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Outside the box: E-crates help keep business moving

Employees at Stamp Idea Group were excited about getting into their new home, a former Confederate post office downtown.

They were less excited about the move itself.

Two longtime Montgomery advertising agencies, LWT Communications and Reid/O’Donahue Advertising, merged this summer to form Stamp and immediately planned to expand. Now the company is leaving its cramped east Montgomery headquarters in favor of a renovated, three-story building at 111 Washington Ave.

Operations Manager Leah Evans said they were dreading weeks of dealing with head-high boxes and negotiating stairs.

“We’re so excited about our new building, but no one’s ever really excited about a move,” Evans said. “We don’t have an elevator in here.”

It was a load off their minds when Montgomery Movers brought in a series of stackable, lockable, rolling containers known as E-crates. The bottom crate sits on wheels and when it’s full, the next stacks on top.

Creative Director Camille Leonard said that made it a lot easier to manage boxes full of oversized paper.

“No one here could pick up a box of paper like that and carry it downstairs,” Leonard said. “So it was great to put the heaviest one down first and then the next. Then you’ve got a couple hundred pounds of stuff stacked, and you can just wheel it out into the hall.”

Their size and mobility has allowed the business to keep working during the move, with boxes full of everything from office equipment to art supplies being wheeled out of the way or on to the new building.

Montgomery Movers President Scott Turner said about 40 of the crates take up the same amount of space as a single office cart — the bookcase-shaped device that has been traditionally used to move businesses.

“The office carts are great in places like Atlanta, where you have a lot of elevators, and elevators in every building,” Turner said. “These just seem to work better here because you can actually tote them.

“It’s kind of hard for your average person to push those (office carts) around the office without either hurting themselves or banging up the walls.”

Evans said that was a concern, since the walls in the new building feature a delicate wood paneling that could be susceptible to dents. The E-crates also bring down moving costs by cutting down the time that movers spend on them, and the containers are crushproof, lockable and reusable.

“Almost every (other mover) wanted to use a gondola or a cart system,” Evans said. “We love (E-crates) so much that (partner David Allred) wants to buy some that we can use just transporting stuff around the office.”

Turner said he hopes that somewhere down the road he can offer the system for residential moving.

“This is really the way the moving industry is going for commercial and industrial moving, all across the country.”

Leonard is just anxious to finish the move to the company’s new downtown home.

“I can’t wait to move myself,” Leonard said. “Maybe I can put myself in one of those boxes.”

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