Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Browse by Tag

Follow Serco

Serco Dock Equipment Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Essential Ways CSPECS and Serco Can Help your Building Design


If you have heard about Serco and CSPECS but for some reason you haven’t given the system a try, this post is for you. We call this system, created for Serco by CSPECS, the most powerful and easy-to-use product specification system developed for the AEC community- EVER. Why? What makes this system so special? How does it go about drastically improving the life of a specifier?  Read this blog to pick up the essentials and find out why CSPECS, offered on the Serco website, can increase your chances of securing the job.

  1. Just think about the vast range of products in any given category, nowCSPECS and Serco make the submittal process more efficient double or triple that because this is an area of growth. This makes it highly challenging when specifying a project because you have extra-time consuming material to review, leaving lots of room for error. CSPECS and Serco can help by automating this process and improving accuracy.
  2. When specifying a project customers are demanding even higher results than before. They want speed, efficiency and specific product information. Nowadays your clients are well-versed and have a clear idea of what they want. They evaluate and research products using one or more channels. This leaves little to no room for error when presenting a submittal package. Again, CSPECS is THE way to automatically build a package offering supreme efficiency.
  3. CSPECS asked over 300 AEC community members to describe their most important and frustrating areas related to specifying products. So as you can imagine, this program is built to solve all of these areas and address issues such as time restraints, inaccurate product information and much more.

When it comes to specifying have you run into any of these issues?

  •    1. Websites and product databases which are hard to navigate 
       2. Information that is in an unusable format 
       3. Missing, outdated or unavailable product information? 
       4. Breakdown of flow when it comes to building proposals and including a variety of products

These are everyday problems faced by the AEC community and points of concern for all specifiers. With CSPECS on you can make an extremely tedious and time consuming task much easier. Not only will you have every piece of data, such as detailed products information, photos and diagrams but you can be 100% sure that when you build a submittal package for a client they will open the most accurate, cost effective and efficient proposal available on the market. It’s efficiency like this that is sure to push you to the top of their pile every time.


Contact us directly @ 1-800-558-6960

For more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

Serco and CSPECS How to Guide


So you’ve heard about the latest software to benefit the AEC community. You know you can find it on but how exactly do you use it?

This guide is a step by step CSPECS tutorial, we suggest that you print it out and use it as a quick go-to reference when specifying a project.

Serco CSPECS specifying a project Step one:

Go to

Step two:

Click on the ‘AEC Specs’ tab.

Step three:

When you land on this page you will notice three icons each with an explanation below.

  • The first icon is the ‘SPEC SUITE’ this is where you will find a complete database of all products including images and descriptions of each product so you can browse around for the most suitable piece of equipment.
  • The second icon is the ‘SPEC BUILDER’ if you want to create a custom specification.
  • The third icon is ‘PROJECT SUBMITTAL’ look for this if you are wanting to create a specific submittal package based on a given project it includes ALL applicable Serco products in an easy format for sharing with your colleagues and clients.

Step four:

Depending on what it is that you desire to do, e.g. create a custom spec or build a submittal packaged simply click on the icon of choice. For first time users, note the ‘Before you Begin’ icon, click on this for detailed information to help you along the way.

Step five:

The system is user-friendly which means it was built with you in mind. Each step is intended to be self-explanatory so as your click your next move will be fully explained.

Requesting further information such as product images, shop drawings, etc., has never been easier. Remember this system is here to aid you so that when you send a project submittal to your client you will have the most extensive, targeted proposal available.

So there you have it, five straightforward steps with plenty of information provided along the way and you are on to THE most specific, efficient and targeted submittal project known to man, yes it is that great.

If you want a more advanced approach, all of the product pages on Serco’s site include links that take you directly to that product within CSPECS so you can start specifying straight away.

If you have any questions and would prefer to speak with a Serco representative directly please call 1-800-558-6960:

For more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

What is CSPECS?


Simply put, CSPECS is the most powerful and easy-to-use product specification system developed for the AEC community. But how does it work? What benefits does it have that you haven’t seen before? How can it make you more efficient as a specifier?  Read this intro blog and discover how CSPECS offered on the Serco website can decrease project error and increase your chances of securing the job.

