by William B. Trescott

    Thank you for your interest in becoming a Safety Mall franchisee.  If you are a "people person," you will find the level of customer service you are able to provide using this distribution concept very rewarding.  This pamphlet will familiarize you with the features and operation of the Safety Mall so you can create a safe and pleasant place for your customers to shop.
    Safety Malls have some very different customer service policies than other stores.  For one thing, customers already own the goods they are picking up.  It is against the law for you or anyone else to prevent them from removing the goods they already own from the building.  You must use tact to prevent theft as customers who accidentally pick up items they have not ordered are not stealing from the store, but from their neighbors who ordered the items.

    Before you can open the store, you will need to prepare any containers that arrived during the night so customers can pick up their goods.  You will begin by inserting an air line into the side of each dock plate to lift it to a vertical position.  You can then lock the containers to the building and open the dock doors.  Removing the air line from the dock plates will lower them into the backs of the containers and create a level surface for unloading.  If a container is a Safety Mall container, it will have light fixtures inside that must be plugged in.

     Containers will usually have bins blocking the center aisle that must be moved into the store.  Plug your air hose into the bottom bin of each stack and slide the entire stack of bins over the dock plate on a cushion of air.  The stacks should be parked in rectangular bays painted on the floor.  A stack of bins may be pushed against the front wall of the container.  The front wall is bay #1.  The location of every item in the store must be recorded in the computer by dock number, bay number, and bin number.  You will record these numbers by scanning the bar code on the front of each bin.  Then you must enter the dock number, bay number, and bin number manually using the keypad.
    The bays are numbered from the inside of the container out, so that the farthest stack of bins from the container's door, against the front wall of the container, is bay #1, the stack to its left is in bay #2 and the stack immediately on the right is in bay #3.  If the container is a Safety Mall container, the bay numbers will be written on the walls near the ceiling.  There are 25 bays inside a 40' container—12 on each side and one against the front wall.  Bays outside the container are usually assigned numbers according to the following map:
    After entering the dock and bay numbers you must enter the bin number.  The bottom bin is always bin #1 and they go up from there.  A bin stacked against the ceiling will be #8, but they will rarely be stacked more than six high as customers will not be able to reach them.  Whenever you scan a bin's bar code, your scanner will ask you for an identifying five digit number.  If the bin is empty, you can press "E."  If the bin is parked in a bay, the dock number forms the first two digits, the bay number forms the second two digits, and the bin number is the last digit.  Since the computer already knows which products are in which bin, every item in the store can be found using its five digit number once you scan all of the bins into the system.  After scanning in the bins, you can remove the cardboard front panels from the bins that prevent goods from falling during transit.  This is done by slashing each front panel from side to side with a box cutter, inserting your fingers in the holes and pulling.  Some bins may have special split front panels with colorful advertising.  These bins may be filled with free samples and may offer a special price.  Remove only the part without the advertising.  There may be a special smaller advertising panel behind the normal front panel.  There may be empty bins with nothing inside but a special advertising panel.  These special advertising panels must be left in place because the shipper has paid in advance to advertise in this way.
    When new customers enter the store, they must be given a map and a tour of the building.  Customers are not allowed inside the building unescorted until they sign up for a customer number using a credit card.  Any credit card with a swipe stripe will allow them into the store once they are signed up.  The store's website explains how they can use their credit cards to open the door of the building once they are registered. 

    Customers may buy bins to take home and may prefer to use their own bins to pick up goods to avoid bringing other people's germs into their home.  During checkout, the comuter will compare the weight predicted on the customer's shopping list to the weight of the items in the customer's bin. The customer must be reminded that if they have forgotten to pick up an item they have ordered, it will be charged to them once they check out.  If customers cannot find an item that should have been shipped, or change their mind about buying it, it must be deleted from their shopping list before checkout or they will be charged!  If they still desire to wait for the item, it must be transfered to their next list.  The computer will prompt you to ask you this question when you try to delete the item.  If the weight of all of the items in the customer's bin do not match those on the shopping list, the bar codes must be scanned to determine the reason for the variance.  Customers must be reminded not to abandon carts and bins in the parking because they have been charged for them!

     Franchisees must not help customers put bins into their cars—even if they offer to pay you.  Customers may injure themselves trying to remove them!  If a customer has difficulty handling the large bins, they must be asked if they would like to make an appointment for home delivery. 
    When a container is empty, it must be picked up by by a trucker to be reloaded.  There will almost always be items left in a container that customers forget to pick up.  Bar codes of remaining items must be scanned to see if they belong to a customer.  If they do, that customer's order must be picked into a bin and and the bin bar code assigned to the customer.  Customers late in picking up their orders may be charged extra.  Items that do not belong to anyone may have purposely been shipped as samples. These can be placed into a sale container which ought to be parked in dock #1 or #2.  Once all goods are removed from a container, empty bins should be nested so they will not bounce around and become unstacked in transit.  The safety latches holding the container to the building must be unlocked, the dock plate raised, the doors closed and blocked shut by the dock plate, and the dock light turned on so the trucker will know it is time to remove the container.  Truckers will not remove empty containers unless the dock lights are on.