Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Fork Trucks – Counterbalance – CLARK EUROPE

Clark Europe GmbH is the European central headquarters of Clark Material Handling Company, a manufacturer of material handling equipment and logistics systems. The company services the markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East through nationwide networks of distribution partners.


The product portfolio includes electric three- and four-wheel lift trucks (1.3 – 5 t), diesel- and gas-powered forklift trucks with air, SE or cushion tires (1.5 – 8 t capacity) and warehouse trucks.

Clark Material Handling Company, based in the USA, is considered the inventor of the forklift truck and looks back on a more than 100-year history. Clark machines offer robustness, numerous possibilities of use and low total cost of ownership.

In a study by the US trade journal Modern Materials Handling, which surveyed 1,300 logistics experts, Clark came in number one in the category price-performance ratio. Clark (“Built to last”) produced its 1,000,000th forklift back in 1997.

CLARK Europe GmbH, Egon Strehl (CEO) and Kevin Tims (Dealer Manager UK and Scandinavia) spoke to Warehouse Logistics News.

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

A main aspect in our daily work is still the development of our dealer network in Europa, Africa and the Middle East. Only with high performing dealers we can reach our goals, main objectives and of course increase our image and brand awareness.

We have put a lot of energy into developing systems to support our dealers both on sales and service activities. Training, of course, is a key to success. So we offer a lot of different training for sales and service to our dealers. It is product training but also salesmen behavior training meantime is a part of our program. Furthermore all our dealers have access to wide range of internet based 24 hour available dealer support desk which is incorporated into our webpage – but access for dealers only.

WLN – 2013 – How was it for you?

The fact that we were able to continue to gain shares in a declining market can be put down, among other things, to our market offensive in different regions. It seems that our strategy pays off. Therefore, although there is an uncertainty and a certain aversion to investments in the Southern European states, 2013 is a great success for CLARK across Europe particularly in the UK.


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

To be honest we are facing another drop down in the counterbalance fork truck category in 2013. Market is declining whereas the warehousing market is almost on same level as it was in 2012. We expect growth in counterbalanced truck market from 2014 onwards.

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

We appointed new dealers in different regions in Europe, Middle East and Africa where we were not present before.

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

One big long-term investment was the expansion of our workforce.

For different departments we hired new staff in order offer a better service for our dealers and customers. Additionally we also increased our investment in RD in order to further improve our trucks to meet the European requirements.

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

As a full liner we offer our dealers and customers a wide range of different trucks with many different options. We always have a close look on customers’ needs and certain trends in different regional markets. Customer satisfaction is the most important aspect and therefore we continuously develop new options and upgrade our existing product range. This year for example we concentrated on the ergonomics of the workplace for the driver. So, we developed noise reduction options, new armrests with mini-lever and mini-joystick and new double pedal replaces driving direction lever. Beneath other things, we also always concentrate on the reduction of exhaust emissions. Therefore, we continuously promote improve our electric product range.


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

We have launched our new four-wheel electric forklift GEX40-50 (4-5ton capacity). With the new truck we entered a new load class dimension for our electric machines. The new GEX40-50 had a very good start and customers are very satisfied. Especially, the two drive motors, 100 percent AC technology, robustness and low-maintenance wet disc brakes are the main advantages of our new truck.

In the boom segment warehouse technology, we have launched twelve new models in summer 2013. The reach truck range and low and high-lift pedestrian operated trucks has been considerably expanded and medium and high-lift picker trucks have been added to the program. A prominent feature of the new warehousing technology machines is the robust mono-block design for mechanical strength and increased stability, precisely what you would expect from CLARK “Built to Last”.

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

Continually gaining increased share in declining markets.

WLN – What was your favourite business moment in 2013?

It was the moment where I signed the contract for our new premises – as the biggest investment in the future. Egon Strehl CEO.


WLN – Do you operate in any other countries besides the UK? How are you getting on there? Have you gone into any new territories recently?

CLARK Europe is responsible for the markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We sell our products through our dealers operating in more than 50 countries. The fact that we were able to improve to the current level despite the big markets being in recession signals that our expansion strategy and the strategic expansion of our dealer network.

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

Yes! First of all, we are very proud that two CLARK trucks were nominated for the finals of the most important European Forklift Award “IFOY” (Industrial forklift of the year).

Secondly, CLARK as a pioneer of electro-motorization, and has been practicing “Green Logistics” for years, Clark Europe GmbH is now a member of the exclusive “Blue Competence” Alliance, a sustainability campaign of the Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. [Association of German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers].

Additionally, CLARK got a very good result in the this year’s image ranking of the new “Image Award” study of the market research institute TNS Emnid, which was commissioned by the “VerkehrsRundschau” magazine.


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

We will give information to this subject at the time of CeMAT exhibition in May 2014.

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

As mentioned before, we will try to develop our dealer network in our main sales areas and will concentrate on some new markets, especially in Eastern Europe and Middle East. We will continue with this strategy in order to gain further market share. We are sure that we can increase number of sales and our market share in 2014, as we did it in 2013.

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

Clark Europe GmbH is moving into a new company base at the turn of the year 2013/2014 in Duisburg Rheinhausen. The Clark head office for the regions of Europe, Middle East and Africa will take over an existing property. The property meets our requirement profile perfectly. The relocation of the Clark Europe head office is necessary for providing new infrastructural facilities for employees, workshop, assembly plant, training centre, new equipment and spare parts storage. Of course, the new premises and our expansion strategy will also mean new staff…..

Clark-logoWLN – Are you exhibiting at any major trade shows in 2014?

Yes, the CeMAT in Hannover (May 2014) will be the most important event next year. Additionally, our dealers all over Europe, Africa and Middle East will participate in many different regional exhibitions as well.

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

There will many different product upgrades of our existing product range. Additionally we will also present some new trucks, warehouse equipment and burden carriers, like golf carts. We already launched the golf carts in some Middle East countries and 2014 the first carts will be available for the European market as well.

Phone: 07799 665023




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