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I nearly got fired from Dunnes Stores!

Many, many years ago, I worked for Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt.
One particular day, I was asked to restock the frozen food section with frozen packets of vegetables. So I went into the back up freezer and committed the sackable offence by climbing over boxes of product on pallets to get to the required stock.

"Get Down you stupid B****X!" my boss shouted, " You're damaging all the effing stuff" He was right, there's me putting my size 13's into pizza boxes, beef burgers and petit pois.

Fast forward 25 years, I was asked come up with a design to maximise all the space within a large freezer for a Dunnes Stores in the Mid West. Having remembered the verbal guidance that I had received. This was the result!

If you are overloaded with frozen bread boxes, french fries, frozen beef, fish or even desserts and would like a simple solution, please call me on 087 2691014

Damaged packaging

Dunnes stores were experiencing a huge amount of wastage due to frozen food packaging being damaged. Deliveries of frozen product would arrive from their suppliers on pallets. These pallets would then be moved into the back up freezers, push up against the walls or left in the middle of the room. Most pallets contained split product. So when staff members would come into the freezer with a stock list to replenish stock on to the shop shop floor, they would have to pick stock from these split pallets, inevitably the stock they required was at the bottom of the pallet which require staff members to hand ball other boxed product on to the floor in order to get at the required stock.

This damage is primarily being caused by staff members mishandling the frozen product. In order to get at the product, staff members were man handling product whose packaging was exceptionally light resulting in the packaging been ripped, torn or the squashed. Naturally this damaged packaging is unabled to be sold to the general public resulting a financial loss.

Storage Design Brief

We were asked by the store manager to maximise all available space within his freezer room. He wanted a solution that stored a large volume of bulky product, he wanted all the boxed product to stored individually and securely. He recognised that there was a lot of under utilised space over the existing pallets that could be employed to store more product. he gave us permission to incorporate this space but to be mindful about manual handling heights.

Freezer Plastic Shelving Solution

As with a majority of our shelving solutions for walk in cold rooms and freezers, we would use the REA Plastic Shelving System to deliver the solution for this storage problems that Dunnes Stores were having at this store.

We decided to use the REA Plastic Shelving for the following reasons:

  1. It will suitable for working freezer environments of up to -40 degrees celcius.
  2. It has a weight load certification for weight up to 200Kgs per meter lenght which is ample for the project
  3. Our manufacturer will make to measure according to our agreed design.

As you can see from the lifestyle picture, we created a two shelf configuration which replicated the foot print of a euro pallet on the bottom and the same size as the second shelf. We created compartments like pigeon holes to store individual product. Theses compartments were designed around each product and the amount that needed to be stored. We worked this design around the room and I feel we delivered a very functional and well organised freezer

New Site

Welcome to our new Cold Room Shelving website and so much more!

Yes, as the Internet world is constantly evolving, we found that our old website though very informative to our visitors, it needed to be updated especially for mobile phone users.

Our old website was not mobile friendly thus creating a bad visitor experience. Our visitors expect our website to be easy to navigate and to be quick to use. I think we have achieved a better user experience, you might let us know if you are enjoying our website but more importantly if you are not enjoying this site, could you let us know? Email me on ollie@obs.ie

We never new you supplied so many different plastic storage products!

This phrase has happened to us a number of times down through the years which is embarassing because it shows that we are not marketing our full product range to our customers thus resulting loss of potential business.

This new website will allow us to create blogs / case studies and marketing material for our visitors and customers.We have realised that our visitors are demanding more and more information on our products and the problems that our product range can solve.

Naturally, we can only verbally explain our product range and it's pertinent application to your needs one person at a time. By collecting all the case studies and the solutions that our product range solve on to our website, it allows us to inform a greater amount of people as they search for solutions to their problems.

We don't see a solution to our specific problem!

Everyone has a specific problem that needs particular solution. If you don't see a case study or a blog on your particular need, please give me a call on 087-2691014


Flour Bins

Flour bins are one the most popular storage bins in the pastry section of commercial kitchen.

WHY?

They are many, many different types of flours bins to choose from. The main reason we have such a range is to offer you a choice. The need for this range is very much dependant on the following:

  1. The volumne of flour / product to be stored
  2. How many flour bins that need to be stored?
  3. Will the size of the flour bin be too big in the pastry section?
  4. Do you need these bins to be colour coded?
  5. Will you put new flour in on top of old flour?
  6. What size of bins do you need?

1.THE VOLUME OF THE FLOUR / PRODUCT TO BE STORED

As you will agree every business order their flour differently. Some of them order by the bag and some by the pallet. It is important that whatever way that you order your flour, you have the right bins to help store, handle and rotate the flour product. The most popular size bag that wholesalers will deliver is the 25kg bag, some business because of manual handling, rotation and usage concerns, they would order 12.5kg bags or even sometimes 5kg bags.

HOW MANY FLOUR BINS THAT ARE NEEDED AND WHERE TO BE STORED?

As with every proper working kitchen, it is all about the work flow. How to move around your kitchen effectively so that you are more productive and not criss crossing back on yourself. This same thought process should apply in your pastry section so that staff have easy access to the flour in a quick and timely manner. So it is important to agree a centrally located area so that all staff can have quick access to the flour. This area is usually small or non existant. So it is important that the flour bin you choose is just right.

DO YOU NEED THESE BINS TO BE COLOURED CODED?

