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Factory Relocation Health and Safety Industry Guides Latest News Machinery Relocation

Three Trends Driving Change in the Warehousing Sector

The pandemic has prompted a lot of rhetoric about change in many industries, but in the warehousing sector, Covid-19 has escalated trends that were already prompting rapid growth.

At AIS Vanguard, we offer the specialist lifting, moving and installation services needed to support and facilitate that growth. Here we explore three of the key trends affecting the industry and how we’re working with customers to help them adapt, expand and remain agile.

  1. The e-Commerce Explosion

e-Commerce has been gaining ground on bricks and mortar retail for the past two decades and we have seen growth in the warehousing sector to accommodate stockholding for online retailers. The rise of the mega warehouse used by online marketplaces and e-commerce fulfilment companies has been a particular feature of the sector, with stockholding, pick and pack and dispatch facilities all requiring specific equipment and layout considerations.

It’s a fast-moving segment of the warehousing sector and our role is often to deploy our specialist expertise and lifting equipment to respond quickly to changing needs. This may involve operators anticipating spikes in demand or responding to seasonal variations, for example, and our teams are often called upon to install or reposition racking, reconfigure warehouse facilities to optimise layouts or move packing lines as spatial layouts and operational needs change.

Installation and reconfiguration of automation systems is another key area of the support we offer to the sector. With our lifting and moving expertise, along with our mechanical and electrical engineering teams, we can deliver turnkey robot installation projects, allowing operators to drive efficiency

2. Supply Chain Resilience

Covid-19 highlighted the fragility of global supply chains and subsequent events, including end of the Brexit transition phase and the stranded container in the Suez Canal, have prompted a re-think about supply chain resilience.

For many companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, this has prompted an investment in increased warehousing capacity to store both incoming goods and materials, and outgoing products. We have been supporting companies as they have transitioned to increased warehousing capacity by assisting with fit-out of their new facilities. We are able to operate as principal contractor with full CDM responsibility, enabling customers to fast track fit out of new warehousing facilities or reconfigure existing assets with machinery and equipment moves, installation and full mechanical and electrical engineering.

3. Capacity Optimisation

With so much demand for warehousing accommodation, there is also a need to optimise the capacity of existing assets. This often involves reconfiguring the warehouse, installing high bay racking, moving to very narrow aisle (VNA) layouts and introducing robots.

With our expertise in project management, we are helping companies to carry out phased transformation programmes at existing warehouse facilities. This enables our customer to maintain stockholding and business as usual operations in priority areas of the accommodation, before decanting equipment and stock across as we move on to the next phase. We can carry out turnkey projects, including temporary modifications to the building for ingress and egress of equipment, heavy lifting and moving and full mechanical and electrical services, including robot installation.

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Factory Relocation Health and Safety Industry Guides Latest News Machinery Relocation

Rewarding Excellence Builds on Your Customer Experience

Here at AIS Vanguard, we know that ‘thank you’ is one of the most powerful words in any language. Not only does it communicate appreciation, it also encourages and motivates people because they feel valued and rewarded for their efforts.

It is a simple principle, but one that underpins our exceptional service levels to customers. Why? Because rewarding our team for a job well done is an integral part of our people strategy, ensuring every member of staff is committed to giving 100% to their role, whether they are on site or office-based.

It was that philosophy that prompted us to launch our Excellence Awards scheme, an initiative that sees our CEO, Matt Ainscough, single out the achievements of a few members of the AIS Vanguard team every month. Each Excellence Award is both a reward and recognition within the business that the recipient has gone above and beyond, demonstrated exceptional skills or supported their colleagues. The awards scheme is aligned to our core values, rewarding teamwork, commitment, attention to detail and hard work and recognising colleagues that have delivered our values of firness and a no nonsense approach.

Usually, our Excellence Awards scheme rewards 3-4 people each month, but, during March, the exceptional performance across the team and consistently outstanding customer feedback prompted Matt to reward every member of staff in an unprecedented whole team Excellence Award bonanza.

