For over 55 years, Lipari Foods has been a wholesale distributor of dry, refrigerated and frozen grocery products, now serving customers in fourteen states across the Midwest. Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Lipari recently completed the development of a new 260,000 square foot warehouse to support its rapid growth.
Taking on a project like a new warehouse is no easy task, and the management team at Lipari wanted to work with a supplier that would introduce the latest technologies and best practices for consideration while helping to ensure that the project stayed on track and on schedule. They also wanted a supplier that would be able to offer a multi-faceted solution that incorporated warehouse design, racking systems and material handling equipment. The company’s long-term relationship with Crown assured them it was the right choice.
The Crown team became fully embedded in the warehouse project, reacting to changes in requirements and evolving the solutions to fit them. Along the way, it was discovered that Lipari had been frequently replacing damaged rack sections – approximately one every week – in its current warehouse and the Crown team knew there was a solution to the problem. By developing an engineered standard for racking in the new facility, Lipari could ensure that the racking system was structurally sound and would not incur damage as a result of overloading or stress.
Lipari also wanted to introduce process changes for its reach truck operators to prevent them from traveling while raising and lowering the forks to help further reduce rack damage. These changes would normally reduce overall productivity, but the RM Series’ Xpress Lower™ feature enabled operators to raise and lower loads more quickly, completely offsetting the effects of the process change. Rack damage was eliminated while Lipari maintained its high level of productivity.
“We replaced probably a rack a week from damages from the employees. We’ve been in the facility here for a little over a year now. We haven’t had to replace one upright yet,” stated Al Moy, director of warehouse operations.
Lipari also depends on Crown to keep the lift trucks up and running. The durability of the lift trucks combined with responsive, local service helps Lipari continue to pursue their goal of 100 percent uptime across the fleet.
“Crown was very instrumental in helping us select the products that we used, what type of equipment…right from the beginning they were in our meetings, they sat in every meeting, they went through all the pain of all the changes and the redesigns and when it was all done they were right there at our side and helped us get through the whole process. So, whether it’s the racking, whether it’s the material handling equipment…Crown has nailed it on both ends,” indicated Thom Lipari, Lipari’s president and CEO.
For more details about the partnership between Lipari Foods and Crown, visit the customer result on crown.com.