SJF Named One of Minnesota’s “100 Best Companies”

100 Best Companies to Work For in 2018

SJF Material Handling is honored to be named to Minnesota Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2018. This is the 4th time SJF has been named to this prestigious list.

Qualifications for the “100 Best” Award From Minnesota Business Magazine

Minnesota is known for being a great place to live and work, with top-notch companies in many industries headquartered here. Each year, these companies submit nominations for the 100 Best Companies to Work For Awards by Minnesota Business magazine. This award recognizes Minnesota’s top companies and, time after time, helps the winners attract key employees who make all the difference.

The “100 Best” were determined by the resulting scores of an anonymous online questionnaire filled out by the employees of each participating company — to determine which companies in Minnesota excel in the areas of work environment, employee benefits, and overall employee happiness, making them the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

SJF will be honored in a celebration awards program and dinner on Thursday, June 28th at JW Marriott in Minneapolis.

Pallet Racking Conditions – What to Know Before You Buy

Fact: There are more pallet rack options available to you now than at any time in history.

Fact: There are very significant differences between New, Used & Refurbished pallet racking.

Fact: You think you know everything there is to know about each – but really, you don’t.

The fact is, what one dealer says can often conflict with what another dealer says. As with any industry, there are several ways of doing something, but there are only a few ways of doing it right. The following article will give you some insight into what the differences may be between not only new, used & refurbished racking, but also the differences between the offerings from dealer to dealer.


New Pallet Racking

As you’d expect, new pallet rack is exactly what the name implies. New pallet rack is typically sold through authorized rack distributors. Rack distributors fit into two main categories: Stocking & Non-Stocking. The pricing that distributors provide can vary considerably. Stocking dealers and dealers who sell a larger volume of rack generally will get the best discounts from the manufacturers and will usually offer the best pricing to the customer.

Non-stocking distributors do not stock pallet rack, but rather buy & ship it directly from the manufacturer as they produce it. For this reason, rack purchased from non-stocking distributors will usually have a much longer lead time (4-12 weeks.) Rack purchased from stocking or non-stocking distributors typically comes with the same manufacturer’s warranty.


Used Pallet Racking

Used rack is rack that has been previously utilized by others. Used pallet rack can be found in conditions from ‘like-new’ with a few scratches to completely rusted or bent in places. Used rack can be a good investment for those looking to save money as long as the buyer takes some precautions. It is critical to validate not only the condition of the rack prior to purchase, but also the reputation of the dealer selling it. Start by finding dealers who have been in business for several years – the more the better. Check their web sites and avoid companies that don’t provide photos & descriptions of their equipment or if they don’t show pricing. The web site should also provide you with a physical address where the company resides, a phone number and the names of people you can talk to. They should also be able to verify that they own the equipment. Avoid dealers who will not let you inspect the racking before purchase. If the racking looks good and there’s little rust, the components should still have the same strength and capacity ratings it had when it was new.


Refurbished Pallet Rack

Refurbished pallet rack is another option available to rack buyers who want a lower priced alternative to new racking. Because there is little to no industry standardization for the term “Refurbished,” it is a good idea to ask what steps the supplier takes in their refurbishing process. While some dealers do a complete break-down, inspection & repair of the materials, some do not. The point is that not all refurbishing processes are the same. To make sure you’re getting what you pay for, equipment advertised as refurbished should go through many if not all of the following steps:

Inspection

Each piece to be reconditioned is thoroughly inspected. Components that are found to be damaged, cracked or bent should be repaired or replaced by experienced professionals. Replaced components should equal or exceed the manufacturer’s original specifications.

Clean & Prep

During this stage, all stickers, tags, etc. should be completely removed (not just painted over.) Dirt, debris and rust should also be removed prior to paint. Chemical baths or wire brushes are the preferred methods of removing dirt or rust prior to painting. While sand-blasting may be a cheaper process, it can remove some of the metal from the racking which can compromise the structural integrity of the product. No matter what method is used, make sure your dealer can confirm and will stand behind the original capacity rating of the rack.

Paint

Items that have passed the prior two steps are ready for paint. There are many different methods of painting. Whatever method is chosen, it should utilize paint that is specially formulated for industrial applications. For industrial applications, powder coat, epoxy & heated enamels are superior to cold applied spray or latex.


Renewed

Recently a new condition was introduced to the material handling industry. This ‘Renewed’ equipment provides “like-new” material at prices competitive with used or refurbished. Renewed products are manufactured as a blend of new & pre-owned materials that when combined, create a fully warrantied hybrid product that until recently, didn’t exist in the marketplace. Currently, SJF Material Handling is the only company offering renewed pallet rack.

Top 5 Things to Double-Check on a Pallet Rack Quote

So you’ve finally gathered the 3 competitive rack quotes that your boss requested a week ago. Now it’s time to sit down and give them a good looking over. While you may be tempted to simply look at the bottom line on each quote, you’ll want to first make sure you’re really getting the best price – not just the lowest.

5 of the most overlooked items on every pallet rack quote after the jump…

Read more

Employee Spotlight – Ed Salonek

Ed Salonek, Controller & HR Manager

Ed Salonek, SJFToday in our Employee Spotlight is Ed Salonek, Controller and Human Resources Manager. Ed is a busy guy but always seems to have a smile on his face and something to joke about.

It’s not unusual to see him here in the office on a weekend or an evening and even then, he’s smiling. Having one full time position is enough for most people but Ed takes care of two departments, and important ones at that. I’m sure he wonders occasionally what he’s gotten himself into as “Ed the HR Manager,” but what keeps us on the straight and narrow is that we know he’s also “Ed the Controller,” who makes sure all of us employees get paid. 🙂


Name: Ed Salonek

Title: Controller and Human Resources Manager

Years at SJF: 11 years

What do you like most about working at SJF? I enjoy the mixture of accounting and programming\customization with Epicor.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Camping, watching Wild hockey, hunting with Mocha

What’s your favorite day? Saturday

Biggest pet peeve? Lazy people.

Name something about you, that people would be surprised to know: I like to work, got it from my parents.

SJF Christmas Celebration and Awards 2017

Every year, SJF likes to treat our hard-working employees to a catered meal and awards ceremony to commemorate the accomplishments of a year’s worth of dedication. The year 2017 has been a particularly successful one for SJF, thanks to the dedication and hard work of all our employees, who work together each and every day to make sure our customers are our top priority.

We are who we are because of the men and women we call our SJF family!

Sales Awards

SJF had some outstanding sales in 2017. All of our sales people sold over $1 million dollars worth of material handling equipment to our loyal customer base.

Winning the top sales award this year was Eric Thovson (ET) for the second year in a row, followed by Kendal Kalamaha and Jason Dieter. Way to go!!

Stafford & Eric (ET)
Stafford & Eric (ET)

Anniversaries

Dave Kieper, 25 years
Dave Kieper, 25 years

We also like to celebrate anniversaries with the company and are proud that the majority of our employees have been employed with SJF for 10+ years. This year marked an important anniversary for one of our long-term employees, Dave Kieper, who has been with our company for an impressive 25 years. Thanks for all you do Dave!


More photos of our celebration