Spanco has it wrapped up

22 December 2007

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The Morgantown, Pennsylvania-based firm wraps cranes once they have been cleaned and painted, before being loaded onto trucks for transportation.

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The process can be done either by hand or by machine, depending on the product and size of part. Workstation cranes, for example, are always run through the machine, while larger jibs have to be wrapped by hand.

After the product is wrapped, it is stacked and 1/16in micro-foam is used between the pieces, for example, trusses in the case of bridge cranes. Measurements are taken and corner boards made of heavy duty cardboard are then placed on all of the corners. The finished wrapped product is banded together with steel bands and then skidded for shipment.

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Packing time depends on the product type and size. A standard workstation bridge crane can be packaged via the wrapping machine in 20 minutes or less. A larger product that requires hand wrapping can take much longer, up to an hour to measure for cardboard corners, and then wrap.

The result has been that, in line with ISO guidelines, "paint damage comments are down to almost zero," according to Spanco.

It explains: "With each shipment that goes out, we place a comment card and every single comment, whether positive or negative, is logged for ISO purposes. Comments may come back via the comment card, postal mail, email, or phone. The logged comments are then reviewed at quarterly management meetings. Every single comment is reviewed and addressed."

Such comments may relate to anything associated with the product, not just packaging and shipment.

Spanco has been shipping product this way for over five years, and was ISO certified on February 1 1999. Due to the customer service requirements of the ISO 9001-2000 program, Spanco was required to respond to each customer complaint individually. Like everyone shipping bulky product via LTL (less than truckload), paint damage is simply partĀ of the equation but ISO certification required it to make adjustments to packaging procedures.

As Spanco pointed out: "ISO requires continual improvement and the analyzation of data that will show where improvements need to be made. The benefit is that this helps us to better understand and control our business and further, it translates into the value of better customer service. What better value is there to a business than a satisfied customer?"

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