What problems do you face when tasked with creating a Submittal Package?

Researchers conducted surveys at the NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) and concluded that up to 30% of each construction project is wasted due to inefficiencies and problematic areas in the flow of information. CSPECS looked directly at these problems and went about finding a solution. Up until now, the AEC community faced several obstacles when generating a submittal package. Things like hours spent gathering various product information, navigating from website to website leaves lots of room for error and wasted time.  The transfer of pertinent information during the design and planning phrase of any construction project is by far the most important step. If information is disconnected, lost or mistaken during this crucial stage the entire project could be jeopardized with a great loss of investment at stake.

How can Serco and CSPECS help?

CSPECS has developed a system with the help of experts in the AEC field for Serco’s website. ThisSercoCSPECS Image system is a support tool for Architects, Engineers, Specifiers, Contractors, and even, Distributors. It supports this community by offering ONE place to go to find detailed product information and visuals so you can best determine what product suits your project, it also guides you through creating a 3 Part Guide Specification for the specific products you decide to use, and finally, it creates a Project-Specific Submittal Package that includes all of your product choices with the ability to share the submittal with colleagues and clients.

The clarity that this system creates generates a seamless flow of information and avoids costly mistakes. Ensuring that your Submittal Package is the most timely, efficient and cost effective solution in the pile!

CSPECS is available now on  For more information, contact us directly @ 1-800-933-4834

For more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

REthink Power at the Loading Dock


There has never been a better time to rethink power. Why? First, just take a look around at the vast array of technology that is available for the material handling world. Automation is here and power is the end goal. The greater the power of your machines the more efficient your operation will function. What you considered powerful, say even 10 years ago is most likely not as powerful today. So is it time to Rethink power for your facility? A great place to start is at the loading dock because it is THE first step in any shipping process, that one place where all raw materials and finished goods pass.

From hydraulic dock levelers to other innovations at the loading dock, here are three options to help get your creative juices flowing and begin your quest to REthink power:

1.       Rethink power when restraining vehicles

The PitBull® Vehicle Restraint is a popular solution for restraining a trailer securely and safely at
the loading dock. It’s effective at holding trucks tightly in place because it engages a trailer’s rear impact guard. By securing it in such an extensive manner you are also limiting creep, preventing early departure and helping to increase safety at the loading dock. The PitBull is available in powered and non-powered options; you can choose which ever option works best for your specific application

2.       Rethink power for your dock levelers

Hydraulics at the loading dock translates into powerful operation. This HFC dock leveler takesSerco dock leveler HFC automation to an even greater extreme. It’s a pit-style leveler with CLEAN FRAME® design, weatherseal and grease fittings. The control panel with its mushroom-style stop button offers increased flexibility. Hydraulic automation at its best and here’s why: the added benefit of a quick-cycle lip means you can extend and automatically return-to-dock efficiently, smoothly and fast.  When it comes to performance and power this leveler won’t let you down.

3.       Rethink power for your controls

With Serco’s Master Control Panel you can simplify your loading dock. This system means your loading dock could have just ONE control panel verses three or more separate panels. This control system strengthens your in-house power for a variety of reasons, 1. It simplifies training, as all dock equipment can be more easily integrated to work through a pre-programmed sequence 2. It increases dock safety by allowing easier sequenced interlocking. 3. It creates a more energy efficient environment because only those pieces of equipment that are required to be in use will be operated at any given time, saving you on wasted energy consumption.

Rethinking anything is a healthy practice every now and then, just like checks and balances for your loading dock. Obviously, the longer it has been since you’ve evaluated your equipment will make this activity even more pertinent. Serco is an advocate of power at the loading dock. The simple equation is the more power, the greater the productivity and the higher the return. So if your loading dock and facility is in need of some updating it could be time to REthink power and call Serco.


For more information on Serco’ #REthinkPower or for more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

Interested in technology? How about technology for this industry? Check out our new blog 4SIGHT is the intelligent software that powers iFAN!

