Barloworld Handling has secured a major five year contract with Grafton Merchanting GB (GMGB), the fourth largest builders merchant in the UK, to help streamline the maintenance and fleet management of approximately 500 pieces of materials handling equipment stretching from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall.

The deal sees Barloworld’s team of engineers maintaining forklifts, warehouse equipment, skid steers and attachments from a variety of manufacturers including Yale, Caterpillar, Jungheinrich and Linde.  The fleet was previously maintained by more than 40 different suppliers.

Phil Alexander, Head of Transport at GMGB, explains: “As our company has grown through acquisition, so has our mechanical handling fleet; we’ve inherited an assortment of different trucks and service providers.

“One of our priorities this year is to introduce greater control over our mechanical handling assets.  Appointing Barloworld is key to ensuring consistent quality of service, fast response times and strict cost control.”

Barloworld secured the contract following a competitive tender which saw it selected for its large national footprint, all-makes and types servicing capability and proven ability to deliver on its promises, having supplied equipment to Selco, a division of Grafton Group, since 2005.

To ensure the smooth transfer of responsibility, Barloworld’s dedicated sales solutions support team – dubbed the ‘S3Team’ – dealt with the project management, implementation and roll-out of the new contract, ensuring all Barloworld regional service teams understood the dynamics of the GMGB fleet.

Barloworld field service engineers are currently conducting a comprehensive national appraisal of materials handling assets operated by GMGB, recording serial numbers and reporting on the age, condition, service status, mast type and associated attachments.  This is allowing Barloworld to capture accurate information on precisely what equipment is used by each branch, advise on appropriate servicing plans and work with the customer to prepare end-of-life replacement schedules.

The appraisal also includes a detailed tyre audit, ensuring Barloworld engineers can forecast when replacement tyres are likely to be required.  This enables replacements to be proactively fitted during planned machine downtime, rather than waiting until a tyre has completely worn out, which can cause unnecessary delay.

“This agreement is far more than a service contract,” adds Alexander.  “We appointed Barloworld as we are confident they will work in partnership with us to improve the way we manage and service our materials handling equipment.  I am certain that together, we’ll have a positive impact on fleet uptime and reducing running costs.”

Each GMGB branch benefits from a single point of contact for all servicing queries – with direct access to Barloworld’s central support services team.  Ideally positioned to support large multi-sited customer operations, the team answers all inbound calls centrally, with subsequent jobs assigned to the closest Barloworld regional centre.

Across its network, GMGB operates nearly 1,000 pieces of materials handling equipment, spread between outlets of Buildbase, Plumbase, Jackson Building Centres and other group businesses.

Fleet maintenance is shared by two suppliers, with Barloworld responsible for all machines not previously supplied under a maintenance contract with another forklift truck manufacturer.

Barloworld is the largest independent distributor of lift trucks in the world with operations covering the UK, Holland, Belgium and Southern Africa.  As the UK’s exclusive distributor of Hyster equipment since 1956, Barloworld maintains nearly 25,000 lift trucks in all types of UK industry.

Barloworld provides a complete range of counterbalance and warehousing equipment with superior support, advice and value added services through its network of 1,000 support staff including more than 400 engineers nationwide.

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Grafton Merchanting GB

Grafton Merchanting GB was formed in 2008 to integrate Grafton Group plc’s GB merchanting businesses within a single structure.   GMGB is the fourth largest business in the builders and plumbers merchants’ industry.

GMGB businesses are leading merchants or specialists in their own fields including Buildbase, Plumbase, Jackson Building Centres, Civils & Lintels, Hirebase, PDM, Hendricks Lovell, L&G Forest Products, Keelsupply, Acorn Insulation & Drywall, Southern Drylining & Insulation, Secon Solar, Corgi Direct, Sparesbase, Booles Tools, Boundary Bathrooms and Plumbworld.

The business trades from more than 400 locations, employs approximately 7,500 staff and has a turnover in excess of £1bn.


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