Table Art Obsession: Flight Cases
An exclusive look into the Table Art Warehouse and their obsession with Flight Cases.
For anyone who has booked our services before, you will be familiar with the sight of our crew rolling in grey branded flight cases into the event. Your first sight of Table Art will often be a flight case ahead of our crew pushing it into position before the crew introduce themselves. Our cases are so emblematic of our service. As a result, we here at Table Art have an almost unhealthy obsession with these rolling beauties….
Decades of experience have taught us the importance of first impressions. Having been on many a site where a supplier wanders in, cardboard boxes piled high as they bring in their product. The anxious mutterings of a client as they wonder who on earth the new arrival is. Then then chaos that ensues as plastic and polystyrene packaging spreads across the room as the mystery supplier sets up their product. A cringe worthy moment for all who are present, it simply does not give a good impression to the client. How can they have faith in the product when the supplier comes in so poorly presented?
Knowing how NOT to do it can be valuable. However, the important thing is to lead by example. That is why MD Gary takes such care and consideration in how Table Art presents itself. The Flight Cases are the first wave. Clean cut grey cases with silver trim, all branded with Table Art. They stand apart from the usual black AV cases that are spread across a room during set up. They communicate to the client immediately that Table Art are a professional outfit, ready to do business.
Strengthened Flight Cases:
All of this is strengthened when they set eyes on our crew, again fully branded in black attire. With Gary having made first impressions a cornerstone of training, the crew know the next step is to introduce themselves. Making sure the client knows who you are and what you are there to do will take away their anxiety. Setting them at ease from the moment you arrive, clients often form bonds with our crew. The result is that next time they book, they request the same team they had previously – keen to work with them again!
Beyond these immediate communicators of our service, we also invest in the chance encounters. Clients aren’t always in the event room and can be found in the foyers/ bars and loading bays of a venue. For this reason, our vans are all sign written and branded to the hilt. From the moment you set eyes on our van, you know Table Art has arrived.
Did you know that we hold over 160 unique table centre hire options? Also, that many of those designs are held in quantities of 50/100 plus. Obvious from that is the level of stock we have here at the Warehouse. Strike that, its plural now with us now having a second warehouse. Two warehouses filled to the brim with table centre hire designs and props means one thing… organisation!
The flight cases are absolutely key to this organisation. Which is why every year sees a huge delivery of new flight cases to our main warehouse. Technical Development Manager Andy Rawlings is the man in charge. At the beginning of the year he assesses what our needs are and makes the order for the cases. With an order of 100+ pieces, it is a strategic order- making sure the right size is ordered for the products that need storing. We have a specific grey pantone that is specific to our business and so Andy ensures that the correct colour is ordered every time. Continuity is vital!
Every case is made to our specification and then shipped to the UK in a single container. Then it’s all hands-on deck ready for the delivery…
One day in the early Summer, Warehouse and Office band together to tackle the container delivery. Once the lorry is parked up and the container placed, we begin a gargantuan task! Working in pairs, we take off each case and place them in piles around the yard, organising them by size. This can take the best part of a morning to do and is often done in the blazing heat. For one poor soul (usually Rob), they work inside the roasting hot container, dragging the cases to the back. Although a great trick for storage, often when you lift a particularly heavy case, you will find a Russian doll type effect where a case is filled with smaller ones. By the end, with a yard filled with flight cases, its hard to believe it all fitted into a single container.
With the heavy stuff over, its now down to the warehouse to organise the next step. The next step? Well that would be customising the cases. All these cases arrive unbranded and without wheels. With the Summer months being relatively quiet in our World, we invest our time in getting the cases ready. Mos and Jake work hard getting all the wheels installed, often having to work together, and creating a makeshift production line. A wheeled case is then rolled over to Gary and Rob who in a haze of spray paint, brand each case with the Table Art Logo.
One of the most important features to our cases is the info plates. Acrylic plates are screwed to the top of each case. These plates communicate important information, all the following detail noted:
- Name of Table Centre Hire
- Quantity Held
- Date Cleaned and initial of crew who cleaned said items
- Warehouse Location
- Name and Date of Event
This is all key information that helps us run the business seamlessly.
Not quite the final stage, the cases then need to be customised for the products…
The customisation of the cases is often the most challenging yet rewarding step. Andy and Gary will have put together a list of products that they want these cases assigned to. It is then Jake Rheams job to transform the cases to they work seamlessly with the table centre hire design. His skills are utilized here as our resident CNC machinist. Taking a single product, he breaks it down into its components. Then works in CAD to produce initial designs, looking at ways to maximise space within the case while bearing in mind the importance of simplicity. The later point is important because a client needs to be able to open a case and not be intimidated by an overcomplicated layout.
Once the CAD drawings for the layout are approved, Jake makes a prototype. This prototype is then presented to the warehouse. Working together, they fill the case with the product and access the effectiveness. Often the cases pass with flying colours, on occasion there are a couple of tweaks to make. This is what our summer is for, getting our stock ready to rock for the Autumn/ Winter Season!
The Wrap Up
Ok so we are Flight Case nerds, slightly obsessive over what could be perceived as a relatively dull object. We hope that this blog illustrates how vital they are to us as a business. On a practical level, they get products to and from an event safely. These cases communicate to our team the stock levels at a glance. They allow for easy storage here in our warehouse. Thus making preparing an order a breeze. Beyond the practical, the aesthetic means we give a great impression. The moment a client sees our crew roll in with the flight cases, they are ensured of our professionalism.
Experience the Table Art service yourself and contact our team today for a quotation.
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