Leading door manufacturer, Hörmann, has dominated the industrial and domestic door industry around the world for more than 80 years, and the company continues to expand its customer offering in the UK. Renowned for quality and innovation, 2016 has seen significant developments across both industrial and domestic product ranges. Hörmann’s award-winning loading bay technology has improved warehouse safety and provided greater flexibility for companies to adapt to distribution changes. Meanwhile, its range of internal and external doors has been expanded to include a wider selection of designs, combining style with smart technology, including new contactless control systems, to complement 21st work spaces.
Alan Jenkins, Sales Director at Hörmann (UK) Ltd spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News about how Hörmann plans to build on its success in 2017…
WLN – As a top Doors & Curtains supplier, what have conditions been like in the past year for your business?
Business has increased along with our forecast in general. Some product groups have also exceeded expectations, such as fast action doors and loading bays. Regardless of what has been going on in Europe and Brexit, we see no downward trend at all.
WLN – How have recent international developments affected you and how have you responded?
The only noticeable change is that of the exchange rate, which means most of our products are costing more to import. However, we are in the same boat as our competitors and we are confident that this won’t have a major impact on our business due to the strength of our brand and our reputation for unique, quality products.
WLN – What are your flagship products and services?
Besides our domestic door products, our flagship products on the industrial side have to be with our sectional overhead door and spiral door, which still lead the market in quality and efficiency.
WLN – What makes you the ‘go to’ supplier in your category?
We’re renowned for quality, innovation and attention to detail. We offer a one-stop shop for all loading bay products within the warehouse and logistics marketplace and we’re a trusted supplier with an unrivalled reputation for excellence.
WLN – How do you help customers improve their business performance?
By producing products and services that enable them to ‘future-proof’ their processes. Producing fast acting insulated doors to help reduce heating and operating costs etc. Listening to what the customer’s issues are and in some case ‘tailor making’ a solution. We also offer extensive training packages to ensure that all of our customers are able to provide a top service for their clients throughout every stage of the process; from specification and fitting to maintenance and repairs.
WLN – How have you changed your offering to customers in the last 12 months and why? Have you added anything new?
Besides an improved after-sales service, we have also brought in a new Hörmann Wheel Blocking system to improve loading bay safety. Most loading bay accidents are caused by drive-away mistakes so our Wheelblocker has been design to prevent vehicle ‘creep’ off the dock.
WLN – Have you made any enhancements to your customer service?
In the past year, we have invested considerably in our service department by introducing a new flexible sales team to provide an all-encompassing service across both the industrial and domestic ranges. As well as employing more field engineers, Steve Hadfield was appointed as Industrial Product Technical Support and Training Engineer to provide additional technical support when required. The benefits of these changes will be passed on to the customers in faster response times and a higher quality of service with a better first time fix rate. As well as providing competitive maintenance contracts on all Hörmann products, the company is now offering to service any brand of industrial door or loading bay as part of its flexible packages. Round the clock call outs are also available for emergency maintenance and customers can even enjoy a discount of up to 10 per cent on Hörmann replacement parts and labour.
WLN – Which markets are your customers in? Which ones are growing fastest?
The Warehouse and Logistics market is still very active and grows year on year. New markets are developing for us in the commercial field, office blocks etc… due to the new hinged door products we are introducing. This will also increase our offering in the Warehouse and Logistics market as we will be more involved in the office and internal fit-out of some of the ‘Big Sheds’
WLN – Can you name some of your major customers and tell us what do you do for them?
We’ve continued to work with large companies such as John Lewis – Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Co-op, M&S, James Hall (Spar UK), TNT, UPS and DHL to provide loading bay equipment and all different types of industrial doors.
WLN – What’s been your most memorable recent project?
Our work with DP World London Gateway is one of our most recent major success stories. The vast size of the development meant that the storage warehouses needed
to be as flexible as possible in order to suit any potential future requirements. Having worked on numerous similar projects in the past, Hörmann was called upon to help deliver an adaptable solution for the 32 loading bay shed. We installed 32 HTL 2 hydraulic dock levellers with 500mm long telescopic lips. The extendable levellers not only provided a stable ramp for unloading at different vehicle heights, but they can also be precisely placed onto the trailer bed, enabling operatives to make use of a vehicle’s full loading space. Hörmann’s SPU F42 sectional doors were also included in the build, along with an additional 14 steel personnel doors for the site.
We have been, and are still very much, involved in the New Covent Garden redevelopment, which is not due to complete for another 6 years. However, it’s not just the large-scale developments that excite us. We’ve started to work on smaller loading bay projects too and we’re constantly trying to find new ways to help retailers adapt to changing customer demands.
WLN – What were your other major achievements in the last 12 months?
Without doubt, the rise in the sale of our industrial products has been a major achievement for us – particularly when it comes to sectional doors. We’ve increased our involvement with our trade partners and have been working through them to boost our industrial sales. We’ve really strengthened our relationship with our trade partners in the process and our IMHX corporate evening was a big success this year as a result.
In addition to that, we have have recently received a ‘Design4Safety’ award for the use of our light grilles in fast action doors, to ensure these are completely ‘non-contact’ safety edges, which will be shortly introduced to our sectional door and roller shutter door products.
WLN – Are you branching into any new areas, targeting new customers and taking on more people?
Besides the new products we mentioned above, we will be targeting developers and architects with the new products that we are introducing for the internal fitout of domestic, industrial and commercial properties.
WLN – How important is staff development and training to your growth?
Staff development and training is essential to ensure that we provide correct and up to date information to our client base. The Hörmann Group have just opened a new Training Forum at Hörmann Amshausen in Germany, which cover every single product that Hörmann manufacture. This facility is available to not just Hörmann employees but also to Hörmann customers and trade partners alike.
WLN – Looking ahead, what factors do you see affecting your business? How are you turning these into opportunities?
We, as a company, are very positive about the future due to the progressive nature of the group in developing new products and services to cope with the ever changing environment we find ourselves in.
WLN – Which major trade shows and other industry events are you involved in over the next year?
We will be involved in all of the RIBA CPD roadshows next year in the UK and will be exhibiting at the Munich Bau in January between the 16th and 21st.
WLN – What headline news from Hormann can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2017?
Our focus will be on product innovation next year so expect to see headlines on new product launches, as well as safety improvements, as Hörmann continues to push product design boundaries.
WLN – And finally, in our social media age, if you had to sum up your company in a 140-character tweet what would you say?
Hormann puts quality at the heart of everything it does and its products are unrivalled when it comes to design, style and innovation
HÖRMANN (UK) LTD