Once you’ve decided to increase your warehouse space with a mezzanine floor, you’ll start looking for a suitable supplier. A glance at Google will reveal dozens of “potentials” who can offer a solution. In this article, we offer you six ways to help you decide how to source the best mezzanine supplier for your warehouse needs. Read more….
But with so many providers eager to take their slice of the market, deciding which company will best suit your needs can be a daunting task because making the right decision involves evaluating many factors.
Most warehouse managers will be aware of the basic questions they should ask before agreeing to anything (cost, completion time, health & safety etc.), but if you want to guarantee the best possible service and end result for your warehouse mezzanine project, you need to probe a little further.
Different providers will, of course, have different ways of approaching a job, and some provide extra services or assistance which can help to streamline the process and cut down on the expense in terms of both money and time.
So here are the 6 main considerations to take into account when selecting your mezzanine provider:
A Strong Track Record
As with any industry, if you want to be sure your chosen provider is up to the task it is always a good idea to take a look at their overall track record.
Suppliers will only publish positive testimonials on their own websites, so a lack of testimonials or case studies should raise a few red flags.
For a better overview of their actual performance over the life of their company, look at independent review sites, Google My Business ratings and other social media. If what you find is positive, that’s a big box ticked and you can proceed to the next point in this article. If it’s either negative or impossible to find, you should consider a different supplier.
Asking you the right questions?
When meeting with a potential supplier, the questions should not be a one way street.
Obviously you will want to aim a few queries towards your potential provider, but if they’re genuine and experienced they should also have a desire to obtain all the relevant information from you – not just about your specific requirement but about the way your business operates.
This will entail asking specific questions regarding your intended use (this could be for storage, office space, staff areas or any number of other tasks), the load-bearing requirements and any plans to adapt the structure’s usage at a later date.
Other points that should be discussed include any required extras such as lighting, air-conditioning or stairways/escalators, your budget for the project and any time constraints you may need to meet. If your provider’s questions fall short, it may well indicate that the project will do as well.
Depth of Knowledge
This ties in with our earlier points about your supplier’s track record; take the time to ensure your chosen provider has enough knowledge and expertise to complete the design and installation to the high standard you desire.
Apart from your own searching questions, make a judgement on the quality of the information they provide to you, in particular the level of detail in the proposal, the professionalism of their brochure and website and how they come across both on the phone and in meetings.
Published case studies are a fantastic tool which will either reinforce the company’s claims, meaning you can proceed without much worry, or completely undermine them, in which case steer clear.
Warehouses vary dramatically in size, layout and purpose.
Bearing this in mind, any quality mezzanine provider will be able to offer you a bespoke, made to measure mezzanine that is designed to your specific needs. The design will take into account the purpose that the mezzanine will used for, the structure itself, the budget and the timescale of the project.
The leading providers will be able to maximise the benefits of your structure, minimising wasted space and offering options to match your budget and required completion time.
This should ensure you achieve the end result you require, that the project is a cost-effective and delivered on time and that it entails as little disruption to your day-to-day operations as possible.
If your proposed provider pitches a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, they’re likely wasting your time.
Additional Options Offered
Ideally, you need to work with a mezzanine supplier that listens carefully to all your requirements in order to create a brief, but then comes back to you with a solution that includes elements that perhaps you have not thought of.
The benefit of ‘value add’ in the form of additional suggestions cannot be overstated
Working with a supplier that can offer these additional hints, tips and pieces of advice will help to streamline the entire process, cutting down on stress, workload and often reducing expenditure by building in elements earlier in the project rather than tacking them on later in the day.
When choosing a mezzanine provider, look into whether they also provide assistance with matters such as building regulations, fire escapes and other safety features, plumbing, wiring and anything else your completed structure may require.
A failure to consider these additional points from the outset could result in delays and added costs towards the end of the project.
Poor project management and planning will almost invariably lead to a poor end result – which is something you obviously want to avoid.
A provider can have all the expertise in the world but if they fail when it comes to implementing that knowledge while actually installing the structure, or during any other part of the project for that matter, it will cause problems.
In most cases you will get the chance to meet with the project manager before work commences, so take this time to get to know the manager and their approach. You want to make sure that not only do they have a firm grasp of your requirements in terms of the mezzanine floor itself, but also that they have a clear plan of timescale, budgetary requirements and minimalizing disruption.