emergency-bin-collapseEmergency! It’s a word that can instantly give you a jolt of adrenaline. And when disaster strikes, we can only hope we’re ready to cope. This is especially true when it comes to your business. Unexpected problems can affect your revenue, and the lives and income of those who work for or with you. As mechanical contractors, we know what can happen because we deal with it all the time.  Emergency situations can shut down operations for days—even weeks—at a time! So it’s imperative that you have a plan in place if the unthinkable should occur. In a previous article, we detailed several ways you can develop an emergency preparedness plan. Now we’d like to give you a recent example of how our team of professionals was able to assist a client during an incredibly stressful time.

Bin Breakdown

One of our clients is in the business of baking. In fact, pizza is the name of this game. Today, many large pizza chains aren’t making the pizza dough in the kitchen. With that kind of volume, they’re bringing in the dough from outside sources. One of those sources is our client.

Making pizza dough requires flour, lots of it. Even industrial sized bags of flour are too small to keep up with production demands, so our client uses a storage bin, a silo, to store up to 10 tons of flour at a time. As they use the flour, air vents at the top of the storage bin allow air to take the place of the flour used for baking. But the powdery nature of flour means things get clogged. In this case, the crucial air vent got fully blocked and before anyone realized it, the bin collapsed just like a straw does when you suck on it with your finger blocking one end. Disaster!

Springing into Action

A storage bin of this size isn’t something you can just go to a local store and purchase. And finding a storage bin manufacturer isn’t always the answer. Transportation and time to deliver such a sizable item comes into play.  It takes experience, planning and investigation, and difficult business decisions to solve this kind of problem.

Within 24 hours, our TMS team was on the scene meeting with supervisors, getting a budget in mind, calculating transport costs, taking measurements, and discovering what bins were available versus the possibility of building a bin at the location. Plus, our crew also had to devise an immediate solution so the client had a short-term means of loading individual 1-ton flour containers into the system.

In this example, it was far more economical to bring in the materials and build a new bin to spec on site than it was to wait months for a complete bin to be manufactured and transported. Our client experienced minimal loss of time and was able to keep the business—and its pizza partners—rolling in the dough.

Don’t Wait for Disaster

You and your customers simply can’t afford down time due to lack of emergency preparedness or disaster planning. Give our TMS experts a call and we’ll help you put an emergency plan in place that’s customized for your business. And don’t forget TMS for any other mechanical contracting needs you may have—whether you’re in a crisis or simply need extra help, we’re ready to serve.