When you select a cold storage warehouse, you’re putting a lot of trust in another company to ensure that your product is safe from temperature abuse, theft, food safety violations and general damage. Pick the wrong company to store your products, and you face the very real possibility of losing most of your inventory, your carriers and the most vital piece of the chain, your customers.
Mentally, most managers in the industry know this to be true, but it’s very easy to slide into the mindset that the ultimate deciding factor is “how much does it cost to store a pallet?”
If you just glance at the sticker price and make a decision to go with a warehouse that’s 10% cheaper than the competitor, you could be in for a lot of trouble, even if the warehouse doesn’t damage or contaminate your product. If the “cheaper” warehouse has poor turn times (and believe me, it’s one of the ways they keep the sticker price low), you wind up paying thousands per week in detention fees, and increased transportation fees.
McCook operates in the Chicagoland region, and whenever I see a competitor offering a similar service for 20% less than we’re able to, my first question is always “how do you get the price that low?” Our sticker price reflects a very high standard of consistent quality service, a Warehouse Management System (WMS), fast turn times, a well maintained building, continued education in food safety, and, to be blunt, a staff that’s knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Cold storage work is by no means easy, and to keep quality employees who take great care of the products entrusted to us, we’ve got to offer a decent wage. If we didn’t, then we would be dealing with constant turnover. And continually operating with a floor full of new employees is a great way to damage customer property and lose control of inventory.
This is why McCook Cold Storage isn’t like a used car lot, where we promise to “do whatever it takes to make a sale.” Obviously, we’re always working to stay competitive and efficient within the cold storage industry, but we’re not the kind of company that’s going to give you the bottom-of-the-barrel price or send you a bill nickel and diming you to death for fees we never informed you of.
The relationship with a cold storage facility is a vital one, and we would encourage you to make that decision holistically. Because the end-game price of a “deal” is often much higher than you had imagined.