Friday, October 9, 2015

Tales from the Workplace, Part XXVI

I am posting stories from my job, because I think they're funny.  I've done my best to disguise my company name, even the industry, and to keep the people I write about and even some details of the situation anonymous.  If you know me, and know where I work, please don't include details in your comments.  I'll have to delete your comment and reconsider posting these stories.

A potential new customer was talking options with our sales person.  Size of packages, types of product, etc.  We load the trucks one of two ways--either hand stacked (the bags of our product are stacked into the trailer however they fit most efficiently; it takes a lot of manpower on both ends, but is ideal for customers who either don't have a forklift or don't mind the labor and want to save money and have the most possible packages per truckload) or palletized (much faster to load and unload, plus easy to deal with on the customer's end, as they can just take one package at a time off the stacked pallets, but we do charge a little extra per package to account for the fact that we have to buy the pallets and outer wrapping, and then of course can't recoup that cost).

The sales person was explaining the difference and the pros and cons to the customer.  Most folks, it's an easy decision--if they have a forklift, they usually prefer palletized loads as it's much quicker to unload them off the truck, move them to where they plan to store them, then either use or re-sell them straight off the pallet.  But some folks just don't have a forklift or prefer handstacked for their own reasons, which is fine too.

This guy apparently wanted the best of both worlds.  He kept asking about weather-proofing.  Well, all our product comes in plastic bags, which are pretty weather proof all on their own, but they can get tiny tears, especially the more they're handled, or it's possible one of the sealed ends could start coming open if it doesn't seal perfectly, so they're not 100% waterproof, and we don't guarantee that they will be.  When we palletize them, they're stacked on a pallet, get a top sheet of pretty thick plastic thrown over the top of the stack, then are wrapped with stretch film all the way around, a couple layers.  So the pallets are REALLY weatherproof, and could probably store outdoors indefinitely, without issue (though we still don't officially guarantee it, as who knows what happens to the plastic once it's out of our hands, we're more likely to state that it's quite weatherproof without an explicit guarantee).

This customer clearly wanted the weatherproof aspects of a palletized load, but wanted the most packages per load, plus the lower price per package of a handstacked load.  He asked if we could send him a handstacked load and include some plastic for him to cover the packages with on his end.  Um, no.  Try a hardware store.  :-)

I mean, even if we did want to do that for him, our top sheets are just larger than a pallet, and our stretch film is meant to be used in an automated palletizer, and wouldn't really work the way he's thinking of.  He needs a large tarp (or one of those RV storage "tents") or something instead.

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