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UniCarriers

5 Minutes With… Bob Tarrant, UniCarriers UK

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?

Assume nothing!

www.unicarrierseurope.com/uk/Logistics-Analyser

LOGISTICS COSTS GUIDE: Plan easier with logistics simulation

By UniCarriers

Logistics Costs

The types of cost attached to a goods flow or to internal goods handling may vary from company to company and may also be expressed in many ways. The various types of cost are expressed and collected as a single logistics cost, consisting of: Buildings; Storage equipment; Materials handling equipment (MHE); Personnel; Administration; Capital cost (stock value) and External transport.

These types of cost cover the items which are attributable to and directly affect the internal goods flow. It is easy to get trapped into only focusing on the cost-of-acquisition of MHE, commonly known as the price.  Doing this means that the real total cost of operation (TCO) impact is not considered. Such analysis can be difficult without the right tools. The acquisition cost (price) of equipment can represent less than 10% of the TCO.  The breakdown of logistics costs gives a practical basis for obtaining input data for simulation and analyses.

Analysing your operation – cost reduction

The logistics price is the measure which reveals the productivity of the warehouse.  By building, testing, and making adjustments to the warehouse in the computer, optimum solutions can be obtained. Different storage systems can be compared.  Types of truck can be tested. Rates of turnover and utilisation of capacity can be varied.  In brief, the real situation with regard to the work of the warehouse and the goods flow can be analysed. The UniCarriers Logistics Analyser is a tool which gives invaluable information on which to base decisions concerning changes and new investments.

If you are planning a new warehouse, or thinking about making changes to an existing one, it’s possible to use some basic figures about the operation to make an analysis of how effective the solution will be.  Using the Logistics Analyser, our sales team are able to work with you to design and simulate an optimal warehouse layout, taking into account your building size, workflows and business demands, before any investment is made.

Download your free PDF guide ‘The benefits of logistics simulation’ here.  It’s completely free and will tell you a lot more about the deep insights warehouse simulation software can provide, and how to take your next steps if you’re interested in using it.

www.unicarrierseurope.com

5 Minutes With… Mark Gleed, UniCarriers UK

In the latest instalment of our supply chain industry executive interview series, we spoke to Mark Gleed, National Accounts Manager at UniCarriers UK, about the company, the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic & Brexit, industry opportunities and supply chain diversification…

Tell us about your company, products, and services.

UniCarriers are a global supplier of forklift trucks and have over 50 years’ experience of supplying trucks and storage solutions to the UK market. Totally committed to developing the most efficient and cost-efficient materials handling and storage solutions, by providing a complete solution for all types of business, covering service, fleet information, health & safety, training, tools, equipment, and financing.

What have been the biggest challenges the Supply Chain industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Of course, Brexit and COVID-19 have posed significant challenges to the entire industry and continue to do so.  On this basis, the Supply Chain Industry has had to become extremely agile in order to adapt quickly to the ever-changing landscape.  Supply chains have become much leaner and prescriptive – based on the consumer led demands changing and a greater shift towards E-commerce.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

For the Supply Chain Industry, opportunities have been vast due to the turbo-charged demand for online shopping and the move away from more traditional shopping methods such as the high street and in-store. For the Food Production and Supply Chain sectors, there has been an unprecedented increase in volume – sometimes consistent with Xmas periods at otherwise low tides in the year!  The consequence of this has been a significant increase in the demand for Short Term Hire solutions, and the re-gearing of fleets. 

UniCarriers have been extremely well placed to support our customers with the right equipment, in the right place and at the right time to allow them to meet the volatile new demands placed upon them. 

What is the biggest priority for the Supply Chain industry in 2021?

To remain agile, and resilient, and be quick to react to an ever-changing world.  With a vaccine-led recovery underway (both domestically and globally) societal changes and behavioural patterns which have emerged from the pandemic are unlikely to shift back to how things were pre-COVID, however, some old habits may begin to creep back in.

Those businesses which are unable to move at pace and adapt to change will be in danger of extinction in the face of the “dominant survivors”.

UniCarriers’ endeavour will be to support our customer base supply process, ensuring product arrives to consumers when required – with the aim of mitigating the effects of Brexit and the Pandemic.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2021?

2020 witnessed an acceleration towards digitalisation in supply chains. CEOs were putting off investment in new technologies but have since begun to embrace them.  Supply chain diversification will also emerge as companies seek to become more resilient and not rely on one, or only a few suppliers.

UniCarriers’ 360 – the ability to provide customers with all-encompassing support through: service, fleet information, health & safety, equipment, training and finance will be paramount to cope with ever-changing demands.  

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

There will be a sharper focus on E-commerce and Cloud-based Technology – which will be on the heels of greater levels of automation and digitalisation.

Cloud-based technology will allow companies to scale their systems as their business grows, and of course have the added benefit of accessibility from almost anywhere, as work patterns have shifted people increasingly to remote working.

In 2023 we’ll all be talking about…?

Hopefully, how we emerged from a global pandemic and the “new normal” that has become the adopted standard.  It is fair to say that things may never return to pre-pandemic conditions.

Which person in, or associated with, the Supply Chain industry would you most like to meet?

It would have to be a government minister with overall responsibility for the sector, to ask them direct questions about their vision. 

Whether I would get a straight and honest answer though is debateable…….