Build a Safety Culture through Intelligent Controls


Technology has afforded us humans quite a lot in so far as improving our ability to mass produce, increase productivity levels, and so much more but another factor technology aids is loading dock safety. Through the use of intelligent controls at the loading dock which is a potentially dangerous area, you can implement a safe sequence of operation. So what does that mean for your dock levelers, your dock doors, your inflatable dock seals? Read on to learn more about Serco’s Master Control Panel and discover how this system can actually build on your safety culture while at the same help you realize greater energy efficiency.

They say there’s ‘safety in numbers’

We say there is safety in sequence and here’s why: the sequence, once you program the master control panel you can tell it to work in a specific order. All you need to do is push a button and the master control panel will roll out its pre-determined series of tasks. You can program it so that the trailer must be securely locked in place by the vehicle restraint first before any other equipment will operate. The dock leveler can be interlocked with the other dock devices, preventing operation until all the safety systems are operational and your dock doors are open. You can even setupSerco Master Control Panel your dock lights to be programmed to switch on just before the dock equipment begins to function. Whatever works for your loading dock, whatever you determine to be the best sequence to ensure safety each and every time?

A system that can actually help increase energy-efficiency?

YEP! The master control panel is proficient at being energy efficient too. What facility manager is not interested in saving loading dock energy? I mean it’s better for the environment and it keeps costs down. With a Serco Master Control Panel you can be sure that the only equipment in operation is the equipment being used at that point in time. The dock doors are open? Well this is because loading or unloading is taking place and with a master control panel from Serco as soon as it is complete the energy saving dock doors will be shut down as part of the sequence so NO unnecessary energy loss will occur. The same technique applies to your dock lights, you will never leave a dock light on accidently again because it will only turn on or off if you have pre-determined it to do so and initiated the action by the push of the button on your master control panel.

Pretty n’ pink or…

We like to save this little feature of the Serco Master Control Panel to last but it’s a true highlight. Once you have decided on the system, decided on your specific parameters and programmed the ideal sequence for the best energy-savings and safe operation at the loading dock next you can choose how your Serco Master Control Panel will look. Whether you want your company logo, a company mascot image or just an awesome color design that coincides with your brand strategy, you can have that! We do custom labels in house so whatever look you choose, it’s yours!

For more information on Serco dock levelers or for more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

Interested in technology? How about technology for this industry? Check out our new blog 4SIGHT is the intelligent software that powers iFAN!

Does your loading dock receive ‘wide’ loads?


Manufacturers that are aware of their markets and current initiatives are always a step ahead of those who are not. Research and design is a healthy component of any business, especially manufacturing. This type of ‘willingness’ to adopt findings from R&D is what will ultimately set your productivity levels apart from your competitors.

SercoVersaDockThis is absolutely applicable to the loading dock because, after all, the loading dock is the beginning destination of most raw materials and finished goods that are flowing throughout supply chains across the globe. Take hydraulic dock levelers for example, hydraulic levelers offer customers ultimate power with the ability to handle large heavy loads. And the VERSADOCK™ Hydraulic Dock Levelers are the king of handling heavy and wider than usual loads. The Serco VERSADOCK is the result of extensive research and design working side by side with our customer to address a specific problem in the automotive industry over a decade ago.

Unique solution for a unique world

Knowing that your operation is unique is great but what really pushes you up the success ranks is the doing. The doing comes into play when you realize that you need specialized equipment because you are not like your neighbor and you cannot afford to purchase any cookie cutter machines in the hopes that you can save a buck and get by. That’s why Serco has invested the past 60 years into creating solutions based on you, the customer. The VERSADOCK  is a special dock leveler that is powered by hydraulics, while this leveler can function as a conventional leveler it also has the ability to handle high-cube (low boy) vehicles at a single dock position. Basically it’s an extra wide dock leveler that can handle those cumbersome loads so you can enjoy increased productivity levels.

Why would you need a VERSADOCK?

Air-ride suspensions, high-capacity "low boy" trailers are increasing in popularity in addition to the ever increasing use of low-profile tires, truck bed heights are being extended beyond the standard 12" reach of most levelers. This makes servicing near impossible. Another factor is trailer widths that generally average up to 8' 6" with traditional levelers usually measuring 7” wide this combination leaves  little to no room for forklift maneuvering. This is obviously a huge problem that causes major interferences with daily productivity and supply chain objectives. Mainly because when freight handlers attempt to "cube out" the trailer, loads are impossible to move and end up needing expensive remedies such as dedicated docks or expensive truck-leveling devices. Until, VERSADOCK!

