Chicago’s Louis Glunz Beer Distributorship

Keeping Glunz Employees Safe & Efficient

 Discover How we Helped Louis Glunz Distributorship Streamline Their Cold Storage Facility & Ensure Safety

A Chicago staple, Glunz Beer Inc. began as the ultimate American dream. Founded by an immigrant nearly 130 years ago, Glunz has adapted and persevered through the trials and tribulations from prohibition and the Great Depression to the modern demands for microbrews and specialty beers.

As with all product distributors, storage space can become a serious safety and efficiency problem – especially in terms of cold storage space. Managers of cold storage facilities face the common challenge of maximizing the amount of stock that can be stored, using the least amount of space.

Dave Trippicchio, Head Operations Manager at the Louis Glunz facility, found that there was a need to provide a safe and efficient way for employees to reach the 2400SKUs stored in their facility. Doing so requires a severe commitment to quality and organization – often this responsibility rests with the Operations Department.

The owners had two main problems that needed to be addressed:

  • The existing cold storage warehouse had approximately 250 ft. of static shelving, 4 levels high. Extra Kegs would often need to be set along the front of the racks – creating a blockade.
  • For employees to reach a particular keg, they would need to first clear a path through the kegs in order to get the racks behind them and then move the loose kegs back to their place.

“We’d get the beer in and find a place for it to sit safely, and hopefully rotate it in the proper order and no one would get hurt.” – Tripicchio

Given the growing nature of the industry and the current inefficiency of the facility, they realized something needed to change.

Solution? Racking that Moves!

In order to substantially improve the organization and safety of the facility, there would need to be a complete restructuring and rethinking of their keg storage. Tripicchio was asked by the owners of Glunz to look into the ActivRAC Mobile Storage System and contacted Bradford Systems to come in and conduct a free assessment of their current space.

Our professional storage planner explained the ActiveRAC System, audited the space to determine needs and provided a quote.

Our Cold Storage Solution: 

The Glunz facility included four large, load-bearing columns which were located in the middle of the cooler. Our consultant suggested installing the ActivRAC System in the space within those columns.

Installation began, employees were trained on the system and put everything in it’s place. Slower moving and specialty SKUs we loaded on to the system, allowing them to move the faster-moving SKU’s out of the way and into safer locations for the employees.

Now the system accommodates anywhere between 1,500 – 1,800 barrels at any given time.

The Result: Immeasurable Safety & Efficiency

Operations Manager, Tripicchio, said that the ActivRAC system has eliminated the safety hazards his employees frequently faced. The end result was exactly what Glunz needed: a safe system that keeps slow movers out of the way and allows for easy picking and rotation.

“We gained a lot more than we had imagined, we feel like we can do anything now that we’ve got the barrel cooler straight. It’s a major savings.” – Tripicchio 

Every barrel has a location, resulting in nearly perfect location integrity. The new ActivRAC system has also helped improve customer service and create a safer environment.

“After we got the ActiveRAC installed, it really became evident how much safer the cooler became. The safety aspect is immeasurable”

– Dave Tripiccio, Head Operations Manager at Glunz Beer, Inc.