When you’ve got 350 different varieties of fish in one freezer, ready and waiting to be shipped – often at short notice – to customers all over the UK, you’ll appreciate that organisation is key. And nobody knows this fact more than James, Jilly, Maureen and co at The Fish Society. Last Friday James told me about improvements they have been working on for the last six weeks. And they reckon it will take another six. Although it was a giant headache to implement – mainly owing to the fact that the move to the new system had to be done daily, at the same time as all the other tasks like getting orders together, etc – it’s looking promising so far
As you can see, before this new system was put in place, the cold-store was full of hundreds of cardboard boxes, each containing a different kind of fish. Jim would then tour the shelves, picking the required fish from the boxes. THE BIG PROBLEM… the dreaded half empty box… especially the one that ONLY SLOWLY became the three quarters empty box… then seven eighths. Sometimes it seemed that a third of the very expensive cold store could be taken up just by hundreds of little pockets of empty space. Something which is your enemy when a new delivery arrives which needs a lot of very empty space… in nice big lumps.
Those cardboard boxes had to go. “We’re replacing the cardboard boxes with hundreds of gleaming, stackable plastic trays. They’re half the size of the cardboard boxes, so they get emptied twice as fast. Thus we have much less wasted space,” James explained. “We will be able to get twice as much fish inside the cold-store.”
Yes indeed – gone are the days of pesky cardboard boxes taking up space and tripping staff over (not to mention they go damp and fall apart, which plastic never will). Here is the time of the snazzy new grey plastic tray. Each one 4.5 inches high and much more durable, which means that not only is there more room all-round in the cold-store, but different fish varieties can be stacked one on top of the other!