Power lines tangled and snapped throughout Columbia, but MBS was unaffected for the 3.5 hours it would have been without power. Many homes — and some trees on MBS property — weren't so lucky.
As severe thunderstorms, torrential downpours and high-speed winds swept across Central Missouri July 7, thousands were left without power as Columbia, Mo. crews worked to get lines back up.
But for the warehouse at MBS, it was business as usual thanks to the company’s handy generators.
Business went on uninterrupted in MBS’s state-of-the-art, highly automated warehouse facility as generators kicked on, saving the company, bookstores and students across the nation from delays on their textbook orders during peak ordering season.
MBS has had the generators for seven years, and Vice President of Distribution Mark Pulliam said they can generate enough power to run the main building, (including its air conditioners, employees are delighted to know.)
“If we were down a couple days because of no power, we’d be working this weekend to catch up,” Mark said, noting the generators prevented this from happening. “All orders would be late, affecting our customers. There would be great cost to MBS in overtime and upgraded shipping to try to minimize the impact on our customers.”
The generators are plenty big for the job. They run on 500 gallons of diesel fuel, and are at the top of the local fuel resupply priority list behind hospitals, meaning no matter how big the outage, MBS is working to keep orders moving.
As half a million books are processed through the warehouse every day, warehouse crews work around the clock to make sure college bookstores and customers nationwide receive their books on time. The generators made that happen, running for about 3 ½ hours to keep automated systems moving and orders coming through.
Systems were offline for only about 20 seconds before generators kicked in. Pulliam said customers can rest assured knowing their orders are still moving on time.