The industrial division of Hörmann is dedicated to providing integrated solutions and to achieve this, Hörmann design, engineer and produce a wide range of products aside from loading bay doors.
The range also includes dock levellers, dock shelters, integrated control panels, warning light systems, fire doors, security doors and pre-cast concrete loading bay sections. This whole solution approach sets Hörmann apart and makes the company a one-stop shop for their customers.
Hörmann industrial products are made to order and as such every customer effectively benefits from a bespoke service, where each component is manufactured in a specialist factory equipped with state of the art machinery. This approach ensures the best quality is produced in the most efficient manner, so Hörmann can offer better products at the market price.
Warehouse & Logistics News – What does your job involve day to day? Has your role changed since last year?
On a day to day basis I manage the project office. However we all work on individual projects as a single point of contact which is a real benefit to our clients. I tend to handle the bigger projects specialising in loading bays. This means I spend a lot of time on site.
By being available onsite we add real value to projects and are able to react to site specific needs improving efficiency. Not only do we work on a project from conception through to design and installation but also follow this through with performance checks for 12 months following completion.
W&LN – 2011: how was it for you and Hormann?
2011 has been a busy but tough year. Due to the highly competitive nature of the market, margins have never been so tight and we have to ensure that we are as efficient as possible in everything we do. Fortunately the long term commitment Hörmann has made to manufacturing excellence gives us highly engineered products to work with. We are able to install higher quality components at the market price since we can rely on them to integrate seamlessly. This confidence in our products has enabled us to absorb some raw material costs too. For our clients who are used to value for money it has never been better.
W&LN – What is your particular proposition for customers in the warehouse & logistics sector? Has that changed since last year?
At Hörmann we provide an all encompassing service from design through to installation for loading bays. We manufacture all the elements of the loading bay from pre-cast concrete docks through to sophisticated control systems, ensuring all the components integrate seamlessly to maximise efficiencies.
W&LN – How has the loading bay sector been performing in 2011? What do you see as the most important recent developments in the sector?
There has been more activity in larger warehouses, in particular for food retail, particularly on chilled and cold storage developments. The impact of rising energy costs is making developers and operators more aware of insulation and more thermally efficient designs.
W&LN – Have you moved into any new business areas during 2011?
Our main business remains the logistics sector however, with our approach to deliver the solutions that best meet both current and future needs of our clients we are becoming more involved in considering thermal efficiency and sustainability. To maximise the benefits of our integrated approach we are becoming increasingly involved at the planning stage as architects become more aware of the technical input we can provide.
One area that we see developing is the increased interest in single envelope cold storage since it adds flexibility to a build for a developer, offers better use of space and meets both sustainability and energy efficiency targets. We have worked closely with ISD cold stores who are leading the development of this technology.
W&LN – Have you been investing in improving your premises, taking on more staff, upgrading your website, enhancing your IT etc in 2011?
Centrally, Hörmann has invested over €10 million on our manufacturing facilities while in the UK we have taken on more customer service staff. For loading bays in particular we have added the Energy Saving Compass to our website. This is a free, modular planning tool to allow architects, developers and operators the opportunity to examine loading bay options with the added bonus that it calculates the pay back time of any development through the energy savings that are delivered.
W&LN – How are your existing products and services doing?
Our existing products continue to evolve as demands change and our SPU insulated door is becoming established as the industry benchmark. The current market means we have been working mainly on bespoke builds. This suits the way we work, as we treat each project as fresh challenge. This way we can make improvements and also recommend product developments directly to our research and development teams
W&LN – Have you launched any new products or services in 2011? What are they, and how are they performing?
To meet the need for better insulation we have introduced ThermoFrame. This is a simple thermal break that fits between a sectional loading bay door and the fabric of the building. This delivers a dramatic 20% improvement in thermal efficiency with our SPU insulated door and a remarkable 40% when fitted with the double insulated DPU door for cold stores. The high levels of demand for ThermoFrame has prompted us to include it as standard.
W&LN – Have you won any awards in 2011, or been accredited to any new industry standards during this time?
W&LN – Do you sell your products direct or through distributors? Has that strategy changed in the last year?
Mainly direct, since we offer a complete design to installation service. However we do support our trade customers where appropriate.
W&LN – Can you name any of your major projects in the last 12 months, and talk about what you have done for them?
James Hall and Co’s new Spar distribution centre was a complex build with a number of bay designs. In particular our design that allows the insulated door to close in front of the dock leveller has generated a lot of interest. For Marks and Spencer we completed the loading bays on their new distribution centre at Bradford earlier this year and are currently installing 132 bays at their new distribution centre in the East Midlands
W&LN – How does your forward order book compare with a year ago? What about the waiting list for your (products) compare with a year ago?
Forward orders are certainly better than this time last year. While we have been busier, our lead times have remained constant, as our manufacturing facilities have been able to maintain their high level of service.
W&LN – Which trade shows did you exhibit at in 2011? How were they?
We exhibited at the TCS&D show alongside ISD cold stores who we are working with on a number of projects. In particular the development of single envelope cold stores. For these developments the loading bay is critical to the temperature control.
W&LN – And finally, what would you like Father Christmas to bring your company in 2012?!
We are pricing/designing a number of very large chilled and frozen distribution centres that are planned for 2012, with the new thermal dock & door enhancements, it would be very nice to secure these projects by Christmas and look forward to a busy and challenging year in 2012.
Hörmann UK Ltd
Tel: 01530 516888