Matt Explained: “We have been extremely busy and the teams have worked incredibly hard, overcoming the continuing challenges of Covid-19 to provide outstanding levels of service to customers and demonstrate professionalism and dedication.

“The performance and customer comments we have seen over the past month have made us very proud and I can’t thank the team enough. I wanted everyone to have an Excellence Award so they can treat themselves for their hard work. I am very proud that our team consistently showcases our core values across everything they do.”

As AIS Vanguard continues to grow and work closely with customers to help them navigate complex operational and commercial challenges, the power of a sincere thank you will continue to be a cornerstone of how we operate. Our service commitment depends on the skills, commitment and can-do approach of our people and by creating a community that rewards achievement we have developed a loyal and motivated team.

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Factory Relocation Health and Safety Industry Guides Latest News Machinery Relocation

Spring is here so it’s time to plan summer shut down machinery moves

We may still be in Q1, but we’re racing through the calendar. After the turmoil of COVID-19 and Brexit, it has never been more important to optimise efficiency by ensuring all your machinery maintenance, decommissioning and installation work takes place during your summer shut down window.

At AIS Vanguard, we are experts in planning factory reconfiguration, machinery removals and machine installation programmes around our customers’ operational needs. The earlier the planning process begins, the more effective we can be in phasing heavy lifting and moving requirements around your operational needs and your mission-critical deadlines.

This year, after the disruption of the pandemic, your summer shut down industrial services requirements may be different from previous years. It may be that your machinery has been run for longer operational hours to accommodate additional shifts due to social distancing or increased output requirements. Alternatively, you may have mothballed some machines due to a drop in demand and be faced with decisions about whether to recommission or remove this equipment during your summer shut down.

Whatever the commercial and operational challenges facing you for this year’s summer shut down, our experience of managing complex industrial services schedules during shut down windows means we can help. And the earlier we get involved, the easier it is for our expert teams to advise you on phasing activity, managing risk and prioritising activity.

Here are just some of the ways we can help

  • Will you need diversions or modifications to electrical and mechanical services to accommodate machinery moves, decommissioning or new equipment installation? We can carry these out in advance of the shut down period, without business interruption, to maximise the heavy lifting and installation activities that can be done during the shutdown window.
  • Can all of the maintenance, decommissioning and installation activity you would like to do during your summer shut down be achieved within the time frame? We can help you plan a realistic timetable with a critical path that will help you prioritise and identify any work that can be done in advance.
  • If you’re installing new equipment during the shut down period, are you certain that delivery dates will be aligned to your decommissioning, M&E services modifications and reconfiguration requirements? We can liaise with equipment suppliers to ensure all activity is co-ordinated and completed on time.
  • Are there egress challenges for removing machinery for maintenance or decommissioning? We can provide full CDM for any temporary changes to your building for machinery removal and, thanks to our wide range of lifting equipment, we may be able to design a lift that minimises disruption by utilising one of our Megalift hydraulic gantry systems.
  • Are there are health and safety or commercial risk factors specific to your requirements and your site? Our team can work with you to develop a bespoke risk assessment and method statement for all activity during your summer shut down period, ensuring the programme runs smoothly as soon as the shutdown period begins.

Get in touch now to optimise the benefits of your summer shut down

With an evolving commercial landscape and pressures on operators to maximise operational efficiency, this year’s summer shut down is more critical than ever for many businesses. There are just 4-5 months to go before the critical shut down period, if you need help to plan and implement business critical maintenance, reconfiguration, decommissioning or installation projects, we can help.

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Factory Relocation Health and Safety Industry Guides Latest News Machinery Relocation

Spend it or Lose It – How to Make Sure You Maximise the Value of Your Capex Budget

Spring has been a long time coming this year. Now that we’re nearing the end of Q1, however, the new financial year is fast approaching, which means that capex budgets will refresh. Often the coming year’s budget is allocated based on what you’ve spent this year, so, to secure an increase, or ringfence your capex budget at the same level as the current year, it’s essential to commit any money still available in this year’s pot. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend it all at once.

