Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

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Fork trucks – Narrow Aisle Bendi

Bendi:- The company that brought the Articulated truck to market is forging ahead with amazing new concepts to maintain its dominant market position, providing products that over come daily storage and distribution problems for its customers.

SimonSimon Brown, Managing Director, Bendi, spoke to Warehouse Logistics News.

WLN – First of all, what does your role involve day to day? Has it changed since last year?

Good question. To say it is similar or different from last year is difficult but it’s true to say it is consistently as varied as last year. A large proportion of my time has been spent with customers, both here and abroad, looking at exciting new market opportunities and coming up with innovative solutions for their materials handling problems. We have a great reputation in this area and its nice to be challenged.

WLN – 2013 – How was it for you?

It would be great to go into detail about some of the other exciting projects we have been working on in 2013, but for now we have to keep them under wraps. Once again the order book is healthy which means we can continue to make significant investment in the UK manufacturing plant, our people, systems and IT infrastructure and perhaps most exciting the Bendi Rentals Division.

WLN – How has the Narrow Aisle category been performing this year? What do you see as the most significant recent developments?

We don’t really have much of a feel for the Narrow Aisle market as we see the Bendi outside of this in its own category – the Articulated Forklift market, which is probably more than twice the size of the VNA market. The Bendi will work in narrower aisles than most conventional tri-lateral head trucks, and without the need for superflat floors or expensive guidance, so its not a true comparison.

WLN – Have you moved into any new business areas in the last 12 months?

Without doubt the most significant moves have been into the Order Picking and Cold Storage sectors. Both prompted by listening to the needs of individual customers and the market place as a whole. The interest has been immense and both the Bendi Order Picker and the Arctic are now in production. We have also launched the new Bendi Longloader, which will undoubtedly open new doors for us in new sectors.

WLN – What was your biggest investment to improve your business this year? What else have you done?

There has been significant investment throughout the business but I would say that investment in People has been the biggest. There is a real family feel at Bendi so it is vital that we recruit the right calibre of people to firstly add value to the business and secondly that they embrace the ethos of Bendi. We have successfully recruited key people in the factory, offices and a couple of well known names for the sales team.

WLN – How are your existing products and services doing? Have you developed or upgraded your existing products and services recently?

As market leader you have to be one step ahead of the rest so we are always looking to develop and upgrade our existing core products and services. Also the beauty of being a manufacturer is that we can make any changes quickly to benefit our customers.

WLN – Have you launched any new products or services, and how are they performing?

As your readers will have no doubt read, Bendi have launched a number of new and innovative products including the Bendi Order Picker, the Arctic and the Longloader. The Longloader was the first to be released and we are extremely happy with the improved performance and reliability. We are confident that the Order Picker and Arctic will be just as successful.


WLN – What’s been your company’s single biggest achievement in business this year?

Breaking into new European accounts that have the potential to take us as a company to a new level. Also the growth within the business outside this has been exiting too. During the working week it seems part and parcel of the working day whilst it’s all going on around you but when you come to reflect on the year like this it quite astounding.

WLN – What was your favourite business moment in 2013?

That’s a hard one as there have been many. Growth in Europe is certainly up there but I would have to say its development of the Bendi Order Picker from that ‘acorn moment’ of an idea and seeing it through to reaching the production line. Equally good is seeing the look on customers faces when they realise the Order Picker would radically change the way in which they operate.

Bendi-logoWLN – Do you operate in any other countries besides the UK?

There are now 19,000 in operation globally. The Southern Hemisphere is still very much a key area for us but interest from Europe has really taken off as we mentioned. The future of materials handling in Europe is changing and we intend to be a major part of it.

WLN – How are you getting on there? Have you gone into any new territories recently?

New territories are opening up to us all of the time so we have recently strategically reorganised our people in France, Germany and the rest of Europe. In order to pull this off we’ve recruited Joe O’Brien (former owner of Aisle Master) as he has a wealth of experience in both articulated trucks and selling into Europe in addition to his time spent at Moffet Mounty.

WLN – Have you won any awards recently, or been accredited to any new standards?

2013 has been a year of mounting latent heat; we’ve spent the year on the new products and we hope that 2014 will be when we reap the rewards of these products that we are so proud of.

DSC_0702[5]WLN – Can you tell us about your major projects this year, and what they involved?

One of our biggest ever deals happened this year and this customer had several issues with his previous solution. Once understood, they were demonstrably easy to overcome and improve upon. This is the greatest asset at Bendi; we have the desire to listen and the ability to act and act swiftly to customers needs.

WLN – Can you tell us about your plans for 2014? Where do you see your business going?

We’ve taken on staff in all the areas of the business to augment our strengths and production to support the sales growth. 2014 will reap those benefits.

WLN – Are you looking at taking on more staff or expanding your premises next year?

As well as the Export sales position we’ve taken on Paul Sercombe (ex Transmon) to support the UK guys and this too will bring increased sales. We are looking at major changes in the factory to increase production capacity, which will lead to further jobs.

WLN – Are you exhibiting at any major trade shows in 2014?

The Bendi will be on show at a number of key trade shows throughout the Southern Hemisphere, Europe and of course in the UK. CeMAT14 in Hannover is one we are really excited about.

WLN – What other headline news from Bendi can our readers look forward to reading about in Warehouse Logistics News next year?

Who Knows, we got lots of great ideas to add value to what we do as an MHE provider. I know It should be simple to real them off but some of them are not yet patented and some of them are in prototype form being tested.

Phone: 01527 527411



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