Food and Beverage Distributor Deliveries Can be a Slippery Business

blog_picFood and Beverage Distributors. Are Slow or Difficult Deliveries Costing You Money?

Food and Beverage Distributor deliveries can be a slippery business.

The job of a Food and Beverage Distributor is more challenging each day. Trying to maintain existing customers as well as developing new ones is difficult in today’s competitive environment. The last thing you can afford are deliveries that are made more time consuming by difficult or unsafe stairs and floors.

The old saying that time is money, is true in all businesses but, none more so than Food and Beverage distribution. Having difficult or challenging access for delivery of product to a customer is far too common and there is no good way to recoup the additional time it takes to deliver to these sites. These customers often do not want to invest their money to rectify the situation and your left with slower delivery or worse a safety issue for your employee.

Slow deliveries are costly but pale in comparison to a workers compensation claim for an injured delivery person. You have to sell a lot of product to make up for those claims and the increase in your insurance rates each time they happen.

So what are some options for difficult deliveries over ramps, floors and stairs?

Ramp, Porch and Floor deliveries:

For ramps porches and floors there are a number of coatings to minimize risks of slips and falls. With your deliveries being to places that handle food and liquids it is difficult to expect a perfectly clean delivery area with no grease or oils on the surface. There are washes and rinses which are available but that means you are relying on your customer to use them consistently which is difficult to police. Tapes work for a short time but usually come up quickly under these conditions and have an even shorter life when exposed to the outdoors.

Non Slip Coatings are a good option as they go down quickly and provide slip resistance but do not require daily or weekly reapplication. The life expectancy of a good epoxy based non slip coating would be 1 to 3 years depending upon traffic and weather. You may be able to cover the delivery area for only a can of coating and an applicator. They come in varying degrees of roughness and expected durability and require a drying time. Remember to always follow the manufacturers application instructions to maximize the useful life of the product.

Deliveries with Steps Or Stairs:

Many deliveries to large urban areas and older locations involve stairs, which are a different challenge. In addition to food and beverage residue, these steps are often old with stair nosings that have rounded smooth or worse are starting to deteriorate.

This was the case for Steve Hollander of Hartford Distributors in Connecticut.

Deliveries to a few significant customers had become a problem costing him time and causing injuries. The customers did not want to spend the money to fix the stairs so Hartford Distributors chose to fix the problem themselves. They wanted a long term solution which would withstand deliveries with hand trucks over stairs that had presented a problem for them and their deliver people. They chose to have anti slip stair treads installed over stairs to a number of basement delivery areas.

The picture below shows one of Hartford Distributors’ customers stairs after putting down non slip stair treads.

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