Founded in 1948, Riverhead Building Supply started with a single location servicing the Riverhead, New York area. During the baby boom home building began to thrive as a business as families began to populate the rural areas that are now the Long Island suburbs. Riverhead Building Supply grew along with the area and now has six hundred employees working at 18 full-service locations throughout Long Island, Rhode Island. and Connecticut.
Riverhead's four newest locations are the result of their recent acquisition of Rhode Island based United Builders Supply. These yards will be the home of the growing Demountable fleet the company is using to rapidly expand their sales territory. From a delivery standpoint, growth resulted in the challenge of having to wait to load trucks until they returned late in the day from a full schedule of deliveries to an increasing number of store fronts and job sites.
With the Demountable System downtime is now drive-time at Riverhead. Bodies that stand independent of the truck on retractable legs are loaded throughout the day. When drivers arrive at the beginning of the day or return after their first run they always have a loaded body that's ready to go and can and depart within minutes. No more waiting.
Recently Gerry Hazzard, Demountable Concepts National Account Executive interviewed Christopher Stein, General Manager of Riverhead Building Supply’s Calverton Distribution Facility about their implementation of the Swap Body System.
GH: Why did Riverhead choose to go to the Demountable System?
CS: We’ve used straight box trucks for a long time, but Riverhead is committed to reinvesting in the company and that includes upgrading our equipment to obtain a competitive advantage. Demountables made sense for us. We've been growing, and we are working towards being leaner and more efficient.
GH: What challenges were you able to solve using the Demountable System?
CS: One of our biggest challenges is the increased workload we’ve experienced through growth. Some of our trucks are on the road longer than in the past. We'd have to wait for trucks to get back before we could load. We often run into situations where we would be loading first thing in the morning of the same day as the delivery, or loading later in the day, on overtime.
GH: Were you able to eliminate any overtime or power units at this time?
CS: Though we have only recently implemented this system I can say we're more efficient in loading and are now able to focus on secondary functions because we can knock out loading before the warehouse personnel have completed their shifts. I find that I'm calling fewer guys in at 5 o-clock in the morning to finish loading. We’ve seen positive changes in terms of decreasing overtime. As the number of Demountable units we have increases, I’m confident we’ll see those effects take place exponentially.
GH: What kind of feedback have you gotten from your warehouse workers and drivers?
CS: The feedback, in terms of having it physically being there and not waiting on a truck to return is that it has definitely helped us load earlier in the day. So not only am I not calling guys in early I’m also keeping fewer guys late.
GH: What kind of long-term goals do you want to achieve with this system?
CS: To have an extended fleet of these. Right now, we have two trucks and four boxes and the interchangeability there has helped us. We still need to come up with our own route plans for those boxes on a daily basis, but if all of our routes had assigned units it would be universal across the board and our efficiency would continue to increase.
Additional benefits of the Demountable Swap Body System to Lumber, Millwork and Window and Door Companies include:
As Riverhead Building Supply continues to show strong growth and expands through acquisition, Demountable Concepts and Riverhead will continue to work together to ensure efficiency throughout their operation.