When Tom McGinnis, owner and president of Outwater Hardware, called Atlantic Handling Systems in October, he needed a way to quickly increase his warehouse space without disrupting day-to-day operations. Located in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, Outwater Hardware is a national wholesale distributor of specialty hardware items, selling primarily to cabinetmakers. Thousands of items are stocked, and about 60 employees work to process 600 orders per day.
Although Outwater had moved to their 60,000-square-foot building only five years earlier, Tom McGinnis planned to add 150 pages of merchandise to his new catalog and knew he was going to need more space to store the extra stock. He contacted John Cosgrove, President of Atlantic Handling Systems, whom he’s known and dealt with for years. Atlantic is a systems integrator in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. They use a project management philosophy for every major installation, which means that they manage a project from concept and design, through installation. In keeping with this process, John Cosgrove and Atlantic’s Margaret Fourounjian (Account Manager) and Dan Sweetman (Senior Project Engineer) met with Tom McGinnis and his warehouse project leader to discuss Outwater’s requirements.
Atlantic then designed and proposed a 2,279-square-foot mezzanine that would provide Outwater with 50% more storage area. The proposal also included 69 units of steel shelving, with a total of 482 shelves. To allow easy and efficient storage of product on the mezzanine level, a sliding gate would be installed. This gate would intersect with a wide aisle on the first floor, for loading pallets to the mezzanine level with a lift truck. The system design also provided for products picked on the mezzanine to be placed in totes, which would then be transported to the first floor by a Portec spiral chute and emptied onto a gravity conveyor system.
The project remained on-time and within budget. Once the shelving was installed on the second-floor mezzanine, it was determined that more lighting would facilitate operations. Atlantic quickly presented Tom McGinnis with a proposal for this additional project phase. The lighting was installed over the last weekend in January, just prior to the chute installation. Atlantic Handling Systems’ custom design, installation and project management resulted in a turnkey system for Outwater Hardware. Atlantic’s John Cosgrove says, “The Outwater project is an excellent example of our total capabilities. We were able to meet the challenges of the customer’s timetable without halting their operations.” Speaking about Outwater Hardware’s experience in working with Atlantic on this project, Tom McGinnis said, “We were absolutely amazed that there was no disruption to our operations at all. The installation was not noisy, and Atlantic’s personnel cleaned up (broom-swept) at the end of the day. The beauty was that Atlantic Handling Systems worked the entire time while our employees were picking and packing orders.”