Acura dealership goes mobile with Montel storage racks [Video]

A bustling dealership with limited space, Manager of Fixed Operations Kevin Duval knew that, for the business to grow as quickly as it could, static racks for storing tires simply wasn't going to cut it.
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The unique mixture of form and function required to store tires in a way that is both organized and attractive felt like a daunting challenge for the Acura car dealership. A bustling dealership with limited space, Manager of Fixed Operations Kevin Duval knew that, for the business to grow as quickly as it could, static racks for storing tires simply wasn’t going to cut it.

Tires: The key to retention
Tires are a key element at any dealership: A dealer needs to, at a moment’s notice, swap a leaking or bald tire for a new one that matches the vehicle specs. This, according to Duval, is actually a key aspect of customer retention. While characterized as a low gross profit margin item compared to other labor services, they represent an opportunity to provide a service and reinforce the customer relationship. According to DataClover, 75 percent of consumers purchase tires from the first person that recommends they need them, and 78 percent of consumers have additional ongoing maintenance done where they buy tires. Yet, as David Boyle, president of Tire Profiles – a company that sells TreadSpec and Groove Glove, two diagnostic devices that use laser technology to read tire treads, told Automotive News, consumers often don’t think of the place they bought their car when they need tires.

“One of the big reasons dealers have retention issues is, when at 30,000 miles it comes time for the first set of tires, consumers don’t think of the dealers,” Boyle told Automotive News. “And in many cases, the catalyst for [dealers] losing the customer was the need for tires.”

This isn’t an unwillingness on the part of consumers: DataClover reports that 80 percent of the consumers who buy tires from somewhere aside from their dealership would be willing to buy tires from the place they know. The problem is visibility, as only 40 percent of customers know the dealership even sells tires.

 

At the same time, storing tires is a serious challenge: Large, heavy and cumbersome, keeping tires off the dealership floor while still accessible to employees was key. Duval says that, prior to working with Montel, the dealership constantly found itself running out of space and struggling to stay organized, making peak operational efficiency difficult.

What did Montel build for Acura?

The setup of the dealership meant that there were two floors: an upper level where tires could be stored and a lower floor with showroom, complete with a carousel to shuttle the tires from floor to floor. Montel provided a mobile RACK&ROLL 16MA, RACK&ROLL 16P storage rack and tire storage fixture, designed to double storage capacity and limit wasted space.

 

“If we had installed static racks, we would have run out of space,” Duval said. “Now with Montel, we can store even more tires in the same space.”

The mobile racks are clean, organized and easy to operate by staff, with technicians reportedly loving the system. Offering 16,000 pounds (7.257 kg) of capacity per double rack section, with a maximum 45-foot (13.7-meter) carriage length, the shelves are perfect for keeping the heavy duty tires organized and accessible. The easy installation and ability to reconfigure the racks at will made for the perfect solution – and was an added bonus.

 

“I know many people in the car dealership community and I have recommended the Montel systems to all of them,” Duval added.

The RACK&ROLL 16MA is available as mechanical-assist with the SafeCrank handle or as a powered version with a push of a button on a controller with the RACK&ROLL 16P. Care to see the kind of efficiency and cleanliness Acura experienced? Contact your local Authorized Montel Distributor today!

 

Digital keypads for mobile storage are a foolproof way of securing "the house."

Boris Lurie Art Foundation conserves in style with Montel art rack storage system

With so many valuable pieces of art to preserve and so little room to work with, Montel designed a space-conscious hybrid art rack and smart storage installation we hope befits a legend like Boris Lurie.
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Artist Boris Lurie was a lot of things: a Holocaust survivor, a benevolent provocateur, a stock market master, a pioneer of the NO!art movement. What he wasn't, however, was shy about his convictions.

So when he died in 2008, he left behind a handwritten will with explicit instructions. Lurie wanted his closest friends to take the $80 million fortune he had amassed in penny stocks over his lifetime and start a foundation in his name, one that recognized and financially supported underappreciated artists who embodied the heart and soul of the NO!art movement.

Today, Lurie lives on in New York City through the Boris Lurie Art Foundation and with help from Gertrude Stein – director, art collector and lifelong friend. Stein and staff curate an extensive collection of Lurie's paintings, collages and writing (more than 3,000 pieces altogether), as well as work from other NO!artists.

With so many valuable pieces of art to preserve and so little room to work with – we are talking about New York City here – Montel designed a space-conscious hybrid art rack and smart storage installation we hope befits a legend like Lurie.

What did Montel build for BLAF?

The installation consists of seven sections, which alternate between a trio of mobile art racks and static cubby-style shelving of varying dimensions.

Each double-sided mesh art rack is slightly more than 10 feet tall, 8 feet wide and runs on a track nearly 20 feet long. Panels on the static shelving are matte black with a splash of bright red along the interior. These modules also contain narrow exhibition drawers.

A sliding divider separates the storage from the rest of the room it occupies. Montel also built longer, deeper drawers and tall bookcase shelving around the outside of the installation.

As an art historian would examine and interpret a painting, let's take a closer look at the individual brushstrokes that make this smart storage solution a real masterpiece.

"Montel smart storage is not form over function."

