Sherman’s chooses VRC to fully access its renovated warehouse
The lift offers the household goods retailer a 10,000-pound capacity solution.
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To expand, sometimes you need to consolidate. As a family-owned appliance, electronics, furniture and mattress store, Sherman’s has grown steadily since its founding in 1976, and it now serves customers within a 90-mile radius of its Peoria, Ill., flagship location.
Until recently, Sherman’s distribution, service and parts operations were spread over a network of small warehouses in the Peoria store (and other rented locations) as business required. The model was very inefficient and involved a constant shuffling of products from one space to the other.
During a search for an economical building to consolidate all support operations, owner Paul Sherman found a vacant building in nearby Peoria Heights that was built in the 1960s as a Pabst bottling plant. The building, however, was a very odd design by today’s standards, with two 50,000-square-foot rooms, each with 30-foot ceilings stacked on top of each other.
Despite the significant renovations required to transform the building into the complete warehouse, service center and logistical operation that Sherman envisioned, the location was good, the price was right, and it had plenty of room for parking and future expansion.
“When we purchased the building, the second level was basically free. It wasn’t priced into the deal because very few people can use 50,000 square feet that is 30 feet up,” says Sherman. “You can’t ship and receive out of it; it’s really difficult to use.”
To design the warehouse upgrade and specify the appropriate equipment, Sherman’s consulted with a local materials handling distributor it had worked with in the past. The distributor determined that a 10,000-pound capacity vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC) was an ideal solution to access the second floor.
Due to the weight capacity that is required to handle large appliances and furniture, a heavy-duty VRC was installed. Sherman’s lift has a useable carriage of 7 feet, 7 inches wide x 10 feet, 5 inches long x 13 feet high, and it is used continuously—up to 18 hours per day, seven days a week.
“The VRC allows us to efficiently house all key support operations in one place,” Sherman adds. “It was one of the most important infrastructure investments we made.”
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