It’s fair to say that VERSADOCK is like the SuperMan of the dock levelers, carrying loads and solving problems like never before!

It’s true, to stay ahead of the game you must stay on top of trends and make it a goal to implement strategies and machines that will help handle modernization and new challenges.

For more information on Serco dock levelers or for more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

Interested in technology? How about technology for this industry? Check out our new blog 4SIGHT is the intelligent software that powers iFAN!

5 Energy Saving Tips for your Facility from Serco


Serco is in an energy-saving kind of mood (as per usual) so we’ve decided to rally up some of new tips to create a quick reference guide to help you save energy in 2014. Even though we focus on the loading dock a lot of the time these tips are useful throughout your entire facility, from your dock levelers, to your dock lighting, to your coffee or break room to your clean-up efforts. Read on for Serco’s five energy saving tips for your facility, distribution center, warehouse or other workplace arena.

1.      Create consistent airflow with an energy-efficient fan.

 VELOCITY is one impressive fan that is leading the industry in energy efficiency. This fan’s six-Serco Velocity HVLS fanblade design produces a massive column of air that flows down toward the floor and outward in all directions before drawing it back vertically toward the blades to create what is known as a horizontal floor jet. By producing this circulation the fan creates a 2 to 3 mph breeze that delivers the equivalent of a 7-11 degree decrease in perceived temperature.  This reduction in perceived temperature felt by workers allows you to reduce your energy consumption by reducing your thermostat settings. Now that’s energy-savings in the bag on a daily basis 


2.       Like your lights, turn all electronics off to save.

There’s more electronics than just those you use on a daily basis and sometimes these are the energy sucking culprits responsible for taking treble shots of your pricey electricity. Check all break rooms, common areas, and the like, do you have older CPU’s running in these areas? Draw up a checklist of these machines and implement a system for shutting them down in the evening and rebooting them again in the morning. This practice is sure to save you more than you might think, and as they say, it takes three weeks to form a habit so make it an energy saving one!

3.       Alter your cleaning times.

Recently research was performed by Larry Spielvogel, a consulting engineer based in King of Prussia, PA,  who discovered that most electrical companies charge (in Philadelphia) on-peak hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, he also figured out that the majority of janitorial work was completed during on-peak hours. Which is when workers have gone home and the building is quiet. He suggests that if you cannot change the times that your janitorial arrive to clean, then maybe ask your HR dept. to look into training techniques whereby the cleaning team works in a more efficient order to cut down on the amount of time and electricity that is used.

4.       Are your thermostats lying?

Maybe. Thermostats measure the temperature inside your facility but what happens if they are positioned in a location which is close to draft? Or a large machine that is expelling tons of heat? In these cases, the reading might be giving you a misconstrued picture.  It is worthwhile checking your thermostats, as the years go by renovation or new purchases can mean relocation of equipment including your thermostats so just be sure that each thermostat is not in an area of direct sunlight, vents, too many people walking by, fans or heaters.

5.       Not quite sure if you’re too hot or too cold?

This could be caused in part to covered or blocked vents. As we mentioned in our previous tip, things, people, equipment, etc., are going to at one point or another ‘get moved’. The key though is to ensure that the same engineering and architectural plans that were initially mapped out for the facility can continue to be upheld. It’s a good idea to do regular walkabouts and check all vents grills for blockages. On a cold day in your building a blocked heating vent isn’t doing anyone any favors apart from burning a hold in your pocket.

Looking to increase the operational efficiency of your facility in 2014? Call one of our loading dock experts today: 1-800-933-4834

For more tips like this follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

Oh and if you’re interested in technology and specifically technology for this industry check out our new blog 4SIGHT is the intelligent software that powers iFAN!

