I literally grew up in the Material Handling industry. When I was a kid, on weekends and holidays, I was working for my father and helping to install everything from Pallet Rack, to Garment on Hanger (GOH), to Mezzanines and Conveyor Systems. General contracting for distribution centers didn’t exist.
Over the years, I have seen the Material Handling industry evolve in many ways. It always appeared to me that Distribution Centers were seen as a cost center or a liability for the company. Now, many years later, it appears that everyone is realizing that building the right Distribution Center is a way to increase space utilization, maximize employee productivity, and overall reduce costs. I have also seen the code requirements change over the years. It is not that building codes did not exist before, because they did. Rather, it is because they are now taken far more seriously.
One of the first deals I saw my father make, began with a meeting and ended with a handshake. We started the project the very next day.
About 13 years ago, we were called into a building that was about to be shut down because the Material Handling provider did not submit for permits. The mezzanine could not support the required 125 pounds per square foot, the GOH underneath the mezzanine was not installed in compliance with the required sprinkler system and there was basically no egress path. The code official was ready to shut the building down. To be honest, I had almost zero experience with code requirements at the time. But when the potential customer asked if we could help, I said yes. And help, we did.
We found the right Professional Engineer (PE) and he helped us through it. In a relatively short period we had submitted the proper permit application and before long, we corrected all of the problems. That customer actually became one of our best customers and we still work for them today.
Trial by Fire
I learned in a trial by fire 13 years ago how important submitting the correct permit application package was. I have been learning ever since as the code requirements based on specific storage systems are always evolving and changing. As of right now ABCO Systems Inc., has 27 active permit application packages out to a multitude of different townships across the country. Today, along with the industry and the code officials, ABCO Systems has also evolved. It is no longer a viable option to simply install Pallet Rack or GOH without going through the necessary steps.
ABCO Systems Inc., has become a full service provider for just about anything any of our customers needs. From what I can tell, we have become one of the first General Contractors for the Material Handling world. ABCO handles the project management (PM) of building out of your entire storage system. We begin by providing all of our end users with a complete view of exactly what they will need in order to build out their system. We continue by getting competitive quotes for the necessary trades such as Fire Suppression, Electric, Dock Door or even HVAC. ABCO manages the entire process from the Permit Expediting all the way to the installation and then finally the inspections.
We do what we do, so that you can do what you do. We do it fast, we do it competitively priced, and we do it with the customers specific requirements in mind.
At ABCO Systems we are not just selling steel products, we sell solutions.