Walser Car Reconditioning Center consolidates parts storage system and boosts efficiency with a single VLM

Case Summary

Walser Car Reconditioning stores 200k spare parts in a small footprint with Modula storage systems, boosting efficiency to meet tight deadlines.

Walser Reconditioning Center, which serves dealerships that need used cars prepared for resale, was building a new facility for its work. To ensure maximum utility from the new building, the owner decided that only 6,000 square feet of the 90,000 square feet to be constructed should be used for a car reconditioning parts storage system. The center acquired a Modula VLM vertical storage system to store the bulk of its auto parts inventory in a small footprint. Doing so not only saved space, it simplified parts retrieval and helped the production portion of the operation meet tight deadlines for their operations.

The Challenge

Creating a storage system for thousands of parts on a small footprint in an automotive reconditioning center

The Walser group of car dealerships had previously done reconditioning work in separate dealerships in Minnesota and Kansas, but they decided to consolidate operations in one location. Their process for reconditioning involves passing a car through as many as 35 stages of inspection and reconditioning. They’re required to perform this process in no more than five days. One of the key factors in meeting that deadline is having parts on hand for the work and retrieving them quickly. Parts also need to be provided to dealers who order them or to customers who walk in off the street.

With their previous storage system, operators would have to find the parts on shelves and couldn’t always do so easily, let alone efficiently. With the new facility, the organization’s leadership didn’t want to allow more than 6,000 of the 90,000 square feet of space to be used for parts. The rest would be for production work. Says Steve Davis, the center’s general manager, “If we were going to put $800,000 of auto parts into 6,000 square feet, we needed a different option.”

The Solution

A Modula vertical storage system for auto parts and accessories connected to the organization’s ERP

Davis had been a fan of a vertical storage system for auto parts, and he and his team had worked in the past with the Modula IT team for computer-related work. He knew that a vertical lift module would be a great way to take advantage of the high ceilings. “We looked at all competitors in the market and we felt that Modula had the best solution for our position here. The pricing, how fast it could be built, and the support they have is great.”

They were able to serve all their needs with a single Modula VLM: the ML 25D. The unit is 27 feet tall and can readily store in just only 154 square feet, the over 200,000 parts that the center keeps on hand to service dealers and customers in addition to the reconditioning operation.

An employee at the stock counter can be talking to a customer on the phone and retrieve the part by walking less than 10 feet to the Modula VLM. Previously, that employee might have to walk for 40 feet or more in search of the part. Training an employee on how to use the VLM can be done in less than an hour.

The Walser team says there’s been “a massive increase in employee productivity” and it’s far easier now to meet that five-day turnaround time for reconditioning vehicles. Moreover, they loved how easy the machine is to learn. Steve Davis said, “I can have someone trained within an hour, from the most basic to the more complex items.

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