After months of work, completion of the warehouse for South Alabama Electric Cooperative’s new building is set for this month. As move-in day approaches, Manager of Stores and Purchases Wayne Mitchell is already thinking about the extra space the new facility will afford his team.
“We’ll be able to use it as our regular warehouse, and it will give us so much more room,” he says. “The old warehouse was good for the cooperative’s needs at the time, but now we have so much more technology we need to be able to store safely, and the new warehouse gives us the ability to do that.”
The new warehouse will more than double the available floor space, providing room to store valuable materials now kept outdoors. It is also designed from the ground up for forklift use, which will help employees move larger materials faster and more efficiently.
In addition to the warehouse, the new storage facility provides an expanded truck shelter so SAEC can keep all of its vehicles out of the elements. Mitchell estimates that the cooperative currently must park half of its fleet outside.
“We have some small trucks that just sit out in the elements all the time if we’re not using them,” he says. “If you can keep them out of the sun and the rain as much as you can, that keeps them in working condition longer.”
The new facility even adds room for ware-house employees now forced to share limited office space. The building’s other features include a dedicated foreman’s room, where the heads of each team will have their own desk, and offices for the engineering and construction superintendents. The dedicated meeting room creates a location for monthly safety briefings and training.
“Having the new warehouse ready is an exciting step in the construction of our new facility. I know the additional space and upgraded features will help our team find new ways to better serve our members,” says General Manager David Bailey.
The completion of the warehouse is also a sign that construction on SAEC’s new building is continuing on schedule. Member services and office staff will continue to work out of the current building while construction moves ahead on the new office facility.