Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Big Move: Just Another Challenge

Stop by Bulb Direct’s warehouse on any given day any you’ll see that we’re not just in the illumination business, we’re in the problem solving business. A medical lab needs lamp replacements in 2 days, a retail outlet is interested in switching over to CFL lighting but wants to learn more, and a home contractor is asking what’s going to happen to their 60-watt bulbs come July. Oh, and it’s lunchtime and the office was expecting sandwiches. Luckily, that’s just another day on the job for us, and our experience and ingenuity allow us to usher each challenge through to a timely and successful completion. Which keeps everyone happy, from our surgical customers to our hungry workers.

Earlier this year, we faced a different kind of challenge: after years of growth, we’d finally outgrown the warehouse we had called home since 1996. It was time for a move. As you might imagine, moving office equipment, computers, and people is hard enough, but we had one other issue to deal with: transporting our full inventory of over 100,000 light bulbs from the old warehouse to the new one. Although the move was just a few miles, it might as well have been cross-country: there’s no halfway solution for transporting fragile light bulbs, whether three miles or 3,000. We came up with a few ideas, but nothing that seemed time-effective, cost effective, or bulb-protective enough.

That’s when Tom Taylor, our Shipping and Purchasing Manager stepped in. As you can imagine, the guy in charge of shipping and purchasing might know a thing or two about moving bulbs. And sure enough, Tom came up with the elegant solution that we ended up choosing: treat our inventory racks themselves as giant shipping modules, lining the shelves with the plastic air pillows that have replaced bubble wrap as the insulation of choice. This way, the bulbs were well-protected and kept intact, and we didn’t have to go through the trouble of taking bulbs from the shelf, packaging them, moving them, and then re-shelving them – which may have led to a few breakages before the move even started. Using Tom’s method, we moved the entire warehouse without breaking a single bulb!

As we’ve settled in to our new facility, we haven’t missed a beat, and as always, we’re here to answer all your lighting questions!

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