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They’re WOOL versed in mechanical handling! Wool Warehouse choose Penny’s for 2nd goods lift

They’re WOOL versed in mechanical handling! Wool Warehouse choose Penny’s for 2nd goods lift


Founded in 2012 and priding themselves on being ‘independently different,’ Wool Warehouse is still owned and run by its original founders. Although the business has gradually developed to a point where it is predominantly online, they are still a physical bricks-and-mortar retailer, and customers can still visit and buy yarn from their premises in Leamington Spa.

Whilst the company may not have the level of resources of some of its larger competitors, being an independent retailer really sets them apart, as they are 100% committed to continual reinvestment back into the business - gradually enabling them to increase the range of yarns they offer, as and when time, funds and space allow.

The company’s business operation is conducted from their Leamington Spa warehouse and rather unusually, everybody who picks up the phone, answers an email, responds to a message on Facebook, or serves in our shop, also works in the warehouse picking and packing yarn. In fact - there’s a very good chance that the person that customers speak to on the phone may be the very same person who packs and posts their order. This offers the benefit that all staff are intimately acquainted with the full product range. It’s not surprising that most of the team are also passionate knitters and crocheters in their spare time!

In 2014, to support the company’s growth, a mezzanine floor was installed in the company’s warehouse, which effectively doubled the amount of storage space for yarn! This then led to the quandary of how large palletised and boxed deliveries would be transported between the ground floor and the new mezzanine level.

“Moving deliveries up and down stairs can be back-breaking work,” said General Manager of Penny’s Goods Lift Division, Jocelyn Cole. “Forklifts are a traditional solution to the issue, but forklift operations in a busy warehouse environment can be particularly hazardous.”

Following a free of charge, no-obligation on-site consultation with Penny Hydraulics award-winning Goods Lift Division, a specialist 500kg capacity mezzanine floor lift was designed and manufactured in the UK at Penny’s Derbyshire based headquarters. Once installed, the lift quickly made a large impact - playing a pivotal role in the quick, safe and smooth handling of deliveries and stock, so much so, that when Wool Warehouse acquired a large barn for use as an additional storage facility to hold stock, they contacted Penny’s Goods Lift engineers once more to specify an additional lift for the new premises.

Based on a standard brochure design, Penny’s popular mezzanine floor goods lift, known as the ‘MezzLift’ was adjusted with small design alternations to suit the building and application. The hydraulically powered lift, which transports goods between ground level and up to 3 mezzanine floors, solves manual handling problems associated with mezzanine floors in warehouses, retail outlets and workshops and significantly reduces the risks associated with unaided manual handling operations

“Having a range of specialist mezzanine floor lifts within our range, meant there was no need to reinvent the wheel,” said Jocelyn. “This offered two key benefits to Wool Warehouse - they were assured of a tried and tested product and design costs were minimal, meaning we could keep costs low, therefore offering a seriously competitively priced lift.”

UK design and manufacture offered further benefits, such as the ability to accommodate bespoke options, as well as manufacture and install the lift within a short lead time of just 6 weeks. One such bespoke option chosen by Wool Warehouse was a specially sized platform measuring 2 metres by 1.3 metres to allow 2 pallets to be positioned lengthways on the platform at any given time, enabling their operatives to handle deliveries productively. Furthermore, a specially sized 2.2-metre-high gate enabled large stacks of boxes to be easily transported on and off the platform.

The unique and innovative design of the MezzLift product means that, unlike most other lifts available on the market, installation is quick. The lift was installed, tested and certified in just 2 days at the new barn facility.

“A surface-mounted design avoids costly and time-consuming structural changes to the building commonly associated with pit-fitted installations, said Jocelyn. “Instead the compact, free-standing design of all mezzanine floor lifts in the range maximises use-able floor space in customer’s premises, perfect when space is at a premium.”

Penny’s work does not end following installation of the lift in May 2017 either - Penny’s ‘cradle to grave’ philosophy means that the lift will be carefully maintained and inspected throughout its life by their team of dedicated engineers, guaranteeing continued optimum performance. Regular Thorough Examinations in accordance with Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) will mean that the employer will continue to fulfil their legal obligations and duty of care to employees by ensuring the equipment remains safe to use throughout its life.

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