“Under Construction” and “Don’t Mind Our Dust” have been common themes at The Trade Group’s headquarters as of late. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary in our brand spanking new Dallas showroom and expanded our printing department to better accommodate the new high-tech printers we’ve added to our arsenal.
We didn’t want our warehouse, production and fabricating teams to feel left out, so along with investing in some awesome new equipment, we grabbed our hammers, saws, power drills and nails and began upgrading the warehouse. The Trade Group’s Production Manager Bob Iacobucci kept close watch over this “remodeling” project.
Engineering and Production Staff Now Work Side by Side
One of the most significant changes we made was moving the engineering detailing department from the main office area into the warehouse. Warehouse and fabrication is one big department, so today, the metal shop, wood shop, assembly area, engineering detailing and storage area are all together.
As Iacobucci explains, “Over the past summer we built space for the engineering department in the middle of the shop, so the engineering detailers – or draftsman – would be in closer proximity to the guys who put the exhibits together.
“This change has really helped a lot, since the detailers create the working drawings that show the team in the shop how to build anything the designers think up – from a cabinet to an entire exhibit. Collaborating is a lot easier and more efficient when you’re working next to each other as opposed to being located on opposite sides of the building.”
Storage Space Was Revamped and Centralized
Iacobucci and team also reorganized The Trade Group’s inventory department during the remodel. “We used to have storage closets positioned all over the warehouse. All of the inventory has now been moved to a central location, which is much more convenient to access,” Iacobucci says.
In addition, more racking was added to increase storage capacity and improve organization. According to Iacobucci, “We were tight on storage space in the building, so we expanded 4-foot deep racking to 8-foot deep racking, so now an 8-foot tower can fit in a 4-foot spot.”
New Equipment Helps Save Time, Enhance Exhibit Design
As we revealed in a post earlier this year, The Trade Group recently made some big investments in equipment for the shop to boost efficiencies and enhance exhibit design.
Iacobucci, who has more than three decades of cabinetry design and production experience, believes, “These investments, have really helped our team save time and produce a superior product.” The warehouse and production team’s new equipment includes:
1. Thermoforming Machine
This oven-like machine uses a vacuum process to form plastic around a wooden mold, panel or basically any 2-D or 3-D shape the design team requests.
2. Edge-Banding Machine
The production team uses this machine to apply PVC, solid wood, laminate or wood veneers on the edges of counters and cabinets, up to 2 incheswide and 3 mm thick. This process produces a faster, finished, high-end edge as opposed to a raw wood edge.
3. Box Maker
We recently purchased a BXMKER2 in order to custom-create our own corrugated packaging. This saves on shipping costs, waste and ensures client assets arrive safely and securely.
Big Changes Benefit Clients Too
All of these changes – remodeling the warehouse and fabrication area, moving the detailers closer to the production team, reorganizing storage and investing in new equipment – help make our team more efficient. But that’s not all. When we improve efficiencies on our end, those savings in time and labor are savings we pass on to our clients. We consider that a win-win.