Yard Ramps Case Study: Portable Yard Ramp Keeps Business Moving at Local Strip Mall
• Property manager for strip mall in medium-sized suburb
• Owns the property
• Responsible for client satisfaction and maintenance
• Ground-floor shipping bays make it difficult for tenants to unload shipments from trucks
• Tenants losing time unloading boxes of items one by one
• Businesses relocating to facilities with more accessible loading docks
• Management company provides Handi-Ramp portable yard ramp for entire complex
• Can be moved from tenant to tenant to meet shipment needs
• Tenants very happy with newfound ability to unload shipments quickly
• Ramp acts as a selling point, resulting in faster lease-signings on empty storefronts
• Much lower turnover on existing businesses
Handi-Ramp was contacted by a property manager with a number of different holdings in a medium-sized suburb of Chicago. Their focus was retail and commercial real estate, an industry that was hit particularly hard by the recent economic crisis.
Property managers have been scrambling to maintain their business, making sure that their tenants demands are swiftly taken care of. If a tenant is unhappy with the facilities that the property manager offers, they are likely to leave for a location that better suits their needs.
This property manager began fielding complaints from his occupants who were frustrated by the inaccessibility of ground-floor loading areas and the lack of loading/unloading equipment. The manager approached Handi-Ramp with a simple question: How can I create a better loading dock for my renters that won’t be outrageously expensive?
The property manager’s problem isn’t unique when it comes to strip malls. Since most strip malls are only one story tall, the facilities don’t typically have the height necessary for a loading bay that reaches the deck of a truck. The shipments must be loaded/unloaded at a remote location and then wheeled by foot to their proper place. This time spent loading and unloading shipments is very costly to a small business owner.
If that wasn’t challenging enough, some new facilities near the property manager’s complex had built homemade concrete ramps at the back of their storefronts. While these ramps were hastily built, rudimentary, and ultimately unsafe due to their lack of sturdy traction, they technically fulfilled the tenants’ desire to ship faster and easier. A new shipment would pull directly up to one of the permanent ramps and unload there, saving the shopkeepers money and time.
A small group of the property manager’s tenants were relocating, signing leases with the companies that ran these new facilities and leaving their old locations. Our property manager had to act fast before all of his business vacated his property, but he didn’t have the capital necessary to add loading bays to the building or pour concrete loading ramps of his own. Whatever the solution was, it had to be practical and cost-effective.
The property manager, after browsing Handi-Ramp’s catalog and consulting with the sales team, decided on a single 36-foot-long, ground-to-truck portable yard ramp.
Instead of purchasing a ramp for each tenant or paying for permanent alterations to his facilities, the property manager sought to use a single ramp on a rotating schedule to serve everyone in the complex. Renters would agree on a predetermined time to receive shipments, and the ramp would be in place for the course of the time slot they reserved. Since the ramp was portable, shifting the ramp to meet an incoming shipment would be easy.
The tenants at the complex were immediately satisfied with the ease of unloading their shipments while using the portable yard ramp. Businesses whose forklifts had sat dusty and unused were finally able to offload new stock with incredible efficiency. The shopkeepers even shared their equipment, renting out their forklifts to other tenants, and streamlining the process for the entire facility.
Instead of the unloading and restocking process taking a whole day, shipments would be on the shelves in a matter of hours. Stock started to move quicker and most of the tenants saw an increase in revenue.
With happy tenants, the property manager saw a marked decrease in broken leases. They also noted a significant decrease in tenant relocations. Not only that, but the yard ramp served as a selling point for the entire complex, prompting a much shorter vacancy period.