Start the New Year with a New Energy Seal


Happy New Year!  What’s your resolution for 2014? Are you interested in energy-savings, do you want to begin a sustainability initiative or perhaps you just want to make 2014 a more profitable year at the loading dock. Whatever your reasons for conserving energy one sure way to acheive a return on investment at the loading dock is by installing a superior dock seal. The ULTRA-SEAL is Serco’s ultimate sealing system.

Serco is taking energy-savings to new heights.

Serco ULTRA-SEAL dock sealThe ULTRA-SEAL’s design was created to provide the insulating benefits of a dock seal with the added versatility afforded with a dock shelter, meaning this seal gives you full trailer access. If you know much about seals you will know that  a dock seal is ideal for sealing off the door hinge gaps and perimeter of a trailer when backed into a dock, but they also can impede access to the full width of the rear of a trailer during loading/unloading.

Some applications want the best of both worlds.

This is especially true when you consider sensitive applications such as cold storage, food & beverage or even electronics. Any item that would require a chilled or temperature controlled trailer during transportation, you can pretty much bet that this trailer will be equipped with swing doors. The ULTRA-SEAL is ideal in this event because while you really need full trailer access due to the swing doors you also need supreme protection against energy loss that comes with a dock seal. You see, when a trailer backs into it a dock seal creates a suction like grip along the edges of the dock opening. It is quite like that of a refrigerator seal. Before the ULTRA-SEAL, most customers were forced to opt for a dock shelter in order to be able to access of the full width of the rear area on trailers with swing doors, losing out on some of the benefits afforded through a dock seal. Now many people are delighted to recieve the best of both worlds with the ULTRA-SEAL which can accommodate a variety of trailer heights, thanks to its versatile head curtain.

For more tips like this follow or to discover new ways you can reduce your carbon footprint in 2014 follow @4Frontes

Say hi to us on Google+

Interested in technology? How about technology for this specific industry? Check out our new blog 4SIGHT is the intelligent software that powers iFAN!

How DC’s handle high ‘Returns’ and we're Not Talking ‘ROI’


We’ve talked quite a lot about new shipping trends like same-day shipping and two-day shipping, shipping that demands lightning speeds. One aspect, though, that we haven’t touched on before now is the effect that this super-fast shipping approach has on other customer service elements. For example, returns, in a perfect world people order something, love it and would never dream of returning it. Nevertheless, this is sometimes not the case and people opt to reseal their deliveries and return to sender. The thing is, we consumers are getting more demanding, and we want our returns to be handled with the same care (and speed) we receive with the initial purchase. Read on to find out what other challenges this presents to your supply chain and find out if Serco has any dock leveler tips to offer?

Tell us more about the return process.

It is common to receive a shipment and find a pre-printed return label somewhere inside your delivery. The reason for this? Speed, tracking and ease of functionality. Another option that many online outlets afford customers is with the ability to return ‘in person’ the item to the physical store (if one exists). Returning items must be made very clear, easy-to-follow, and the overall transaction, fast. In a recent study by comScore, titled 2013 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Online™: A Customer Experience Study. A whopping 2/3 of respondents claimed that they had returned an item they had purchased online and 67 percent stated that an attractive feature of an online store is ‘hassle-free returns’. This reaction speaks volumes about the expectations that customers are placing on supply chains of current times. There are many pivotal points in any supply chain, however, the loading or unloading stands to be the make or break moment when it comes to time constraints. What if a load arrives but it is too wide for the loading dock and you can’t get it off the trailer? This would be considered a major holdup. If something is held up at this point the ripples would surely become waves engulfing your entire chain.

Any more hurdles out there?

Yes, the variety and diversity of online returns presents a litany of challenges. For example, aSerco VERSADOCK Loading person orders from an online outlet that may offers a vast range of merchandise and the consumer may have order a large order yet only one item needs to be returned. How does one handle this efficiently and effectively? Another factor is refunds and credits for customers. You can guarantee that if we want our returns returned fast we want our money returned equally as fast. There are programs called asset-recognition that enables associates to track a return and view the entire history whenever necessary this makes it easier to refund, credit and if the customers desires, get a the correct order on its way. One sure way to meet this high demand at the loading dock is by outfitting your DC dock units with the most powerful and reliable dock equipment available. Serco’s VERSADOCK™ is the only dock leveler with the flexibility to handle conventional loads as well as high-cube (low boy) below-dock loading at the same dock position. With the popularity of air-ride suspensions, high-capacity "low boy" trailers and the increasing use of low-profile tires this hydraulically powered dock leveler is a great addition to any busy loading dock and, truck bed heights can be extended beyond the 12" reach of most conventional levelers, making service of these trailers difficult or impossible.

