Over the past 5 years the Bendi Company has gone through some exciting changes as the Bendi product has matured in the UK from niche to mainstream. Whilst the core Bendi has attained many enhancements and retained its dominant market leading position, they have seen none core products evolve and flourish in several directions. These new additions to the Bendi family are further strengthening Bendi’s prominent position in the Warehousing sector as well as opening up new market places that were previously inaccessible to them including retail, manufacturing, and cold storage sectors.
As sales of other types of warehousing equipment have fallen, the Articulated Forklift Truck has flourished and is now firmly established as a more effective alternative to Reach Trucks and VNA with Bendi leading the way.
Three years ago Bendi decided to proactively export their extensive range of products and have received a warm welcome in the southern hemisphere on both sides of the Atlantic. Export sales, under the newly promoted Export Sales Director Andy Higham, have gone from a standing start to representing 33% of sales in 2011 and with the launch of Bendi Europe earlier this year, Bendi are confident of mirroring that success throughout mainland Europe.
Here in the UK, Bendi has also got ambitious plans for growth starting with the appointment of two Regional Sales Directors and a number of new sales areas, which has already led to a significant increase in new business opportunities.
All of this new activity on top of a growing market is set to increase sales overall by 40% and Bendi has been working for the last 12 months on increasing production the UK production facility in Redditch. A new factory has been dedicated to chassis production and a new machine plant installed to assist the flow of work to the tune of £250,000.00 to date and capacity is just starting to flow through to meet deliveries. The Redditch parts department is being relocated into a purpose built building to cope with the additional manufacturing and aftermarket needs caused by the increased volume, which in turn has created new staffing opportunities at management level.
Bendi B420AC High-Lift
With more than 20 customer-driven enhancements the B420 AC HL truck is undoubtedly the company’s flagship model.
Designed to give optimal aisle performance and greater space saving over conventional counterbalance and reach trucks, the Bendi 420AC HL was completely re-shaped to offer improved performance and driver comfort.
It was these features, together with the significant cost savings compared to VNA, that played a major part in the decision by B&M Bargains to award Bendi with the contract to supply a fleet of B420AC HL’s for their brand new 625,000 sq ft warehouse facility in Speke, Liverpool. Lifting to a height of over 12m and with spare batteries for multi-shift operation the Bendi B420AC HL has proved to be a real ‘bargain’ for B&M.
Perhaps one of the most innovative products to be introduced into the UK market in recent years is the Mini Bendi. Launched at the IMHX in 2010, the Mini Bendi pedestrian articulated forklift was developed in answer to the significant call from the industry for a smaller, lighter machine that didn’t necessarily have the speed or reach of a normal Bendi but could accommodate the UK style perimeter based pallets. Working closely with Asda and a number of other clients, it was a natural step for Bendi to develop a pedestrian truck that provided the versatility and safety required regardless of industry sector.
The Mini Bendi is now being used to high acclaim at a number of household names including B&Q and Asda who have reported a 40% space saving in its stores “back of house” racking areas.
Its not just companies who handle standard pallets that can benefit from a Bendi. The Bendi Longloader is a multi-directional 4-way sideloading articulated truck designed to handle long and awkward loads as well as standard pallets.
Ensinger, a world leader in engineering plastics, use a Bendi Longoader to handle long loads of plastic stored in aluminum stillages in and around the new cantilever racking area. By using the Bendi Longloader, Ensinger have been able to maximize the space in the new warehouse, which gives them increased flexibility, and room for expansion.
The Bendi Longloader is also used for loading vehicles and handling more standard loads.
Taking it to the next level – Bendi Order Picker
Nearly 50 years after Translift Engineering was formed to fulfill an order for six order pickers, Translift Bendi is returning to its roots by offering an innovative product designed for order picking.
After indentifying inefficiencies in a number of customer picking operations, Bendi are about to start on-site trials with an articulated truck that combines a man-up order picker.
“With the demand for next-day deliveries now becoming the norm, customers are moving a larger proportion of their available floor space over to picking rather than bulk storage” comments Bendi MD Simon Brown. “Whilst most picking operations are carried out with great efficiency, there remains a sticking point when an order picker picking at ground level reaches an empty pallet location. The operative will put out a call for the reach truck to bring down a pallet from the second level, which interrupts the picking process and causes unnecessary delays or missed picks”
The Bendi Order Picking truck will be the first in the world to facilitate simultaneous order picking and pallet placement on two concurrent pallets carried by the truck.