Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, having traded from 3 St James’s Street in London since 1698. The company is proud of its heritage and impressive history, successfully building on this with a progressive and innovative outlook which led to the opening of the first ever online wine shop in 1994 and a new retail space at 63 Pall Mall in 2017.
The challenges of nurturing a modern, thriving business in the beautiful but restrictive confines of the original listed building left Berry Bros. & Rudd in a dilemma. The lift that was used to transfer deliveries from street level to the cellars below, was problematic and unreliable. The effect of the continuous breakdowns in terms of cost, time and safety meant that they needed to find a replacement as soon as possible. Berry Bros. & Rudd tried several different avenues to solve the issues but were left frustrated with the responses. Other suppliers were unable to offer standard lifts that could be adapted to integrate into the environment. Those that were able to supply bespoke equipment were reluctant to do so due to the intricacies and restrictions of the space and the legislative limitations of working in a listed building.
Advanced Handling are specialists in the design and manufacture of unusual requirements and bespoke lifting solutions so these difficulties were neither daunting nor surprising to their experienced and knowledgeable design team.
“After the reluctance of many companies to help us find a solution, it was such a relief to find Advanced Handling” commented Donald Loe, Project Consultant. “They were much more approachable right from the start, very open to the challenges we faced and were happy to help. They carried out a site visit, speaking to staff to find out exactly what was required and worked with us every step of the way to design, manufacture and install the ideal solution. They gave us the confidence to make the jump and put our trust in a new supplier. They haven’t let us down.”
Advanced Handling’s approach was to spend time with the Project Manager and the staff that use the lift to understand the exact requirements. The Advanced Handling project engineer, in-house design team and Berry Bros. & Rudd staff worked on a number of different options before deciding on the ideal solution.
Mindful of the imminent approach of Christmas, the peak trading period for the wine and spirit industry, Advanced Handling coordinated the installation and testing over two and a half weeks with only a single weekend of downtime.
The bespoke design was in keeping with the building and the existing lift structure. It ensured that there were no compromises between the legislative restrictions of the building and the capabilities of the lift.
[Text Box: The positioning of the platform ] Advanced Handling produced a design that avoided the need to dig into the foundations to create a pit. The installation of the PLC system will reduce the number of breakdowns and frequency of servicing. Where possible, the original lift fixtures were used to reduce any further alterations to the structure of the building.
Due to the increased capacity of the lift, it is now faster and fewer lift cycles are required, thus vastly improving efficiencies. The additional safety features are another benefit.
“The best thing about the team from Advanced Handling” said Allan Perry, Cellar Manager at Berry Bros. & Rudd “was that they just came in and got on with the job. They kept us informed every step of the way and completed the whole project from initial site visit, right through to installation and final testing. They worked around us, causing minimal disruption to the business and without causing any damage to their surroundings. The aftercare service has also been very responsive, quickly resolving any initial teething issues. I would recommend Advanced Handling to other organisations.”
The bespoke Advanced Handling solution for Berry Bros. & Rudd has put an end to the frustrations of the staff due to the unreliable, slow and costly pre-existing lift system.
The new lift is easy to use and much more efficient than its predecessor. It will require minimal ongoing maintenance, repair and parts costs. The design is respectful of the building, integrating into the existing framework with few requirements for structural changes to the listed building.
The lift entrance at street level is in keeping with the surroundings and the improved safety features have exceeded the expectations of staff.
Deliveries can be cleared much more quickly and easily, with significant efficiency improvements. In addition, the 1000kg capacity has future proofed Berry Bros. & Rudd’s requirements, ensuring that they will be able to meet increased demand going forward.
Edward Rudd, 3rd generation family member at Berry Bros. & Rudd, and the company’s Financial Planning Director, concluded: “The bespoke goods lift that Advanced Handling designed, manufactured and installed for us has greatly improved our operational efficiency. We were impressed with the friendly and pioneering attitude of the Advanced Handling team. They were able to be completely flexible, fitting in around the seasonal demands of our business with minimal disruption to our staff or the building itself.”