The Rack Group Ltd is delighted to announce they have just renewed another year’s contract with ASDA, one of the UK’s leading supermarkets. After a rigorous tender process The Rack Group won the privilege once again of becoming ASDA’s preferred pallet racking maintenance and inspections company. Phil Maxwell-Smith The Rack Group’s Managing Director commented “we are very pleased that ASDA have decided to choose the Rack Aid Management System. Over the years The Rack Group have developed a very strong working relationship with ASDA and look forward to working with them for another year.

ASDA first approached The Rack Group Ltd with the sole purpose to find a solution to help reduce and eliminate where possible pallet racking damage that was occurring across their distribution network. With hundreds of forklift trucks in operation and thousands of pallet movements each day, pallet racking damage is inevitable. ASDA identified their warehouse and distribution division as an area where savings associated with pallet racking maintenance and repair could be made and The Rack Group were only too happy to assist.

The Rack Group has built a strong working relationship with ASDA over the years and has worked closely with their maintenance team to develop innovative solutions to these problems.

The working relationship with ASDA started twenty years ago when The Rack Group carried out safety inspections on some of ASDA’s first distribution centres. “Due to the changes in Health and Safety legislation, ASDA were keen to unite all stores and distribution centres under one management system to help reduce repair and maintenance costs throughout the network, with this in mind, The Rack Group and ASDA started to develop The Rack Aid Management System” states Simon Lee, Installations Director at The Rack Group Ltd.

The Rack Aid Management System is made up of five key elements, 1) scheduled racking Inspections, 2) repair and maintenance, 3) specialist materials, 4) racking protection and 5) accredited training sessions. The first element The Rack Group looked at was protecting the racking from costly damage, preventing the damage or severely limiting it was a priority. After months of development and rigorous testing Rack Armour was created, Rack Armour is now sold globally and reduces forklift truck damage where ever it is installed.

Users of Industrial Storage Equipment have a legal duty to carry out regular inspection audits in order to identify damaged components (as stated in the Provision and safe Use of Work Equipment Regulation section 6), these inspections are key to the whole management system, ensuring vital information such as the type of damage, how frequent the damage is occurring and details of materials for stocking purposes. This information enables efficient lead times, which is crucial for a distribution network as large as ASDA’s.

The next element within the management system where costs can be saved was maintenance and repair work. By using specialist materials created purposely to save ASDA time, money and disruption around the warehouse. When maintaining their pallet racking ASDA was able to make significant savings. Instead of replacing entire uprights The Rack Group developed specialist materials and their own unique leg prop along with specialist bracings which enables the installation team to replace the damaged section of upright without having to off load any materials and without having to replace the whole upright, making this element of The Rack Aid Management System extremely cost effective.

The last element of the Rack Aid Management System is training. ASDA and The Rack Group identified training as a vital element within the management system as a means to ensure ASDA colleagues were given the correct information, instruction, training and supervision to work safely in and around storage equipment. ASDA wanted competent operatives and seniors managers throughout the network to be aware of the dangers associated with working with pallet racking. The Rack Group developed bespoke training enabling ASDA’s workforce to work safely around the warehouse and to conduct their own pallet racking safety inspections. Further developments are in place to offer an accredited qualification NVQ (QCF) to ASDA’s employees regarding inspections to qualify their workforce, once developed this will then be available for others.

Over the past seven years the Rack Aid Management System has saved the ASDA network over £1,000,000 in repair costs and strives to increase this figure year after year. This will be achievable through constant developments and innovative thinking. The Rack Group embraces this challenge and looks forward to another successful year working alongside ASDA.

If reducing your pallet racking maintenance and repair costs whilst still maintaining a strong health and safety culture is important to you, please call 01226 784488, or visit our website and ask about what The Rack Group can do for you.

The Rack Group

Tel: 01226 784488

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