You lean on me, I’ll lean on you.

At least this is the attitude of a lot of folks working in modern supply chains. Online retailers need to be creative in their business techniques in order to keep on top of shipping demands, spikes in demand and high customer expectations in order to be successful. Another key component of this success is turning out to be partnerships. Retailers that partner with logistic companies, who have a wealth of experience when it comes to shipping, are proving to be more successful at meeting their new age shipping objectives. Also by partnering with experienced loading dock equipment experts you can utilize specialized equipment such as the powerful VersaDock  dock leveler from Serco to ensure you are never held up at your loading dock.

Follow us @4FrontES or Join our Google+ community for industry news, safety tips and more!

If you have any questions, reach out to one of our Specialists today. We are happy to answer your questions and address any concerns @ 1-800-933-4834 and Request More Information

Who thinks of fans when you hear of fire?


The fire marshal does. You can bet your bottom dollar that he will have an interest in your network of HVLS fans. Since the introduction of HVLS fans in the mid-nineties, insurance agencies, code regulators and fire safety communities have been concerned about their impact on fire safety. Should a fire break out in a warehouse, let’s say, and there was a network of 20 HVLS fans operating inside this warehouse, what would the impact be?  Read on to discover the outcome of fire safety and large fans.

The concerns

When is comes to fire and industrial fans one concern is that HVLS fans actually obstruct sprinklers from working effectively. Do HVLS fans negatively impact the amount of water that can reach the fire? In other words do the fans redirect the water? Another topic up for debate was whether or not air flow that is produced while HVLS fans are in operation increase fire spread or negatively impact overall fire dynamics?

Fire is no joke

These two issues were taken very seriously and everyone involved in the following testing procedures took every step in the testing with utmost importance, gathering and collecting the most accurate data. The idea was to create scenarios in order to pinpoint any ‘potential’ areas of concern. This extensive testing was conducted by the NFPA’s Research Foundation; guidelines for the installation and use of High Volume Low Speed (HVLS) Fans in facilities with Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) automatic sprinklers have been established. 

The outcome

Everyone was delighted to learn that all the tests concluded that HVLS warehouse fans, without additional fire, smoke or heat detecting equipment did not hinder or prevent sprinkler systems from meeting the “pass criteria” established for the all of the approval processes and tests set forth.

The pass criteria

This information was determined after a two-part study which analyzed the impact HVLSFire Safety and Large HVLS Fanswarehouse fans had on automatic sprinkler systems in terms of protecting stored commodities. The study was sponsored and conducted by an oversight committee of HVLS fan industry experts, facility consultants, risk management companies and members of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA).

Can you automate HVLS fans to shutdown?

Serco’s iFan system is an automated system that can be used to operate your network of HVLS fans and can be used to shut down your network of fans in the event of a fire. This is just an added safety precaution for your HVLS fan network. The integrated HVLS fan control system can accommodate up to 30 networked HVLS fans per standard configuration. You can easily manage each fan through the handy all-in-one, high definition touch screen computer.

What happens in the case of a fire?

The integrated design of a networked HVLS fan control system allows a signal to be sent which interrupts power to the fans to shut them down within 90 seconds of when a fire alarm is triggered.  In addition to sprinkler activation, networked fan controls can integrate with smoke detection devices and heat detection devices to achieve automatic fan shutdown.  The integrated design of a networked HVLS fan control system automatically shuts down the entire fan network within 90 seconds upon receipt of a signal from the building alarm, smoke detection or heat detection system.

Follow us @4FrontES or Join our Google+ community for industry news, safety tips and more!

If you have any questions, reach out to one of our Specialists today. We are happy to answer your questions and address any concerns @ 1-800-933-4834 and Request More Information

All Posts