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Mobile Beat: Streamline the Load with Case Labels

Article by Ryan Burger

Mobile Beat: Tape to Case Labels

While attending LDI, the lighting industry’s primary trade show in the US, and then again at the NAMM music products show, I came across a useful item that I have seen before in many places. Until recently, I didn’t feel that our DJ/production company needed it; but now, it is providing a great way to stay organized and be more efficient. I’m talking about custom case labels from Case Labels USA.

During the last seven or eight years, BCPDJs has evolved into BCP Live Inc. – from a basic DJ company into a full-scale, DJ-oriented production company. Although the company has technically been a multi-rig operation for over 25 years, and has deployed tons (literally) of DJ gear, we have expanded rapidly in the last few years and have been in need of better organizational systems, with the variety of events we do and the pure volume of business that the company has been doing.

The first step was getting bags or cases made for the job. That effort has been underway for a while now, with the help of Arriba Bags, Odyssey Cases, and Marathon Pro among others. And of course we had to mark what was inside those cases, along with where they might need to be transported to and any other important information. As you can see from some of our cases, a lot of tape and other labeling was used.

The next step was hiring a person whose specific task was to manage the equipment, do upkeep on it, and basically keep everything straight, including routing gear to gigs properly – a Logistics Director. For that job we found a friend in Tom Chaput, who both Jake and I had known for years. It was his job to implement the concept that Jake and I had come up with: using the re-writeable labels, custom made form Case Labels USA.

Tom says, “Being a multi-op, good communication is a must. It saves time which saves money. Any small change to improve efficiency can add extra to the bottom line.”

“I prepare and stage equipment for each project, each one having different needs. The equipment gets loaded into cases for delivery and set up. Unfortunately most of the cases look the same, so to make sure the cases get to where they are needed, we have been using masking tape and markers to tag the cases.”

After the Case Labels came in, it was time to get busy getting better organized. Tom describes the process: “All of the tags go in a standard location on the cases to make them easier to locate, and when the truck is loaded we try and make them visible to speed up the unloading process at the venue. Each label is marked with the venue name, room name or number, what’s inside, and – one of the most important things – how many cases should be there.”

A humorous side-note: as the new labeling system is rolled out we have actually been spending more time pulling off the old tape than putting on the new labels from Case Labels USA.

We’ll give the Logistics Director the last word: “I’m the one who packs the equipment, but I’m not the one who delivers and sets up at the venue,” says Tom, “so these labels save us a lot of time by making unloading faster. And it means a lot fewer return trips because of misdirected gear… not to mention getting all of our gear back when the event is finished!” – MB

Mobile Beat article featuring Case Labels USA

Mobile Beat article featuring Case Labels USA

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