At AIS Vanguard, part of the industrial services expertise we offer to customers across sectors as diverse as manufacturing, energy, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and defence, is our ability to help you plan phased programmes ahead of time. In this way, we can advise you on how to maximise the potential of your capex budgets to achieve your objectives over the course of the year, while enabling you to hold back a contingency for unexpected expenses.

Our heavy machinery lifting and moving services, decommissioning, installation and mechanical and electrical expertise mean that we can provide a full turn-key service for all your requirements, whatever your plans, throughout the year. That includes equipment moves for maintenance, asset realisation or asset rationalisation programmes. We can also help with machinery installation and removal projects, including logistics and CDM.

At this time of year, if there is money remaining in your capex budget it pays to think ahead about projects that could benefit your facilities or your business over the next few months, and consider what can be done or booked in now to maximise your resources and your capex budget allocation. It may be that reconfiguring your equipment, removing a redundant asset or modifying electrical and mechanical services now will help with productivity or cost-efficiency over the coming year. And, of course, as we look forward to moving out of the restrictions prompted by the pandemic, amending social distancing, team bubble and split shift strategies that had to be implemented for infection control may also involve heavy lifting and machinery moving elements.

At AIS Vanguard, our expert team of industrial services project managers are here to help you identify the practical requirements of implementing your commercial and operational plans. That includes optimising your capex budget and ensuring spend is allocated within the financial year to help you retain your capex budget for next year. It also includes phasing the activity to reduce risk and minimise downtime, while helping you maximise the value of your capex budget. If you’d like to talk to us about how we could help, get in touch with our team today.

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Considerations for a Successful Factory Relocation

Factory Relocation:

Changes in manufacturing demand may result in the need to completely relocate heavy machinery in either a complete or partial factory relocation. 

Factory relocations and removals can cause major disruption to both production and timescales. We understand lost time leads to less output, so to ensure success, our team always considers the five basic principles.

1. Planning 

Moving a factory of any scale poses various questions for both the client and supplier. 

– What timescales are you working to? 

– What phases of the project need to happen when? 

– Can production continue during the relocation? 

– Are there any risks we need to consider? 

Right from phase one, our Project Managers are on hand to help provide all the answers to ensure a seamless, streamlined move. 

2. Take Stock 

Clients need to identify all the equipment that requires relocating. However, we appreciate it’s not as easy as just writing a list. 

During phase two, the AIS Vanguard team creates a detailed floor plan that covers equipment quantities, equipment identification, sizes, weights, locations of all utilities on the premises and any potential obstacles or challenges that may arise. 

These include overhead equipment, structures or cables and any aisles, pits or trenches to navigate. 

3. Updating Your Asset Register 

A factory relocation is the perfect time to update your asset register. By checking the condition of and identifying all equipment prior to the move. This is something that our team advises you on – if required – to provide you with full peace of mind. 

4. Operations 

Factory relocations can have a massive impact on day to day operations. It’s therefore crucial to plan ahead and set expectations around potential delays and predicted lead-times to avoid any conflict by keeping your supply chain informed.

Our team’s experience means we offer guidance at every stage so you can be as transparent with your stakeholders. 

5. AIS Vanguard’s Promise 

Our dedicated project managers are on-hand throughout to ensure relocations are completed as efficiently as possible. Every major move has its unique challenges but with over forty years’, first-hand experience we have the skills and expertise to ensure the move is carried out swiftly and safely. 

This ensures your business can transition with as little disruption to output as possible. 

Moving Factory Machinery

Get in Touch 

To talk to AIS Vanguard about how we can help fully or partially relocate your operations, get in touch by calling 01257 441111 or alternatively, fill out our contact form and one of our team will get back to you.