guy is fortunate to have an extraordinary team in place—from Mike skillfully exploring the details of your specs to Jim orchestrating all aspects of the delivery and installation.

What’s sometimes discussed in these conversations (and, just as often, not discussed) is why our potential customers need a yard ramp. Not the more obvious reason, which is getting their products from truck to warehouse, or from factory floor to truck. Rather, it’s the configuration of the company’s building itself.

Some structures have loading bays constructed as part of the building, designed so that a delivery truck can back in, load or unload, and drive away. Just as often, though, a building does not have that configuration. (And that’s why we’re in business.)

The company then has some choices. Typically, the more expensive of these is to build a loading bay, replete with a graded approach and reinforcement of the building’s edge. That requires a contractor, or two or three, that can dig and grade and pour concrete, providing an irrigation channel for so the bottom of the bay’s incline doesn’t pool water.

That approach often requires an investment that will cost much more than a yard ramp. (Don’t forget the time and expense involved in securing construction permits.)

Then fold into the equation those businesses that rent—and don’t own—the warehouse space. And then top it off with those businesses that need a yard ramp only for seasonal spikes in production. Those logistics get complicated and expensive.

The beauty of a yard ramp itself rests in its relatively simple, yet powerful, design.

The beauty of the idea of a yard ramp rests in its cost-effective value.

This week, our man McCoy Fields digs deeper into language and discovers some truly fascinating chatter among prairie dogs:

Check out his terrific blog HERE.

Wrecker Making Yard Ramps Right

Profiling a Valued Service Provider

YRG: Communication
It's All About Communication

These past weeks, we described our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services – both in general terms and with specific examples.

Turnkey services are extremely beneficial for our customers who don’t have the resources for—or don’t want to deal with—off-loading and securing their yard ramps.

Your business deserves an order from our inventory put into service as quickly, securely, and smoothly as possible. That’s always been our commitment to our customers.

Getting the job done correctly has always been the bottom line for our strategy. Toward optimizing our efficiency, we’ve developed many strong professional relationships with our service providers. This week, we profile one of these valued providers.

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Eighteen miles west of Atlanta, GA, is Lithia Springs, home of Dixie Wrecker Service. Among other services, its fleet and crew cover tire replacement, fuel delivery, large and small vehicle towing, and lock-out.

When we needed an off-load in the area recently, we contacted Brian Freeman, who runs Dixie Wrecker. This was the process:

  • Two days before delivery, Jim Kunze, our Yard Ramp Guy Sales Coordinator, called Brian to schedule the off-load.
  • Jim followed that with an email to Brian, listing the specs and exact time of delivery.
  • The day before delivery, Jim phoned Brian to confirm everything.

That is, the off-loading component of our largest custom solution in years required two phone calls and an email.

Dixie Wrecker
Dixie Wrecker: Fleet at the Ready

“In this business it’s hard to arrange things at the last minute,” says Brian Freeman. “Some people call us 30 minutes ahead of time and expect we’re able to handle everything. So, it’s important to arrange things in advance. It’s easy to work with The Yard Ramp Guy. They communicate. And they’re good at it.”

Part of the expertise we appreciate is Brian’s attention to detail. He services his trucks every seven thousand miles, whether they need it or not. And he’s adopted trucker GPS to his fleet.

For our off-load, Brian used one of their 35-ton heavy-duty wreckers. Another reason we appreciate and trust him: “Some like to use cranes for a job like that,” he says, “but that’s overkill and more money that you shouldn’t have to spend.”

Brian has been in wrecking much of his life and with Dixie Wrecker 14 years. “My dad’s not the type to just give you a job,” he says. “He wanted me to go out, see the world, and start at the bottom. Which I did, driving the oldest truck. So, I earned my way into the position.

“Over the years, my dad was the most honest guy you’ll ever meet, I try to stay within the guidelines he always had. And one of his main things was: if you’re honest with people and offer a service at a fair rate, you’ll build your business.”

Usually, in this business, you never know what yer gonna get till you roll up on it,” says Brian. “I’ve been working with The Yard Ramp Guy a couple years now. When Jim calls, I pretty much know what he needs.The heads up – a day or so in advance – makes it easier to schedule. It’s turned into a great relationship.”

And the respect works both ways. Our man Jim says, “Brian and his team at Dixie Wrecker have always provided great service to our customers. They are on time, communicate very well, and perform the exact services requested. The service Dixie Wrecker provides is a great example why many of our customers take advantage of our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services.”

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Quotable

Yes, sir, McCoy Fields Zipping up our end of the alphabetical quote-off:

Za dvumya zaitsami pogonish'sya, ne odnogo ne poimaesh'.

(If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.)Assyrian proverb