Gerald Unrau Product Manager for Seed Sites and Conveyors, Meridian Manufacturing

Whether you’ve decided it’s time to update your seed storage and handling equipment, or build a brand-new seed site for your business, knowing where to start can seem daunting. However, your vision is where it all begins.

The art of napkin sketches — or jotting down your ideas or vision — is important to the whole seed site design process. Don’t minimize the value of brainstorming: this conceptualization stage is necessary to turn your dreams into reality.

Brainstorming ideas for your seed site will help you check off the important things on your list while allowing you to consider the extras you could add to the site if and when you have the budget and means. Some of your ideas will be driven by need and some by your vision.

For example, even at this early stage, some of your current needs should be considered:

* What product are you going to be handling?

* What capacity do you require?

* Where is the location of the site?

* Do you have existing equipment or is this to be a greenfield site with new equipment?

* How do you want to fill the bins?

* Are you putting up sheds or other buildings?

Address these factors, but also give yourself room to grow. If you’re adding new buildings and storage bins to your site and you think you may be adding more in four or five years, you must have enough area at your location to expand, as well as the capabilities to expand (i.e. equipment that can handle being upgraded and extended). It’s a good idea to have that longer-term vision, so you have enough room to expand as your business grows.

Eventually you’ll base the design of your site on your concept, and this time you’ve spent brainstorming. I have a few things for you to keep in mind while you’re visualizing your site:

1) What type of equipment do you want to use?

2) What is the capacity you’d like to achieve?

3) What is the flow coming in and out of the yard bringing seed in and getting seed out to customers? Order your yard so that the flow in and out is easy and efficient for you and your customers to do business.

Storage and handling equipment specialists can assist you with this important conceptualization stage. They can help you turn your vision into reality. Meridian Manufacturing, for example, takes its customers from those initial napkin sketches, through the design process, and to the manufacturing stage. From concept to completion—it all starts with your idea.