The Hörmann Group is a leading industrial door manufacturer based in Germany with 16 distribution warehouses across Europe, Asia and North America.

Phillip-ClarkEstablished in 1935, the family-run company employs more than 6,000 staff and is renowned for its quality and innovation in sectional, high-speed, double-action and fire sliding doors, strip curtains, rolling shutters and grilles. Specialising in loading bay technology, Hörmann also produces loading houses, and dock levellers, shelters and seals for the logistics industry.

The headquarters are based in Leicestershire, and over 80 individual sales locations in more than 30 countries, as well as hundreds of authorised dealers in over 35 additional countries.

Tom Langley, Projects Director (TL) and Phillip Clark, Industrial Service Manager (PC) spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

WLN – As a leading supplier in the Loading Bay category, what has the last year been like for your business? How about for the rest of your sector?

TL – Following on from a record-breaking year in 2014, the last 12 months have been very successful again for Hörmann and we’re pleased to be able to report an overall increase on last year’s turnover.

Throughout 2015 we’ve seen considerable expansion in the ‘big shed’ market, which in turn has led to a surge in demand for loading bay technology across the industry as a whole.

PC – Where Hörmann has really seen the biggest growth is in its maintenance packages. We’ve won a number of new contracts to maintain doors and loading bay equipment and our improved flexible service packages have been a big contributing factor.

WLN – What are your best-known products and services?

PC – On the industrial side, Hörmann is probably best known for its vast selection of doors and loading bay technology. Our intelligent docking systems are considered to be among the best available on the market and are hugely beneficial in terms of improving safety, efficiency and productivity in a warehouse setting. Following significant investment in our service side, however, we’re becoming well regarded for offering exceptional maintenance support as well.

WLN – What makes you the first choice supplier in your field?

TL – Hörmann has long been established as a supplier of competitively priced, highquality products and service. We work closely with industry specialists to ensure our products incorporate the latest research and technology, allowing us to adapt quickly to meet the changing needs of our customers.

WLN – What changes have you made to your core offering in the last year?

PC – Employing more engineers and investing more in their training has led to increased efficiency throughout the service department. This improvement is then passed on to customers in faster response times and a higher quality of service with a better first time fix rate.

We now offer different levels of maintenance packages to suit the varying needs of our customers. The “premium plus” package, for instance, includes expert training from our team so that in-house engineers will be able to undertake basic maintenance, thereby minimising the need for costly call outs.

Tom-LangleyWLN – What new products and services have you introduced?

TL – We launched a variety of new products this year, including three new insulated panels that have been specifically designed for use in chilled areas or low energy warehouses to help reduce heat loss and lower energy consumption.

Recent advancements in our docking control systems have also allowed us to provide a more flexible approach for customers. We will always ensure that the best possible control system is selected in order to fit in with the specific processes and procedures of the customer. Our work with a range of retailers this year, all with different requirements, has demonstrated our ability to adapt our products to meet the needs of the customer.

WLN – What industries are your customers in?

TL – Wherever something is manufactured, produced or moved, Hörmann could be involved. We work with customers across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, warehouse and logistics, distribution and retail.

Historically, we’ve predominantly worked on large-scale big shed or distribution centre projects for some of the country’s biggest businesses, including Asda and Amazon. We’re also considered to be specialists for car showrooms and fire stations, where there’s a demand for high quality products. However, we’re now seeing an increase in demand from smaller single buildings, such as 15-20 bay warehouses and parcel distribution centres.

WLN – How do your products and services help customers become more efficient, greener or work safer?

TL – One of Hörmann’s main objectives this year was to improve the efficiency of its product range, subsequently enabling customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Our new 67 mm thick insulated panel is available for a range of spiral and high-speed sectional doors and provides a lighter and more cost-effective solution while still offering a very competitive U-value of 0.33 W/(m2K).

Our intelligent docking systems can also significantly minimise risks in the dangerous loading bay area of a warehouse. Benefitting from built-in sensors, these systems can be connected to traffic light signals to warn the driver of the distance between the rear of the trailer and the dock buffer. In addition, control systems can be programmed to ensure all procedures take place in the correct sequence, again helping to prevent accidents.

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WLN – Can you tell us about some of your customers and the work you do for them?

TL – We work very closely with all of our customers and offer a single point of contact throughout the whole project, from initial discussions through to the maintenance and warranty period. We look at their existing operations and work out what will work best for them, therefore providing the best possible solution for each individual installation.

WLN – Is there a recent or current project that stands out as a showcase for your company? Can you tell us about it?

TL – This year we’ve worked on projects in completely new areas for the business, such as ports. DP World London Gateway Port and Logistics Park is currently one of the biggest construction projects in the UK and will allow the world’s largest container ships to dock in this country. Cargo is off-loaded from the containers onto cassette trailers, which are then taken to on-site distribution centres. As usual lorries are not used here, our loading bay technology was successfully adapted for these unique circumstances.

WLN – What were your company’s biggest achievements in the last 12 months?

TL – 2015 has seen Hörmann make a significant commitment to improving its green status, so a highlight of the year for us would certainly be the UK Warehousing Association Awards where our efforts were rewarded with the environment award.

PC – After a successful few years for Hörmann, the company has needed to expand in order to keep in line with business growth. A number of changes and additional resources have been put into place throughout 2015, allowing us to maintain the same level of service our customers have come to expect. Customers have welcomed these changes and we’ve received very positive feedback.

WLN – Are you currently investing in the business, taking on staff or going into new markets or countries? If so, how’s it going?

PC – Throughout the year, Hörmann has been working to restructure its various departments, strengthening every area of the business by adding to the management team. We also now provide maintenance and repair work on all industrial doors and curtains, not just those from Hörmann’s range. This flexible approach to our service packages has meant that we’re now working with a much wider range of customers in different markets.

WLN – What are you doing to bring in new talent and raise skills levels in your company?

PC – The knowledge and ability of all our service engineers will also now be closely monitored following the appointment of a technical support and training engineer. By overseeing all areas of training, both for our team of engineers as well as those working in-house for our trade partners, we will be able to consistently provide quality service.

WLN – What are the major issues facing the Loading Bay category as we go forward? How is your company addressing them?

TL – Improving efficiency is a major concern for many of our customers, both in terms of productivity and energy consumption, and as a manufacturer we need to be flexible enough to respond to changing demands. We manufacture all of our products, which gives us the advantage of adaptability and better knowledge, allowing us to implement changes much faster than a number of our competitors.

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WLN – Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows in the coming year?

PC – We’ll be returning to the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) at the NEC in September next year.

As one of the major trade events for the logistics and supply chain industries, IMHX provides the perfect platform to exhibit our latest products and new technologies for numerous customers in one of our principal target industries.

WLN – What other big news from Hörmann can our readers look forward to reading in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2016?

TL – We’ve been working on a number of exciting installations this year in various new markets, and have more orders than usual lined up for next year than ever before.

We’re looking forward to announcing them in Warehouse and Logistics News in 2016.

01530 513000

info@hormann.co.uk

www.hormann.co.uk

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