Colleges and Universities are among the most challenging customers we serve. In 2012 over 23% of Event Central’s revenue was derived from servicing various schools. Universities demand a quality product, fast service, and a fair price. To achieve this, we built our material handling procedure from the ground up. Our refined process includes the use of custom designed pallets, quality chairs from a well-established US supplier, the ability to use forklifts and pallet jacks at anytime, and a fully-integrated transportation system able to cater to the needs of any campus.
Growth from Good Service
In Spring 2013, we provided chair rentals for 11 graduations at private and public schools, as well as the Army War College. Several institutions hire our “Drop-and-Run” rental service (tractor trailer drop) while many colleges hire us to perform “Turnkey Chair Setup and Take Down”. We are currently limited to performing a maximum of 2 Turnkey Setup’s per day, because of the substantial labor resources required to accomplish the job in one day and still ensure the quality. A typical large chair setup is complete by 3:30PM, including the client final walk through.
Integrated Material Handling Designed from the Ground Up
It requires more than people, trucks, and chairs when you deliver and setup thousands of chairs in a short period of time. It’s really about well-integrated material handling systems. Custom designed metal pallets, custom size pallet jack, specialty forklifts for turf applications, and the ability to safely transport large quantities of chairs from the warehouse to the install site efficiently. Our systems are designed for “ZERO Impact” on school sports fields, gym floors, sidewalks and lawns. The Maintenance and Administration Departments at each University must sign off on every piece of equipment operated on campus.
Event Central converted to an advanced pallet management system 6 years ago in order to reduce the amount of time and labor needed to accomplish the loading and unloading of chairs. The additional cost of utilizing specialty pallets, pallet jacks, and fork lift are offset by the massive reduction in labor. This decrease in man-hours allows us to compress a setup from what used to take up to 2 days to less than 8 hours for the exact same job. One University employee explained it this way;
Your pallet and fork lift system has reduced the fatigue for our staff. We used to allocate over 20 people to move 6000 bulk loaded chairs to the setup site carrying 10 chairs at a time. That’s 600 trips. We have turned what used to be the most hated job at graduation to a smooth running process.
Each job has it’s own unique conditions. One school, who we have been serving since 2004, rents 2,000 chairs (a perfect truckload for our straight truck). The modern aluminum lift gate allows us to unload the chairs with a pallet jack and move them into place along the sidewalk.
Yet another school takes a delivery of this trailer containing 6,000 chairs, which they then unload themselves. The school then uses their own tractor to move the trailers to the setup site. Unloading time with 2 men, a pallet jack, and a forklift is ~50 minutes. The lift truck then shuttles the chairs into “The Commons”, “The Quad”, or wherever they are setup. This reduces the amount of chairs being carried to a minimum. 6 years ago, we would have used 3 straight trucks to deliver that same load!
For customers who do their own setup, we can drop the trailers as early as Tuesday, and pick them up the following Monday. Overall labor savings exceeds 30% from the time they start unloading the first pallet of chairs till the last row of chairs is completed. It also greatly reduces the amount of wear and tear that would befall the chairs.
Sports Field and Turf Equipment
Several of the campuses we serve hold the commencement inside their track on the sports field. For these sites, we use a specialized fork lift outfitted with large flotation turf tires. By their design, they have a minimal impact (Pounds per Square Inch) on the turf. As such, we have the blessing of great Maintenance and Athletic Departments to run the unit across both the rubber track and the sand base soccer field without risk of damage. They have determined impact of the turf tires is comparable to that of the commercial mower used for the field.
Accuracy in counting
Lets be honest. There is no easy way to count chairs, and as such, a university ordering 3-8000 chairs never really knows whether they have what they ordered. And the same could be said for the Rental Store. Event Central worked with a design/builder to develop a specialty counting wheel that brings the accuracy of the chair counting to 100%. And when the university is doing their own the take down, we will leave you a counter to make it easy for you to return the entire order to us.
Delivery Service Radius
Event Central chairs can be trucked anywhere. But, being practical, the area in which we can provide the best value and service during peak season is within the 250 mile radius of our operation.