Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Briggs Equipment Passionate People: Powerful Solutions

Based in Cannock, Staffordshire, Briggs Equipment is the UK arm of Briggs International, the world’s largest global distributor of Yale and Hyster materials handling equipment. Its parent, Sammons Enterprises Inc. is a diversified conglomerate with assets of $51.8billion and operates as a highly ethical and values driven organisation. In the UK, Briggs employs around 1,400 people and is sole distributor of Yale Europe Materials Handling in Great Britain and exclusive supplier of Hyster products in the United Kingdom. Since the acquisition last year of the assets of Barloworld, it’s become one of the largest and fastest growing materials handling companies in the UK but remains true to its principles: Passionate People: Powerful Solutions.

cmdeskChris Meinecke, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, spoke to Warehouse and Logistics News.

Warehouse Logistics News – First of all Chris, can you give us an overview of the different products and services Briggs provides?

We supply and service a wide range of equipment, probably known most for forklift trucks and warehouse equipment, to a broad customer base. However, we do much more than just supply trucks, we offer a comprehensive service to most areas in the supply chain that can cover long-term maintenance, operator training, fleet management and even complete project management during the development of new warehouse facilities. This comprehensive approach enables us to deliver a bespoke service that meets the individual needs of our customer partners.

WLN – As Chief Operating Officer, what is your role in the company day to day?

I joined the company in 2010 from the USA, where I worked for Briggs US for over 18 years. As part of my present role, in addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, I work with colleagues in the USA and our parent company, Sammons Enterprises Inc., to create synergies and innovation across the globe. I also work closely with both Briggs’ UK team and customers to achieve the company’s vision of transforming the industry through customer led solutions.

WLN – Since acquiring Barloworld in October 2012, what have been the main changes for Briggs?

First, I think it’s important to say the acquisition has made us stronger and lifted us into the industry’s ‘Premier League,’ as we’ve effectively doubled in size. We are now the exclusive UK dealer for Hyster products, giving us a strong presence in the heavy truck market, which complements our existing range of Yale brand forklift trucks. It also demonstrates Briggs’ clear commitment to growth, which brings more opportunities for our employees and an enhanced service to our customers, with greater product solutions and quicker response times. On a practical level it has also given us the largest, multi-skilled mobile engineering workforce in the UK.

WLN – Your headquarters are in Cannock, Staffordshire and you operate a centralised business model. What advantages does this bring?

It brings a wide range of benefits, both for the company and our customers. Our central location is important as it offers easy access to the motorway network and many major population centres are just a short distance away. Also, by basing all our major functions under one roof, our employees really feel they are part of a team, while customers benefit from the ultimate, high-level consistent service delivery from one central contact point – regardless of the service they require. In fact we have 120 service centre staff on hand to deal with enquiries and dedicated national and key account teams, teams, known as pods, to handle individual account needs. In addition we run 14 depots in the UK to ensure we are close to our local customers and have equipment on their doorstep.

WLN – You say that Briggs provides a local service across the country, how does that work in practice?

We now have a 600-strong team of mobile engineers, one of the largest of its kind in the country, in addition to strategic depots all over the UK.

Available 24/7, they are based at strategic locations across the country to ensure all customers receive a visit from an engineer within three hours of calling us, wherever they are. In fact the average time it takes them to arrive on site is less than two hours, and we’re always working to improve on these times. In many cases our larger customers even have their own dedicated engineers on site. Although we believe that prevention is the best way to avoid breakdowns, should anything go wrong we aim to keep downtime to an absolute minimum and have utilised the latest technology, such as GPS tracking to ensure an engineer arrives in the shortest possible time.


WLN – Is this service confined to support Yale or Hyster trucks?

Although we are fully committed to both brands, members of our multi-skilled service team are qualified to work on a wide range trucks from other manufacturers. In fact we can service, repair and source parts for just about any make or model of materials handling equipment, or mechanical equipment operating in the customer’s supply chain.

WLN – Can you also respond quickly to urgent requests for new trucks or truck hire?

We keep a wide range of new equipment in stock to cover the most common applications, and the majority of our equipment is manufactured in the UK for quick delivery. We also believe in providing a bespoke service to ensure customers receive the most appropriate equipment for their application. We also have one of the country’s largest Short Term Hire fleets, at 5,000 strong, and recently invested more than £5 million to ensure we can supply the most up to date equipment to customers who need a quick solution to cope with unexpected demand or peaks in seasonal activity.


WLN – As well as rental trucks and new trucks, what about other creative investment options?