In every pastry section, there is a requirement for many different flours. These have to be easily identifyable to staff members who may have a sleepy head on them ( even then, they will make mistakes). The best way to identify different variety of flours is allocate a different colour to a particular flour. This will help the user to located which flour is which thus reducing stupid choice errors. The most important advantage of colour coded flour bins is the reduction of cross contamination problems especially with the use of allergens on your menu. This error usually happens when decanting new flour into a bin......... What was in that bin before? By colour coding this risk is greatly reduced. Please call Ollie on 087 2691014 for a full list of colours that are available.

WILL I PUT NEW FLOUR IN ON TOP OF OLD FLOUR?

Some people do and think "sure what's the harm in it?"

There is potential harm with the existance of flour mites, they won't bite or sting you but they do harbour fungal spores which can make people sick. The main reason flour mites occur is because of old and unused flour. The simplest way to prevent flour mites is to Rotate, don't overstock and good hygiene practices.

WHAT SIZE OF BIN DO YOU NEED?

As mentioned there are many brothers in the family. These can be broken down by brands i.e Rubbermaid, Cambro or our own. The popular sizes that you could consider would be the 30kg Bin ( Dims: L600 x W355 x H675mm), 50kg Bin ( Dims:L600 x W455 x H675mm) or 70kg Bin ( Dims:L600 x W455 x H675mm).

If you require any further information please call Ollie on 087 2691014

Plastic Containers to Store your Fruit and Vegetables!

Plastic Containers to Store your Fruit and Vegetables!

Me Bleedin' Veggies are only sweatin'!"

"Ya Wha!"

I met with a good customer of my recently, she hails from Liberties and whose humor and speed of thought is a sharp as butchers boning knife.
I says to her " what wrong with you?"

She says " Business is very good, thanks to the lord god almighty and you know how small my cold room is" I says "I do"

She says " I have cardboard boxes of veg and salad product everywhere, I think they're breedin in dat cold room!". " All me product is going off and not lasting pissing time!"

"Can ye help?"

I says "Well, put all your veg and salad into these perforated containers, it is impossible to chill product effectively through cardboard, plus you can see where everything is!"

Also, put each veg delivery into these containers and hand back the cardboard boxes thus saving on the cost of this refuse. What do you think?

The size of these containers are 600x400x200mm and are available ina solid version also.

For a full range of plastic containers please click here.

Top 3 Resources to make decisions during Covid 19 Times!

Top 3 Resources to help you make Business Decisions for your Catering Business during these Covid 19 Times!

We are a week into this Twilight Zone that nobody has ever experienced before!

It is testing each and every one of us to our core. Who would have thought that waking up one morning and finding that you have no customers and more interestingly your competitors have no customers either, especially when you have done nothing wrong.

Each morning we go into our bathroom to wash our face, shave or put on lipstick and look at ourselves. Nobody except you knows what the "look back at you" really means.

This look may give you the answer that it is time to pack up and try something else because your heart was not truly into it and it was only a matter of time. Some of you will have a steely stare of strength that will reinforce your passion and drive.

This will be a time for you to re-evaluate your whole business or career to answer this question " How will I improve both personally and professionally?"

I have put together a number support websites for information that I feel could help you with various decisions that you will have to make.

Government supports for your Catering Business

1. Letting somebody go from your employment because they are not up to it can be tough at the best of times but when you have to let go a colleague who has been with you along time, it is truly horrific.

Speaking to a lot of my customers they have all said that they want to look after their employees. Here is a very good government website that explains all the entitlements that you or your employees are allowed.

This site also allows you to apply for Financial help.

Business Ideas for your Catering Company.

2. This is the hard part. What will you do?

How will you know what would be successful or not? You don't. You could ask your Facebook following and see what the feedback might be.

You are limited in what you can offer, this would be the chance to show off a new menu that would be quick and delicious to create.

There are ideas of providing a delivery service to your customers. This would be relatively easy to set up in a short period of time.

You may have in house epos system that may have an online ordering system that you could bolt on or you could set up a facebook page with your new offering.

Now is the time to promote like hell, through word of mouth, leaflets or social media.

There are delivery companies that you could use like deliveroouber eats or a new start up in Galway called " what's for dinner?"

Restaurants are also offering a phone and collect service. We used it with our local restaurant ( Brown Bear) and I was well impressed. We placed the order by phone and they texted us to say it was ready. We came to collect, it was given to us in really nice packaging which maintained the integrity of the food and the order placed in the back seat of the car.

PERFECT!!!!

REMEMBER your customers will truly miss not being able to go to your restaurant or cafe and they would love to support you so that you will be open for business on the other side.

Hand Washing rules for when your serve food.

3. This where your customers are exceptionally hyper at the moment. They need to see, hear and read the steps that you are taking to show them that you are serious about hand washing ( see a very good website on how to wash your hands properly).

NOTICE: DON'T LEAVE THE TAP RUNNING AS YOU WASH - WATER SHORTAGE!!!!

They recommend that you sing " Happy Birthday Twice" when washing hands, This can get a bit boring. Please use this site to create you own hand washing chart to your favourite song

Tip: There is nothing worse when you have thoroughly cleaned your hands only to open a door not knowing if the door handle is clean. So always use some tissues if you are using public toilets or pull the door with your less dominant hand because you will not use that hand to touch your face. If you are like me my hands are hopping off of me with the amount of hand washing that I have done.

Members of the public are also showing concerns about the transmission of the virus through foods. The food safety authority has issued information (See Here) on this which I think is very useful.

Official HSE Signage will give your customer confidence that you are following HSE guidelines. Here's a pdf of popular signage that you have seen yourselves.

If you can share with your customers that you know these fears, dealing with them through an internal process and communicate this to them, it will go along way to easing their fears about buying food from your business.

We at OBS Storage Systems wish you to be safe and look after your family, friends and neighbours and we will see you on the other side.