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Supply Chain sector?

Companies’ ability to cope with disruption and quickly re-strategize whilst immersed in deep uncertainty.

You go to the bar at the Total Supply Chain Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

A single malt whiskey.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Meeting a multitude of people across a very dynamic sector.  At UniCarriers, the focus is on saving our customers money through helping them with improvements in their operation.  This consultative approach is the differentiator which I enjoy the most – especially when I see recommended strategies put in place and delivering the desired results.

And what’s the most challenging?

From time to time the traffic congestion, as my job involves a lot of travel (though this has ebbed and flowed during the pandemic).

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To take “ownership” of a given situation.  This is the only way to ensure that you can be confident of a task being completed, and to own preferences/standards.

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

Peaky Blinders 

UniCarriers: Your business, from every angle

By UniCarriers

UniCarriers are a global supplier of forklift trucks and have over 50 years’ experience of supplying trucks and storage solutions to the UK market. Totally committed to developing the most efficient and cost-efficient materials handling and storage solutions, by providing a complete solution for your business, covering service, fleet information, health & safety, training, tools, equipment, and financing.

How we meet your expectations:

Service guarantee with no hidden costs.  
Throughout the materials handling process with our customers, UniCarriers endeavour to convey exceptional service, by building trust, brand awareness, in turn reduce problems and costs. Our engineers can provide First Time Fix rate measurement in conjunction with Response Time.

Fleet Information for operational overview & cost control.
Unexpected truck damage can be a frustration that increases costs and downtime.  UniCarriers can provide you with the technology that makes fleet management much simpler and reduces accidents for your operation.

Health & Safety for safe & efficient operation and handling.
We can help you inspect and analyse risks and weak points in your processes, working towards a safe workplace. The information collected in a health and safety analysis is the basis for changes that can minimise employee sick leave, damage to goods and equipment and excessive use of spare parts.

The right Tools to ensure a profitable workflow.
We model your resources and activities as well as warehouse layout and workflow to give you an accurate picture of your system’s performance and costs.

We have a full range of Equipment and trucks that make a difference.
We offer warehouse and counterbalance trucks as well as specialised solutions for specific applications.

Providing flexible & reliable Finance solutions for all your logistics needs.
Reduce your capital commitment, with tailor-made leasing solutions provided by our in-house leasing company, offering flexible, competitive, and varied leasing contracts.

From project planning and implementation, to service and support – it’s UniCarriers ambition to improve the efficiency of our customers material handling operation. 

www.unicarrierseurope.com
T: 01844 215501
E: sales-marketing-uk@logisnext.eu

New low lifting pallet trucks by UniCarriers: Safe and comfortable loading and unloading

UniCarriers introduces three new low lifting pallet truck models with a special focus on ergonomics and a multitude of customisation options. The global manufacturer of industrial trucks now offers the PLF, PLR and PLS models in three distinct lengths and with two different load capacities. The trucks were designed to assist loading and unloading, cross-docking, internal transports and order picking processes. Thanks to the TDS concept, for which a patent is already pending, the models also achieve high performance in sub-zero temperatures and other challenging conditions. Long service intervals result in low total costs of operation and maximum uptime. 

Where goods are loaded, picked and transported, safety and efficiency are often two competing factors. The new UniCarriers low lift pallet trucks are designed to ensure fast and safe working at the same time. This is where the PLF model’s Side Protection Bars and the driver protected platform from the PLR and PLS help to guarantee safety even when driving at maximum operational speeds. The new pallet truck models reach maximum speeds of 10 to 12.5 km/h, depending on the chosen steering type. The models are available with a load capacity between 2,000 and 2,500 kg and in “Mini”, “Junior” or “Senior” chassis lengths. Users can choose between lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries.  Furthermore, as an alternative to the standard lift-out batteries, battery rollers can be selected as an option to speed up battery change in multi-shift operations.

The many repetitive movements when operating a pallet truck can impact upon operators with regard to repetitive strain over prolonged periods of use. UniCarriers prevents this with a variety of ergonomic features such as a low vehicle entry and ergonomically shaped tiller heads. They allow employees to operate the vehicle safely with easily accessible controls. In addition, the folding platform of the PLF model and the driver protection platforms with side and rear entrances of the PLS and PLR offer a high degree of damping, which can also be electronically adjusted for better comfort while driving.

TDS concept guarantees high performance without safety risk

The aim of UniCarriers’ patent-pending TDS concept is maximum traction, damping and stability. Even on wet and uneven surfaces, the braking distance remains short and high driving speeds are possible without the wheels spinning, no matter how heavily the pallet truck is loaded. Specially developed castor wheels combined with the damping effect of the traction wheel minimise impact vibrations. The asymmetrical positioning of the castor wheels extends the damping, as not all wheels are hit simultaneously in the event of an impact. At the same time, the design of the castor wheels combines damping with good side stability. Therefore, even fully loaded pallet trucks can be driven around corners without loss of performance. Thanks to easily accessible maintenance parts and long service intervals, the new models ensure maximum uptime and low total costs of operation.

For more detailed information about the new pallet trucks, please visit UniCarriers’ website.

Main Image: The PLR is a reliable rear-entry pallet truck with a fixed, well-dampened platform for intense loading and unloading, cross docking operations and internal transport.