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News

Running the Auckland Marathon for the Cancer Society

Our inspirational Projects Manager, Christy Knappe, is running the Auckland Marathon on behalf of the Cancer Society, and is aiming to raise $1,500 for the cause.

Christy turned to running after being first diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago.

“Running gave me something back that no one else could – it was about self-esteem, feeling free and pushing my body to its limits while fighting the nasty side effects of chemo and radiation,” she says.

Christy is now in remission and is helping her partner carry on the dream of his late wife Tammy – the first organic hair salon in New Zealand, which she opened in 2013.

“The salon is a haven for everyone who is or has gone through medical treatments (especially cancer), a place where people understand about hair-loss and regrowth and where chemicals have no space.

“Tammy lost her battle with cancer in 2015 and ever since then the salon has a strong relationship with the Cancer Society,” says Christy.

Help Christy make a difference. Donate here: Everyday Hero

Supporting the SPCA Cupcake Day

On Monday 14th, Storepro took part in the annual SPCA cupcake day. Thanks to the support of the team, the lunchroom was filled with beautiful cupcakes and treats and we managed to raise $240 for the cause.

You can help us make a difference too. Simply go to our Go Fundraise page to donate:

https://spcacupcakeday.gofundraise.co.nz/page/LaurieWilson2

Q & A session with Aaron Young

He’s been described as having a “youthful appearance that belies an immense entrepreneurial drive,” but what’s behind our Director’s success, and what lessons can he share with us all?

In this real and uncut Q&A session with Storepro’s founder and Managing Director, Aaron Young, we find out about Storepro’s success, his vision for the company, and life outside of Storepro. 

 

Q. Can you provide some financial information about Storepro's growth? 

A. In terms of growth, 18% revenue this year from last year, and the previous year 15% growth - so pretty significant every year.

Q. Tell me about your background. Have you always worked in storage? What did you learn/what skills did you take away from other jobs?

A. I’m University qualified in Politics and Marketing from Waikato, this led to marketing for Ferrari NZ at the time, which led to Sime Darby Automobiles.

I then went overseas to Europe for 2.5 years where I ended up doing some recruitment, so came back to NZ and set up an industrial recruitment unit for an American firm, Kelly Services. This followed with Capital Racking (Now Dexion NZ and our biggest competitor) as a rep, quickly moving to Sales Manager within 6 months.

I learnt a huge amount there – I reported directly to the owner and led the company to some huge growth. 7 years later in 2004 I set up Storepro.

Q. Did you have a light bulb moment - what spurred you to start your own company?

A. Customer satisfaction and bringing the industry out of the “blue collar”, flogging steel to actually providing the customer with a solution and idea as opposed to just a steel product. The company was built around the customer. I always wanted to do my own thing and always thought I would, I never realised how tough and rewarding it could be all at the same time.

Q. Starting a company can be challenging. What did you learn? Is there anything you would do over given a second chance?

A. Heaps, I’m still learning! Would change a few things but nothing major.

I turned down the opportunity of a $1m deal very early on (knew how to say no) as I thought no matter how strong my relationship is with this customer, if I let them down in any way that would be it. I said ‘love to but no thanks’. If I was younger, braver and possibly stupid I would have said yes! And you’re a hero, but one mistake and you’re a zero. 3 months into a new business I was not prepared to take that bigger risk.

Q. What is a highlight of the first few years?

A. Steady growth, the phone ringing (really was a buzz), customers telling me how good a job we were doing, a happy team, and confidence that I did know what I was doing! I can still remember the very first deal Storepro ever did, collecting the cheque; the first deal we did at over $50k; unloading containers and picking orders at 10pm.

Q. What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business?

A. Wow a lot, but no sacrifice for hard work. Remember revenue is vanity and profit is sanity. And I would always say give it a go, but don’t go in half hearted. Throw everything at it and you will succeed. I sold my house to fund the first years of the business, I took a pay cut, I drove lesser cars etc so don’t be greedy. And don’t shy away from making a tough decision as they only get tougher as you grow and the buck stops with you so a decision is needed.

Q. You've grown significantly in the last few years. What has driven this? How has the growth changed your business (or kept it the same)?

