With turnover at an all-time high and a healthy order book, Knapp has much to celebrate. What is the secret of the Austrian group’s success?

According to David James, Managing Director of Knapp UK Ltd, there are two reasons: commitment to investment in research and development and a policy of strategic acquisition. Says David James, “Knapp has continued to invest heavily in R&D, especially in the fields of software and order picking technology, so we are innovating all the time. This helps to keep our solutions one step ahead of both clients’ requirements and competitor systems. When it comes to growth of the group,” continues David James, “Knapp’s decision to make careful, strategic acquisitions over the past few years is definitely paying dividends. The purchase of conveyor specialist, Moving, in 2008 and overhead conveyor systems specialist, Dürkopp Fördertechnik, in 2010 have broadened our scope of supply in warehouse automation. The Moving range is vast, featuring not only conveyors for pallets, cartons and totes but also palletizing systems, sorters and miniload cranes. More recently, the acquisition of Dürkopp has been very beneficial in the fashion sector, allowing us to provide integrated solutions for handling both flat-packed and hanging garments – a key requirement for the major supermarket chains.”

Customer support

Besides product innovation, another key factor in Knapp’s growth in recent years has been the group’s commitment to the highest standards of customer support. Says David James, “Making customer support a high priority right from the start of a project is absolutely key for us. The way the system will operate in the long term affects the whole process of designing and installing it.” Knapp aims to develop long-term relationships with its clients and fosters a partnership approach to adapting to changes in clients’ business environments. “This forward-looking philosophy is highly valued by our clients,” adds David James. “Here in the UK, for example, we now have no less than five sites with a resident Knapp customer support team that is not only maintaining the customer’s system but also looking for ways to enhance it.”

Optimistic outlook

Most clients in Knapp’s key sectors need to handle high numbers of small items and the company has notched up a number of logistics innovations in these areas over the years. Constant investment in invention and product development gives the group an optimistic outlook. Says David James, “With a definite trend towards multichannel distribution – with a greater number of direct-to-consumer deliveries, more frequent business-to- business deliveries and returns needing to be processed within the same system – the demand for automation shows no signs of abating and so we are very confident about the future.”


Tel: 01844 202149


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