Color theory
No conversation on art gallery storage would be complete without touching on aesthetics. The black and red coloring makes the whole installation pop. Customers can choose from a manifold palette of colors when designing the perfect storage solutions for their unique spaces.

That said, a Montel storage installation is not, however, form over function.

Another kind of art movement
Retractable art racks allow the BLAF storage space to transform at will from safe repository for priceless works to a social environment where visitors and curators can experience Lurie and other NO!artists up close.

Both the fronts and the backs of each rack has its own hanging plane. Paintings and hardware hung from one side, therefore, do not take up space on the opposite side, which protects art from damage and doubles capacity. Each art rack track-and-wheel system is engineered for stability and smooth operation, no matter the size or weight of the paintings it holds.

It's really all about what isn't there
Is Montel's installation at BLAF merely a system of shelves and racks? Or is it an experiment in utility of negative space?

All available vacancies throughout the module serve a primary mission: to reclaim as many cubic feet as possible in the name of smarter storage. BLAF employees now have dozens of long horizontal and vertical rectangular cubbies of varied dimensions at their disposal. Regardless of how they choose to organize the collection, they can do so with unprecedented spatial efficiency and respect for the pieces therein, thus preserving it all for another generation.

Are you interested in commissioning an art storage solution all your own? Contact your local Authorized Montel Distributor today for more information or check out another instillation Montel built at the Clyfford Still Museum.

Montel mobile shelving trains Sports Experts to be a retail storage champion

Montel stepped in for the assist by installing three different smart storage systems across several Sports Experts locations, including this one in Laval, Quebec.
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With more than 100 stores across Quebec, sporting goods retailer Sports Experts knows how to reach a wide audience of active Canadians.

Inventory excesses, however, have always been a sticking point. As athletic trends evolve, new products enter the market, and seasons change, Sports Experts found many of its stores struggling to stay ahead of demand and organize its stock. 

Montel stepped in for the assist by installing three different smart storage systems across several locations, including this one in Laval, Quebec. Check out the video below or on Montel.com.

What sporting goods storage solutions did Montel build?

In the main warehouse, Montel constructed a five-carriage dual-access SmartSpace mechanical-assist mobile storage module. Each 30+ foot unit has two of Montel's patented SafeCrank handles for effortless access and pushbutton locks that hold aisles open while occupied.

In the store's reception area, which is both a storage space and a workspace, Montel installed two manual mobile shelving units. At 16 feet long each, these shelves maximize capacity without disrupting operations in the adjacent offices. The soccer and ice skating warehouses also received storage updates with two lateral sliding systems affixed to stationary shelves already in use.

How does mobile sporting good storage help retailers do more with less?

If you've ever checked out the Montel blog before, you know that we serve many different businesses in many different industries. And while a lack of storage space is something everyone everywhere can relate to, each of our customers has unique reasons for reaching out.

Sports Experts is no exception. So how will additional storage with a variety of mobile shelving modules change how this retailer does business?

Savings from season to season
Ever wonder where footballs go in the spring? Or where track shorts disappear to in the dead of winter? The answer is obvious: They go into storage.

But when the seasons change, sporting goods retailers must rotate their SKUs. Everything still on the selling floor goes into its respective warehouse and all the latest gear moves out to where customers can buy it. Without a streamlined inventory switch-out process, things can go haywire very quickly. And if you're simultaneously scheduling deliveries from off-site storage facilities, you're guaranteed to take a hit in efficiency somewhere.

"Without a streamlined switch-out process for inventory, things can go haywire."

Instead, why not do what Sports Experts did and take full advantage of on-site storage resources? With its infinitely customizable architecture, SmartSpace mobile shelving units can conform to the exact measurements inventory managers need them to, saving valuable capacity while exhausting every cubic inch of space.

Sports Experts has the power to build storage around their products instead of trying to make do with static, prefabricated shelving. Is there a better way to design an inventory space that runs on common sense?

Refreshing replenishment
Apparel and shoes are hot-ticket items at sporting goods stores like Sports Experts, so desired that it's not uncommon for popular sizes to fly off the racks. But when customers ask store clerks to check their inventories for sold-out sizes, employees will either clinch these sales or send shoppers to their competitors.

Better organization through mobile shelving makes that possible. Speedy retrieval speaks volumes to customers. And with 50 percent greater storage efficiency than traditional shelving, retailers can order larger volumes of popular sizes and retain them on-site so replenishments are few and far between and customers are always satisfied.

Power-packed pricing
Before bringing goods out where customers can see them, try them on and buy them, store clerks have to price everything. Sports Experts retailers conduct all their pricing operations in their on-site warehouses. Because of the limitations of static shelving, similar products may be grouped separately across the storage area, making accurate pricing a real chore.

Again, Montel saved the day with mobile shelving. Adjustable units squeeze every last drop of space out of their warehouses without overloading them. Inventory managers can arrange shoes, clothing and equipment according to their preferred organizational models. Clerks can price SKUs one at a time, thereby reducing mix-ups and mistakes.

Interested in learning more about how mobile sporting goods storage enhances any retail location, sports team or recreational center? Read about it on our blog or reach out to your local Authorized Montel Distributor today.