A. Every year we’ve grown bar none. The market has been strong but we’ve also had the GFC. Today market activity is stronger than ever and we have a shortage of land, new buildings and demand in the industrial market is very close to supply.

Growth has affected the business like any other – with growth comes more process, policy, people and therefore difficulties. It’s much harder to run now, much harder to keep the team as one big family and harder to keep everyone on the same page all of the time but that’s the challenge.

With growth comes opportunity – we have done work in Australia and the islands – another one just completed in Fiji.

Q. How does Storepro stand out from other companies that provide warehouse storage solutions?

A. NZ owned and run, personal honest service level, our own employed installation team, audit and repair team, in house designers, experience – between 5 senior staff we have 100 years combined. Now with a team of 45 NZ wide plus contractors we are large enough to do any job but small enough to care.

We also have the largest stock holding in NZ.

Q. What is key to good customer service?

A. The customer coming back and telling his or her friends or associates. Quite simply deliver what you say you will. No one expects more than that, but if you deliver less then you are not providing good customer service.

Q. What sort of companies do you work with?

A. All with a warehouse or factory in simple terms, but of late a lot more in the food / grocery sector as well as freight and logistics companies. We’ve also done a lot within the automotive and construction sector. Basically we do the work behind the scenes, the back door, not the store front as such.

Q. What are some of the problems that Storepro solves for its clients?

A. Space, efficiency, money from perhaps not needing to move or by gaining efficiency and throughput in their warehouse or factory; safety by ensuring only compliant tested products are sold by Storepro

Q. What advantages come with implementing storage through Storepro?

A. Supporting a NZ company who employs NZers and puts back into the economy

Q. How is storage and warehousing changing? What role is technology playing?

A. Automation, machinery, IT systems are all playing a major role in warehousing and the supply chain in general. Big changes the last few years especially in NZ

Q. What kind of business do you aim to run? What is your vision?

A. A well respected business with integrity and seen as experts in their field, a winning team that works hard and plays hard.

Q. How would you describe your leadership/work style?

A. Door’s always open. Happy to help and get involved. As we’ve grown it’s got harder! I can relate at any level and think this helps a lot in this line of work. I’m still learning to not sweat the small stuff!

Q. Are there any company HR policies that stand out? Tell me about the team?

A. Without a team we have no business. They are vital along with customers that make up a business. I’d like to say we are a Storepro family and this comes and goes a bit but the core I still believe get this and want to be a part of it. 

Q. Who do you admire and why? Do you have a mentor?

A. Earlier on my Dad for sure was my business hero but he took a very different path working for US owned businesses in Asia. I’ve met a few people on the way and a few have offered me advice and I have certainly taken it. Tim Bailey, Gary Periam, Tom Wilson to name a few – none are mentors but have all helped. I have a lot of contacts and friends who are very successful and I think you should surround yourself with likeminded and successful people to be successful.

Q. What gets you up in the morning? Gets you excited about the day ahead?

A. What gets me up in the morning? My kids!!!

Have fun, make money, but really more than that is actually solving issues as this brings more satisfaction especially now. A genuinely happy customer makes us genuinely happy. And why do I work – it’s for my kids’ future I guess. I work to live, not live to work; I’d be bored at home doing nothing, not engaging my brain!

Q. Do you have any hobbies?

A. Boating, sailing, travelling, used to do a lot of sports, now just watch them! Also on a few organisation executive boards in NZ and overseas.

Q. What would you be doing if you weren't running Storepro?

A. It was nearly very different in 2004 – I’d likely be overseas at a high level with our competitors! It was that close but I followed and chased my dream. I’d love to be involved in the marine industry if I could but being so small and specialised worldwide it’s tough.

