Chapter Corner

How Van Organization Can Benefit Your Company

Posted in: Management Methods, August 2014

As a contractor, you understand the importance of organization. Between your office, paperwork, and appointments, there are a lot of things to juggle on the job. One of the most important aspects of your business organization starts with your work vehicle. 

Although you may think of your commercial vehicle as transportation from place to place, it is actually key element of your success. Electrical contractors are constantly on the go and many work right out of their vehicles. Your work van is one of your biggest financial investments and ensuring that is well organized will benefit you immensely.

Benefits of Van Organization

An organized work van is the foundation on which you build the rest of your business. It is the way in which you transport the people and tools you need to get the job done. If your vehicle is in disarray, you run the risk of money and equipment loss and you may unintentionally endanger your technicians.

So how can an organized van benefit your business? Proper organization will aid your company in several different ways, including: 

SAFETY: A well-organized commercial vehicle is a safe vehicle. Loose tools in the back of your van are dangerous to both you and your equipment. In the event of a traffic accident or a sudden stop, unrestrained tools can become dangerous flying objects that can cause injury at worst or become casualties of accidental damage at best.

Instead, organize your equipment with vehicle upfit options such as partitions, storage modules, and drawers to keep your van cargo areas neat and safe.

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT: Organization also helps you manage your supply inventory. When your tools and equipment stay in the same place, it’s easy to know when something should be restocked or replaced. Keep track of everything up-front to avoid the need to re-purchase expensive tools.

In addition to proper organization, it is a good idea to map the contents within your van and clearly label each drawer, shelf, and cabinet to improve inventory management. Simply stick a piece of masking tape on each storage unit! Not only will this aid in organization and inventory, but with labeled equipment, you can save a lot of time in your search for the tools you need and get the job done quicker.

BRANDING: When a customer sees your work van pull up in front of his or her home, they instantaneously form a first impression of your company. Keep your vehicle organized and clean to ensure your first impression is a good one. An organized van signals professionalism and demonstrates that customers can rely on you to get the work done quickly and correctly. Surely you already know the importance of word-of-mouth recommendations. Use your work van as an opportunity to “wow” your customers and enforce your brand.

SAVINGS: Ultimately, a well-organized van will save you both time and money. The less time you have to spend on the hunt for the necessary tools for a job will increase the productivity and efficiency of your company. Keep your equipment securely packed in your van to save you money and avoid costly tool damage and loss.

Tools to Help You Stay Organized

PARTITIONS: Partitions, also called bulkheads, are beneficial for many reasons. First, a partition creates a solid barrier between the cargo area and the cab which keeps passengers safe from any shifting tools in the rear. Partitions maximize your van’s cargo space and allows for more organization options. A variety of accessories are available to be mounted to the partition, which creates even more storage space. Additionally, a partition helps to create a much more comfortable atmosphere during travel. The divider reduces the noise of the moving tools and regulates climate in the cab.

STORAGE MODULES: There is no shortage of storage options for your tools during transportation. Filing cabinets are available for the cargo area and the cab area of your vehicle and can help you keep all of your paperwork in order while you’re on the go. If you work from your vehicle, you might consider the installation of a workbench module in your van to allow for a comfortable work environment. Lockable drawers and cabinets help to keep your tools safe and secure shelving maximizes storage space. No matter what brand of vehicle you drive, there is a storage module available to fit your needs.

LADDER RACKS: Transportation of a ladder is often a necessary evil in the electrical contracting industry. Ladder racks are available to quickly and easily load and unload your ladder. Additionally, a ladder rack can keep your large, bulky ladder safe and secure on top of your vehicle and free up more storage space inside.

ACCESSORIES: Other accessories are available to even further expand the space in your vehicle. Hooks can be secured to partitions to organize wires and other items. Bins can line the shelves to keep different types of equipment separate. Wire window screens can be installed to increase security to the cargo area. Accessories are often the final touches that your van needs to fully optimize its storage solutions.

Todd Goldmeyer is marketing manager at Adrian Steel. Adrian Steel offers several vocational upfit packages designed specifically to meet the needs of electrical contractors. Since 1953, Adrian Steel has been a leader in innovative cargo management solutions and has installed upfits on over one million commercial vehicles. For more information, please visit www.adriansteel.com.