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It's not the brand of your racking that counts

For many years there has been somewhat of a monopoly in the steel storage racking industry.

Like any monopoly in any industry, this is not healthy for pricing or service and means competitive advantage to you, the customer, is lost.

In a monopoly the following is more likely to be seen, as the need to provide a competitive service declines:

  • Initial and installation prices become inflated
  • Time lines for installation become longer
  • Ascendency times of the make and model of racking become more frequent to  encourage turnover of product
  • Time lines for replacement parts and service calls become longer
  • Product support becomes time consuming and ill accommodating

The manufacturer locks you into a endless service and repair contract not open to competitive analysis

There are a number of things to think of in this situation. Looking beyond the easy solution to a company that offers a complete service from start to finish is the best place to start. 

Are other service providers worth another look? Manufacturers, installers, repairers and inspectors should all be held up to regard. A small amount of organisational effort may reap ongoing rewards for your companies long term profitability.

By looking beyond the monopoly for steel storage racking brands, the following advantages may be seen from manufacturers, installers, repairers and inspectors held to open competitive scrutiny:

  • Support the Australian economy by choosing local suppliers
  • Reduce time lines for installation, repairs and inspections
  • Have back model parts available for repairs and rated for service longer
  • Product support and service becomes more swift and efficient
  • Reduce repair and hidden inspection costs

By looking beyond the easiest and most common option with your steel storage racking manufacturer you open up your company to selecting the best company for the best price with the most competitive service – potentially saving both money and time.

One aspect of service which could set to benefit from such a service evaluation would be the inspection service for compliance with AS4084-2012 to ensure the ongoing safety of the Steel Storage racking. 

A steel storage racking inspection should be completed by appropriately trained staff both internally on a weekly and monthly basis, and annually by an independent service.

Manufacturers of racking often offer this service 'for free'. As the old adage goes, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. Part of the service offering perhaps? Or a way to roll in and hide costs of parts and installation also potentially. With the potential for the inflation of parts and service for repairs, this service would be neither independent nor free.

Having the inspection of your pallet racking handled by the manufacturer is much like having your car serviced where it was purchased.  Appointments are harder to get, and part and labour costs are more. Unlike your nice new car service – your pallet racking costs can be hidden in maintenance costs.

Instead of a report detailing what damages have been found and what actions need to be taken and what priority those repairs are for your business, a parts list and cost quotation for those parts is given for you to action.

The temptation to follow this process is easy – it takes minimal input and your racking is repaired. A thorough independent report though leads to cost saving discoveries. There may be a cheaper option than replacing a damaged upright for example, sometimes it can be inverted. Or recurrent damage keeps happening in a particular spot, could upright protection prevent it?

The question to ask would be, would your brand manufacturer let you know if this was the case? Or would they just keep billing out the replacement parts?

An independent service – that doesn't serve to make money from repeatedly replacing these parts, can report on cost saving improvements such as these.

Look beyond the racking business monopoly. Seek a service independent of your manufacturer of your steel storage racking. Improve the performance of the industry, be it manufacturer, installer, repairer or inspection service.  

IRIA, Independent Racking Inspections and Audits, is available for review of your service offering and can offer an Independent and Competitive alternative.