Storepro Awards Night

Team Player of the Year Award

     
  
 Winner -Teanau Henry

Runner's Up -Wentzel Bresler and Anna Half
 


Storepro Commitment Award
  
 

Krez Yates, Marc Padman, Ron Payne, Ian Baker

Not pictured: Penny Wordsworth


Get It Right Award for Integrity

Winner - Angela Walker 

Runners Up - Glen Pita, Alex Millare, and Jeremiah Crawford


The Ron Payne Award for Excellence

 

Winner - Camila Centeno


 Runner's Up - Marc Padman and Folau Liufau
 

 

 


 

Nice Guy or Gal Award for Demonstrating Respect

 

Winner - Maria Hutcheson

Runners Up - Teanau Henry, Ethan and Laurie Wilson


Installer of the Year

      

Winner - Alex Millare


Houdini Award for Making Problems Disappear 


Winner - Wentzel Bresler


Fix It Award

Ron Payne

 


Region of the Year

  

Winner - Christchurch, Tim Dick


Team Challenge Award
  

Winners - Aaron's Angels: Glen Pita, Camila Centeno, Tyrone, Wentzel Bresler, Marc Kitching

Perfect storm creates shortage of warehouses

Source: Stuff Source link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/perfect-storm-creates-shortage-of-warehouses Written by: Catherine Harris

A country-wide lack of industrial property has left the booming warehousing sector with simply not enough space.
 
Strong economic growth and the high cost of building new warehouses have seen industrial vacancy rates plunge to record lows.
 
Aaron Young, managing director of Storepro, one of the country's largest pallet racking suppliers, is very connected to the warehousing sector and says it is the tightest market he had seen in his 19 years in the industry.
 
"Basically there's nothing to buy, there's very few to lease, the market's very tight in terms of [being] owned by predominantly big landlords."
 
He estimated that in the last three years, Auckland warehouse land values had gone up by 30 per cent, with rent on its coat-tails. The high price of warehouse properties was being made worse by baby boomers looking for higher returns, who had turned to industrial property.
 
"They're pretty happy to accept a pretty lean yield in the 5 per cent range, which has now become the norm."
 
Building new was also prohibitive, with Goodman Trust's chief executive John Dakin estimating recently that the average cost of building a warehouse in Auckland had risen about 50 per cent compared to five years ago.
 
The warehousing shortage is nation-wide but particularly acute in Auckland, boosted by the growth of large-scale logistics and freight forwarding businesses.
 
Colliers national research director Alan McMahon said demand had really ramped up over the last three or four years and even new speculative buildings were not keeping up with demand.
 
"In Auckland there's about 12 million square metres of industrial property, and that's warehousing and manufacturing basically, and at the moment the vacancy rate is 2.4 per cent, which is the lowest it's ever been, since 1995 when we started measuring it."
 
Prime industrial space had slid to a historic low of 1.7 per cent, with secondary at 2.7 per cent. And it was a similar story in Wellington and Christchurch.
 
For warehouse owners, the shortage bodes well for rental income. McMahon said speculative builders was doing well out of the situation, but the lag in supply would inevitably push up rents.
 
Economic growth, particularly in logistics and consumer spending, was behind it.
 
"If you look at the correlation between economic activity, things like business starts, truck movements ... it's very closely correlated with demand for property."
 
The rapid growth of online shopping was creating huge demand for warehousing.
 
"In the UK, 65 per cent last year of all warehousing leases were from retailers. It's a much smaller percentage here but it's a growing trend, for sure."
 
Young said Auckland's traffic was a major issue, with a constant debate about how far out distribution should move away from its customers.
 
"Not so much in Christchurch or Palmerston North or even Hamilton, but in Auckland there's an infrastructure transport issue behind the scenes. So time from warehouse to store as such has probably tripled in the last five years in Auckland, it takes that much longer to do anything."
 
From business parks in areas like Pokeno on the outskirts of Auckland, there was only a small window of opportunity to get across town. "That window might be between 10.30am and 2.30pm so you're really working to a four-hour transport run."
 
The unitary plan had also had an impact, as residential development crept into industrial zones and pushed industry to the fringes.
 
"Mount Wellington and Penrose used to be traditional industrial. Now it's probably half residential and then you've got a lot of service type industries within that area, which might be electricians or plumbers."
 
In the long-term, Young said driverless trucks might help, with hopefully better infrastructure.
 
"It doesn't matter how far effective the warehouse or distribution centres might be in north Auckland or south Auckland, if they can't get product through to the stores."
 