Thanks to our commitment to maintaining the latest models in our rental fleets, we have an extensive range of used equipment rotated out of general rental that is available to provide mixed fleets to customers looking to reduce operating costs. It is also ideal for customers working to a tight budget and they can choose from ‘like new’ or ‘as is’ options on counterbalance diesel, LPG or electric, power pallet or reach trucks.

Buying from Briggs is also risk free as over 98% of used trucks come from our long-term rental fleet and have been serviced meticulously. For additional piece of mind warranties are also available.

We also have a FlexiHire offer that enables a new truck to be hired for five years with a contract term of 12 months. If a customer decides the truck is surplus to requirements, they have the flexibility to return it with no penalty. Most of these options are a result of our financial strength and funding options.

WLN – What sets Briggs apart? Why buy from Briggs?

I think what really sets us apart is our core values and one team, customer-led approach. These values include being open and honest, personal accountability and empowerment and a focus on delivering results, whilst always finding the right solution for our customer.

We are a highly ethical and values driven organisation. This refreshing approach, with an empowered company culture, means we place our people at the heart of our operations. Our people make the difference in delivering service excellence for our customers.

Of course, these values and our services, combined with industry leading products, makes me incredibly confident that we can provide the best and most cost efficient solution in the market place.


WLN – Given the growing complexity of increasingly mixed fleets what advice do you have for managers?

We appreciate how complex and time consuming managing a fleet can be, that’s why we’ve developed BE Fleet, an innovative asset management system that can help reduce the overall cost of owning and operating a material handling equipment. It achieves this by capturing and analysing real-time information from the fleet. The system also provides the business and their fleet servicing provider with an easy way to share information. Online service dispatching enhances communication and consolidated online invoicing, reducing administrative costs to help drive efficiency. It also helps firms to get on with doing what they do best, rather than spending time worrying about their fleet assets being optimised.

WLN – Damage reduction is also a hot topic at the moment. How does Briggs address this?

We recommend the installation of Speedshield, our exclusive fleet management telemetry tool with a suite of options that help monitor and modify driver behaviour by enforcing speed limits, monitoring impacts and safety checks. It can be quickly and easily installed onto almost any vehicle, and automatically transmits data via roaming GSM to a PC – giving fleet managers vital information on fleet performance whilst highlighting any potential problems. We also believe strongly in improving safety and reducing accidents through effective operator training. We work closely with our customers to develop bespoke training packages and many of these involve injecting a little bit of fun to drive the messages home.


WLN – How will Briggs be presenting itself at IMHX?

With more than 1,000 sq m of display space, both inside and outside the main exhibition hall, Briggs will be one of the biggest exhibitors at the event, and we hope to offer visitors a glimpse of things to come. As well as showing off some of the latest products from Yale and Hyster on our four stands, we’ll showcase our commitment to combining the latest technology with human expertise to provide bespoke solutions for customers across all industry sectors.

All our displays will reflect the fact that we are committed to using the very latest technology in a way that complements very human values, including a passion for service excellence, and at the same time the breadth of expertise that we offer.

WLN – How important are shows like IMHX to your company?

Shows like IMHX are very important to us because, in addition to helping us showcase our latest products and services, they enable us to engage with existing and potential customers in an informal way, something we think is very important when it comes to getting our messages across. As we said before, we are a people business and there is nothing like engaging with existing customers and potential future partners.


WLN – Why should a busy professional from the logistics sector take a day out of the office to visit your stand?

We intend to make visits to our stand as interesting as they are informative, and our presence in the Skills Zone of the exhibition promises to offer a fun and interactive experience. Here visitors can try their hand at racing scale models of the firm’s forklift trucks around a specially built circuit. On a serious note, we will also be offering advice on how they can save money on their materials handling operations and the added value that Briggs can bring to their business.

WLN – Looking to the future, BITA figures suggest continued growth in warehousing sectors. How has Briggs responded to this?

We now have a dedicated warehouse team, and we’ve also invested in the latest technology to help our customers make maximum use of the space they have available. Our Phoenix Suite in Cannock provides a unique opportunity for customers to experience our innovative warehouse solutions and cutting-edge simulation technology. At the same time we are now offering a full warehouse solution service, which can help customers with everything from initial warehouse design to finding the best flooring and racking – not to mention choosing the most appropriate very narrow aisle (VNA) equipment. Briggs has doubled its warehouse market share in the last 12 months and plans to continue this trend.

Briggs-Logo-highresWLN – Where do you see the industry IMHX going over the next few years?

It’s clear that the economic climate will not be improving anytime soon, and our industry is not immune from this. As a result we expect that much of the industry will move towards providing customer-led services that offer long-term value, and I’m sure future IMHX exhibitions will reflect this. Fortunately for us Briggs is already leading the way when it comes to this approach to business.

Tel: 03301 23 98 14


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