We recently spoke to Bob Tarrant, UK Products Manager at Unicarriers UK, about the company’s forklift solutions, an increase in storage systems reviews, the importance of data and operational efficiencies…
Tell us about your company, products, and services.
UniCarriers have been a global supplier of forklift trucks for over 50 years. We are totally committed to developing the most cost-effective materials handling and storage solutions for our customers. Advice from our highly skilled team of materials handling consultants is backed up by our PC based warehouse simulation program, Logistics Analyser.
What have been the biggest challenges the Supply Chain industry has faced over the past 12 months?
After a tough year of living with the global pandemic and Brexit uncertainty, we’ve seen a marked increase in customers reviewing their storage systems in readiness for an upturn in a post-Covid climate. We’ve been busy producing warehouse simulations to help customers analyse their activities and MHE utilisation in greater detail.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
For us, the opportunity to step up and provide the comprehensive data driven reports that our customers need. UniCarriers are producing an increasing amount of digital activity scenarios to assist op’s managers to rationalise their available resources.
What is the biggest priority for the Supply Chain industry in 2022?
To increase operational efficiency through analytics; To measure and appraise warehouse processes and activities.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022?
We expect to see a continuation of the upward trend in storage system reviews. Businesses looking to re-purpose non-profitable warehouse space to accommodate the increase in on-line sales, SKUs and throughput volumes.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
Digital twins and Application modelling are on the increase; ‘simulation before implementation’. Fortunately, UniCarriers had this vision way back in year 2000 and began the development of the Logistics Analyser program; A transparent way to measure and analyse, not just storage systems and MHE, but other associated areas of the warehouse that combine to produce goods flow.
An introduction to the Logistics Analyser program can be found here.
In 2022 we’ll all be talking about?
Adapting to the ‘new normal’, more focus on B2C and e-commerce warehouse strategies.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Supply Chain sector?
I sometimes find it surprising how much MHE dormancy or over-utilisation is accepted, the costs of which have to be allocated to other goods flow processes. Using the UniCarriers Logistics analyser program, we can help to identify levels of MHE required to cover shift patterns, peak periods with opportunities to adjust fleet sizes.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Demonstrating by simulation, that very subtle changes to storage system layouts and MHE activities can have a dramatic effect on goods flow cycle times, and ultimately profitability.
And what’s the most challenging?
Site surveys in cold and damp applications can sometimes be quite challenging but are none the less, always a pleasure and never a chore!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?