However, another international trend towards taller warehouses with robotic stackers was less likely because of our building code.
 
"You'll quite commonly see warehousing at 40-50 metres high. We're not going to see that here because of the fire codes and seismic codes."
 
The one good thing about the squeeze was that it was forcing people to be more economical with their space, Young said.
 
"They can't just simply go down the road or move elsewhere because there is just not that option." As a storage solutions company, "that's good for us."
 
The big crunch
 
* In Auckland 100,000sqm of new industrial building is underway
* But Colliers estimates the city needs to double that to 200,000sqm of new supply every year.
* Some of the "speculative" buildings - without any tenant commitment - are being constructed by Goodman Property Trust at its Highbrook business park in Auckland's East Tamaki. Its industrial portfolio is completely full.
* Vacancy rates for industrial space in Wellington is at its lowest for eight years, at 2.9 per cent.
* Christchurch vacancy is also at its lowest since 2009 at 1.9 per cent, but new stock is on the way, largely purpose-built facilities.
 
- Stuff
 

Maximising the storage capacity of your warehouse – the top 5 things to consider

Insights from Aaron Young

When it comes to maximising the storage capacity of your warehouse, there isn’t a one size fits all. Different factors need to be considered and weighed up in order to determine the best solution for your business and your product.
 
That’s because there’s a difference between maximising physical space and maximising capacity. A solution that provides maximum storage capacity will take full advantage of both the physical space, and your ability to operate at capacity within it.
 
Take this scenario for example. Here are five different options for storing 2,000 pallets assuming a building of 8m clear available height and pallets at 5 high*.
  1. Single selective pallet racking - allow approximately 1800 sqm
  2. Double deep racking - allow approximately 1200 sqm
  3. Drive in racking - allow approximately 1000 sqm
  4. Shuttle satellite racking – allow under 1000 sqm
  5. VNA racking – allow approximately 1400 sqm
Knowing which the best option is for your business comes down to experience and expert advice. And asking the right questions! Here’s some insight into the factors that will determine the right solution for you.
 
* This is designed to be a rough guide, and are approximates based on general information, rather than any specifics.
 

 1. How you operate

When I talk to clients about a racking solution for their business, at least the first hour is spent understanding their business and the way they operate.
 
By understanding your business – what you do, what you sell, your warehouse process, your buying and stock processes and your goals - we are able to design and build your storage systems correctly, increasing capacity and flow efficiency.
 
Recently, we completed a project for a leading fastening supplier where multiple factors had to be considered, including the heavy weights of their product and the wide range of SKUs they stock. The end solution is successful because we took the time upfront to understand their business.
 
 
2. Machinery and technology
 
 Racking needs machinery to operate, so the type of system you choose, whether it’s manual or high tech, will have a huge bearing on the way your storage solution is designed. 
 
Progressively, I’ve seen a shift in the market towards clients investing in high tech machinery for smarter, more space efficient, future proof warehouse operations – an approach that can save up to 50% storage capacity.
 
At Storepro, we work in with other technology and machinery suppliers to deliver a fully integrated, turnkey system. Two recent examples can be viewed here: WineWorks and Longview.
 
3.Safety
 
Safety is non-negotiable, and with increasingly tough standards in place in NZ, it’s one of the key factors influencing the storage solutions used in warehousing (and causing potential headaches for our clients).
 
Risks can be related to the client’s own business, such as the fire risks associated with their product, or be from external factors, like earthquakes or even the products stored in neighbouring buildings.
 
Our design and installation at Chemfreight is a great example of a solution where we were able to maximise storage capacity, even with demanding safety restraints. View the case study here.
 
4.Site considerations
 
Aside from location itself - drains, lights, sprinklers, floor loadings, slab construction, roller doors, exit doors, portal frames – all of these will need to be considered in the design and how the space is best utilised to maximise your storage capacity.
 
5.Budget
 
Budget had to make this list for obvious reasons. But even those on a limited budget can achieve maximum storage capacity. You just need a bit of ingenuity.
 
For example, one of our clients adopted a staged approach to the installation of their racking, where their racking was in-filled over a two year period. This approach allowed us to maximise the capacity of their warehouse as their business and storage requirements grew, and budget allowed.
 
