MINNEAPOLIS -- Dock doors with panels that knock out easily rather than break have cut door maintenance costs by more than half for Supervalu here.
"We've literally cut door repair costs by two-thirds," said Forrest Mahan, building maintenance manager at Supervalu's Anniston, Ala., distribution center.
Following an eight-month test run last year with one knock-out panel dock door at its Anniston distribution center, the wholesaler installed the new equipment at 25 more of the facility's 69 doors.
Most of the new doors have been placed at the perishables and grocery docks, which see the most activity, said. The remaining 44 doors will be "phased in over the next two to three years as budgets permit," he added.
The new door technology allows for dock door panels to knock out on impact instead of breaking apart, he added. The fiberglass panels can be put back into place, reducing the need for repair and replacement.
The knock-out doors are priced comparably to standard wood and aluminum doors, he added. Replacing a panel on the existing wood/masonite doors, which Supervalu builds itself, costs about $40, and the wholesaler may need to replace as many as three panels per month for these doors.