Braman Motorcars, a premier dealer group of specialty and luxury automobiles, located throughout the states of Florida and Colorado, is currently managing medium-sized parts, as well as specialty repair tools, for Porsche vehicles—all in one vertical lift module. As a result, it is optimizing storage space, protecting stored items from damage and increasing inventory control and tracking.
In West Palm Beach, at its Porsche location, Braman presently stores specialty, high-value tools and parts, as required to repair and service these vehicles. In the past, the parts were stored on open shelving, while tooling was stored in toolboxes, dispensed by way of the honor system.
“We needed to clean up our parts department,” says Pat Foley, director of parts for Braman Motorcars. “We’re required by Porsche to keep specific tools on hand at all times. With tools being returned damaged or misplaced by technicians, replacement costs were growing—[and] we needed a solution to protect these items.”
With their existing dealership location at capacity, they needed a new facility to accommodate future growth. “The new building gave us the opportunity to look for ways to solve our storage problems, and we built a vertical lift module into our design plans,” Foley says.
In the previous facility, if parts were needed for a repair, the parts department would walk up and down aisles of shelving to locate the parts required for the job. This inefficient process was labor intensive and time consuming.
For the specialty tools, technicians found what they needed from the toolbox storage area on their own. There wasn’t a tracking system in place to monitor who took what tool (and when). At times, tools were returned damaged or completely unusable; some, in fact, weren’t returned at all.
With 18 service bays, Braman Porsche needed these specialty tools to be available and in working condition at all times for routine service and repair. However, the cost to replace the missing and/or damaged tools was growing. But there was good news: It was an avoidable expense.
“When the idea of taking over specialty tools came up initially, technicians were a bit reluctant. They were afraid this would slow them down,” Foley explains. “In reality, it was a smooth transition that sped them up.”
Once the new facility was completed, Braman Porsche installed one 40-foot-tall vertical lift module to store its medium-sized parts and specialty tools for Porsche. High-density, small parts inventory, such as nuts and bolts, remains in drawer cabinets.
“The [vertical lift module] is an enclosed system, protecting the Porsche specialty tools from debris and damage, which was the solution we needed,” Foley says.
The unit is integrated with a transaction information center, confirmation bar and inventory management software, which interacts directly with Braman’s dealer management system.
A multi-level parking garage sits on top of the parts and service center. Using this vertical height, the vertical lift module stretches through two floors of the garage, which only eliminated four parking spaces. With only 86 trays inside the unit, Braman now has capacity to also add more trays or additional tools and parts, as required by Porsche.
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