 
We can help
 
Understanding your business, and having the experience and insight to know which solution will work for you, is what we do best. Since opening our doors in 2004, (and with over 250 years combined experience) we’ve helped thousands of clients improve the storage capacity of their warehouse and we can help you too. Just give us a call 0800 Rack Up or fill in our enquiry form

The industry’s second ever female salesperson celebrates 12 years with Storepro

 

This month marks an incredible TWELVE years with Storepro for our super saleswoman Penny Wordsworth.
 
Penny was the second ever female salesperson in the industry. Starting originally at Capital Racking, she moved to Storepro in 2005 and has been instrumental in the development of the company. Penny has seen a lot of changes within the industry, and also within Storepro. 
 
“I remember when Penny secured our very first order over $50k for Peter at Kleantech, and then persuaded me to get out and do the installation! She’s since gone on to introduce many of our existing customers, and has been responsible for at least $15 million in sales.
 
“When I first started working with Penny, she was single and loved to party. She’s now a dedicated mother to three children and is married to Rob, a very particular and skilled builder.
 
“Penny is loyal, committed, passionate, and works hard for her customers – you can’t train this attitude. This is from the heart,” says Aaron Young, Storepro Managing Director.
 
Penny, we are so grateful for your dedication, hard work and your contribution to the success of Storepro. Congratulations on everything you have achieved so far and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Tyre'd Of The Same Old Approach?

Written by: Timothy Dick, Director - Storepro Christchurch Ltd


The most common thing we hear from our clients these days? "We are after a full turn key service".

What I hear? 'Do you know what you are doing? And can you do everything?'

The short answer to that question? Yes we can help you with more than just the 'racking', and yes we know what we are doing. As with anything in life - you don't know what you don't know. Crazy theory right? When I joined the Storepro team in 2013 I realised two things pretty quickly:

i) I knew nothing about this industry.

ii) I was surrounded by people who had a ridiculous level of market and industry knowledge.

Only an idiot would ignore this rich source of information that was on tap! Fast forward to 2017 and I can confidently sit across the table from any client and explain not only how a full turn key service works with Storepro - but also how a full turn key building consent application looks with local council.

This was the approach taken with YHI when they recently relocated distribution centres! Not only did we assist Paul Hauschild and the team with the brand new warehouse fit out, we also completely dismantled and loaded the old system into containers ready for repurpose around the country! If that isn't turn key, I don't know what is!

A few snaps below show the completed project.

New Site - Design, Supply, Installation, Full Building Consent and Compliance - All ticked off.

 

Jason inspecting the finished installation.

 

 

The Old Site - Full dismantle and loaded into containers ready to be distributed and repurposed throughout the rest of New Zealand.

 

 

Pulled down and organised properly - its the little 5% efforts that make all the difference for our clients.


Stacking Up - Business Insights from Aaron Young: The year at a glance

Wow, I can’t believe we are at this time of year already - how time flies when you’re busy.

Business in NZ must be strong - Storepro has had another record year for sales. This means the retail sector must be solid. If we are spending in the shops, our warehouses and distribution centres need to be full to keep up. It requires new ways of thinking to maximise capacity.

Here’s my year-at-a-glance take on what’s been happening in the industry and within our business.

Growth in the business 

Auckland remains the key area of business for us. We’ve grown considerably over the past year, bringing on many new staff (42 in the Auckland office now) to meet customer demand. We’ve now outgrown our premises in Airport Oaks, and next year we’ll move to a larger warehouse and office in Penrose.

Our Christchurch branch continues to grow and develop, taking on some big projects and additional staff to keep pace. New business opportunities are opening up in other regions too, and we’ll soon have a much greater presence in the central North Island.

New technology leads the way

We have seen considerable growth in automated satellite shuttle systems this year. The ability to store and select a pallet using remote control is now much safer, faster, sustainable and accurate than traditional racking with forklifts.

One of our biggest projects in 2016 was a 16,000 tonne pallet project for WineWorks in Auckland. Using Storepro's latest technology, we were able to utilise just 70,000 square feet of warehouse to store around 1,440,000 bottles of wine. A few years ago the same project would have possibly required 300,000 square feet of storage space! So the cost saving and efficiency in Storepro’s innovation is significant.
 
