Seeds planted during the past 40 years working together to create the niche industry need of High Density Mobile Filing Systems, Solutions and Concept.
For such an established and effective solution to so many challenges today, it remains a mystery as to why this concept is still, well, mysterious. Lacking a household name or identity, and referred to as everything from ‘mobile storage’ to ‘rolling shelves’, ‘compact aisles’, ‘mobile aisle’, ‘moving shelving systems’, ‘collapsing storage systems’, ‘space-saving storage’, ‘high density filing, ‘shelving on wheels’ or ‘those rolling things’, the industry continues to seek it’s proper category, classification and community. Worse, while those who know this field lack a consistent description, far more don’t even know it exists at all. They continue on their way accepting the fate of having to expand into new facilities, push critical materials and information to off-site and out-of-reach locations, and deal with over crowded work areas, unsafe warehouses, inefficient workflow and overall diminished performance, without awareness that there is a better way, high density filing systems!
What we do have today in our little corner of those who have seen the light and learned how to apply these high density filing products, is as follows:
This is where it begins – with the makers of high density filing systems and systems allowing you to reclaim your space. We identify about 20 makers of high density filing systems, and quickly narrowed the list down to less than 10 who are relevant and committed to the industry.
Each manufacturer determines how they choose to go to market, distribute and sell their high density filing systems. This usually comes down to a primary choice of a Direct vs. Indirect Sales Channel.
In a Direct Sales Channel, the manufacturer owns and operates it’s own local market sales and service offices. They hire staff, direct sales and take more direct control over the business.
With an Indirect sales model, the manufacturer partners with local independently-owned and operated small businesses who take lead role and responsibility with regard to sales, service, local marketing and overall business development and high density filing system customer engagement.
When selecting a partner or provider to use high density filing systems, it is important to understand their position. A direct sales office, for example, will create a tighter line of communication between the buyer and the manufacturer, but it’s relevant to note that your local office may not be as vested in the community when compared to an independent business with local ownership and a total commitment to the marketplace.
Whether direct or indirect, the manufacturer brand tends to set the tone and create the culture within their respective sales channels. This can affect the way territory boundaries are managed, how national accounts are serviced, pricing structures, expectations of local sales offices and ultimately how customers are served (or not served). Each manufacturer of high density filing systems tends to have it’s own approach, and while product differentiation has become increasingly irrelevant, they do still have subtle differences which can be meaningful at times.
Contractors, Designers and Architects:
GC’s and the A&D world are a key component, but one that the industry tends to rely on too much to promote its solutions. Many times an architect, which happens to be versed in the use and application of high-density mobile storage concepts, will include a system (or systems) in the design of a new hospital, university, law firm office, military base, corporation or other. When this occurs, the risk of less-than-ideal design and/or specifications exists, dependent on the resourcefulness and knowledge of the designing architect. In some instances, the architect is thoughtful enough to engage a local expert prior to the design process. If not, providers are sometimes forced into providing systems that are not optimally equipped for the need they intend to serve, which can have a negative affect on the project as well as our industry reputation overall.