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The importance of matching racking, lift trucks and technology for increased productivity

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A one-stop-shop business approach by Crown Equipment is helping Australian companies enhance efficiency within their operations for better profitability.

In the quest for increased operational productivity, Australian companies are now looking to more finely tune the ways in which warehouse design, lift truck specifications, and operator safety and performance can work more efficiently together to deliver a better bottom-line.

The traditional approach would have involved negotiating with three or more suppliers – one for the design and installation of racking, one for supply and service of a lift truck fleet, one for finance, and another for the warehouse management software technology that gives insight into just how well the plant, equipment and operators are working together to provide optimal performance.

This situation has resulted in protracted tender negotiations, complex financial arrangements and, ultimately, less than ideal administrative and operational productivity for many companies from manufacturers to owners of major distribution centres.

With their ability to design, supply and install the latest in racking systems, match the rack configuration with the most appropriate lift trucks, and supply the warehouse management software that optimises the way in which the operators interface with the plant and equipment, Crown Equipment has been able to meet the specific requirements of these companies by providing a single point of contact that integrates all aspects of an efficient materials handling environment.

Greg Facer, general manager marketing and Crown Insite explains that companies have been seeking a simpler, more integrated and more efficient means of expanding existing facilities or building new facilities. Advances in truck technology are also having an impact on the racking industry with opportunities opening up for companies of all sizes.

According to Facer, with the advent of vehicles such as the Crown RM6000S reach trucks, companies are able to extend up rather than just out. Expansions or new facilities can be built up to 15 percent higher, while having a truck that delivers a massive 30 percent greater lift capacity at the same time coupled with unprecedented levels of vision for operators. By building racking systems that match the ability of this latest version of high reach trucks, Crown Equipment is able to provide the total package.

Where high racking was limited in the past to larger companies, today it is quite commonplace for smaller businesses, especially manufacturers to increase their storage capacity by building higher and accessing this bonus ceiling space using the latest in high reach trucks.

Crown’s consolidated offering of racking, lift trucks and technology has also provided companies with more financial options when investing in their completed system. Companies are showing a preference for either outright purchase or ‘chattel mortgage’ of the racking, with a lease or rental arrangement for the trucks. Companies know their projected maximum storage requirements, and build to it; however, they want the flexibility offered by leasing their forklift fleet because actual utilisation of available space can vary considerably over time.

Crown provides these companies finance plans with a single source of contact.

Crown’s one-stop-shop approach to tendering has been a successful move, with over 70 percent of all new racking customers incorporating Crown lift trucks in their contracts. Crown has supplied, installed and commissioned nearly 150,000 pallet locations for customers in the last twelve months, plus countless accessories such as bins, safety barriers, lockers, cabinets and tool boxes. A vast majority of these customers have also chosen Crown lift trucks and finance as integral parts of their orders.

Crown’s breadth of service ranges from orders as small as twenty dollars’ worth of safety clips, right up to the design and fitout of a new million-dollar plus distribution centre that encompassed racking, shelving, carton live storage, a mezzanine floor, benches, pedestrian exclusion barriers and associated accessories.

According to Facer, many of the latest contracts have also called for the inclusion of Crown technology, in the form of its InfoLink warehouse management software.

Facer concludes that the material handing industry is becoming increasingly more sophisticated and demanding, with customers wanting the best package available including racking, trucks, service, finance and technology. Crown’s specialist expertise ensures it can meet all of these requirements by being capable of delivering the total package.

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