I believe the next big thing in the industry will be the automation of tote bins or small parts also known as goods to person automation. Check out my last blog to find out more.
 
Second-hand racking still has its place
 
At the other end of the spectrum, Storepro has a dedicated division, Surplus Racking, which specialises in the recycling and reuse of second-hand materials. Second-hand racking not only provides a saving for the customer, but helps save our planet too.
 
This area of our business is also busier than ever - perhaps the old Kiwi ways of trying to save a dollar never really change!
 
Higher standards and health & safety requirements
 
Recent earthquakes have devastated our country, particularly those in the regions hardest hit. I hope we’re over the worst of them, but I’m glad they’ve led our industry to improve safety standards.
 
Higher standards and new health and safety laws have meant re-engineered baseplate designs; thicker and stronger profiles; and greater levels of compliance. Although compliance is costly and at times cumbersome for all, Storepro’s in house design and independent engineering teams make it easy for our customers to ensure standards are met.
 
Building happy, loyal customers
 
Earlier in the year, a customer explained to me, “You understood my business and you saved me $1m last year… thank you.”
 
In short, this was done by simply designing and building the warehouse storage systems correctly, directly attributing to their bottom line.
 
As I enter my twentieth year in this industry, for me, it’s not about the product itself but how it is used and applied to benefit and provide a genuine solution to our customers. As our company vision states, “We seek to develop the most innovative, professional and profitable experience for our clients. Our passion is for our customers, and providing them with an unparalleled level of service”
 
This is what keeps us at Storepro motivated - a loyal, happy customer. Thank you all for your support.

Stacking Up - Business Insights from Aaron Young: Automated Picking Systems


This month, I had the opportunity to attend an industry trade show in China and visit some of Storepro’s manufacturing facilities. It’s something I do on a bi-annual basis because it allows me to ensure we continue delivering high quality products, whilst also keeping ahead of industry developments and innovative ideas.

There is one key development I saw which I believe will revolutionise our industry within the next five or so years – automated warehouse picking systems.

Here are my thoughts on the system and why I think it’s simply a matter of time before they are common place.

 

Automated warehouse picking systems: What and why?

Essentially, automated warehouse picking systems are a robotic method for retrieving products from storage in order to meet a specific customer demand. They eliminate or significantly reduce the need for traditional person-power techniques. Whilst automated pallet storage and retrieval systems are now very common and Storepro are completing a handful of these every year now, the automation of tote bins or small parts is the next big thing….I believe!

They’re beneficial for businesses because they increase productivity, provide faster order fulfilment, improved accuracy and can be used in a wide range of environments.

The current situation

In New Zealand currently, we are “still” spoilt for choice when it comes to land and labour. As time goes on, we’re starting to feel the pinch of our growing population and rising land costs. Like other counties, we’re seeking out systems that allow us to better utilise small warehouse spaces that house a higher volume of products.

Key factors influencing change

Kiwis will hate me saying this, but our size and geographic location allows us to act like a state of Australia. We’re closer and more interconnected than ever, making freight, supply and distribution between our countries increasingly more time and cost efficient. We can meet local customer demands by shipping straight from overseas headquarters. You can buy nearly anything online through Amazon and the likes and probably have it delivered within a few days, it could be coming from any warehouse anywhere in the world.

We’re already seeing this trend impact the nature of our warehouses. They’re now able to hold smaller quantities of stock, but for a wider range of products. This in itself can complicate the picking process. But as time goes on and you couple this with the need to minimise land costs by maximising smaller spaces, automated picking systems will become a no brainer.

It won’t happen overnight

None of this will happen overnight. As a country, we don’t tend to be early adopters of new technology like this. Larger nations who act as a central warehousing hub for their multi-national divisions will see the need to implement automated technology quicker and sooner than us.

As more international companies adopt automated picking systems, the cost will decrease, kinks will be ironed out and they’ll start to make more economical and financial sense to us. It could even be within the next five years that they are main-stream, even down here in NZ.