Fast forward to today. The Ohio market is thriving with the addition of several new retail locations and Levin reports that along with reducing real estate expenses though warehouse consolidation the Demountable System has also increased the efficiency of their home delivery operations company-wide.
In Levin’s home delivery operation, multiple pre-loaded truck bodies are shuttled from the facility in Smithton, PA on specialized semi-trailers and demounted at each store to stand on retractable legs. During the day, local drivers operating demountable-equipped straight-trucks mount the body that corresponds with their route and make deliveries. Empty bodies from previous runs make the return trip to Smithton on the semi-trailer to be reloaded.
The system eliminates waiting at the retail stores because the bodies arrive daily from Smithton already loaded. Local drivers are able to depart earlier and have more time to emphasize customer service during home deliveries. Utilizing two bodies with each truck, drivers swap an empty for one that’s loaded and immediately return to making deliveries. It takes about 10 minutes to make the switch, much less time than it would take to load conventional fixed-body straight trucks at each location.
Transforming downtime into drive-time, and efficient load planning for delivery routes enabled the retail stores in Ohio to add a second delivery run to the workday for each truck, essentially doubling productivity. Efficiencies created by the system have also reduced costs by decreasing the number of trucks and amount of labor necessary to deliver furniture to customers’ homes.
At the Smithton facility, the ability to load bodies independent of the truck smoothes out workflow and shifts the focus from loading returning trucks as quickly as possible to planning and executing each load in the most efficient way. Roll-up doors located at the front and rear of each body save time and space by enabling workers to load multiple bodies simultaneously at a single cargo bay. The system also prevents mistakes and costly damage to furniture by reducing rush-loading and the need to stage product on the warehouse floor for future pick-ups.
The positive results produced in Ohio have inspired Levin Furniture to recently implement the Demountable System in northeastern Pennsylvania. Scott Frazier, Levin’s Director of Operations, sums up system’s performance by saying, “Once our team got used to utilizing the Demountable System on a daily basis, we found it relatively easy to plan for two runs per truck each day. This allows us to operate fewer trucks, which results in significant savings. Along with the fleet savings, our delivery service in the Cleveland market is outstanding.”
Demountable Concepts, Inc., established in 1989 and based in Glassboro, NJ is North America’s premier manufacturer and supplier of Demountable Straight-Truck Delivery Systems and the Warehouse on Wheels Portable Distribution Center. They have a network of installation and service centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The system can be installed onto new and existing trucks and is available through most truck providers.
A little over a decade ago, Levin Furniture, a major retailer in Ohio and Pennsylvania first implemented the Warehouse on Wheels System by Demountable Concepts to reduce brick and mortar expenditures in Ohio. The company closed an aging facility in Cleveland, and replaced it by shuttling pre-loaded demountable truck bodies from an existing distribution center in Smithton, PA directly to retail stores throughout northwestern Ohio.