SESS Ltd was established 30 years ago on 3rd August 1987. It was set up to provide a rack safety inspection service that was totally unbiased, as the company did not involve itself in the making, repairing or supplying of racking and shelving nor did it have any connection with any manufacturer, repairer or installer. This was the very first company of its kind. Its aim was to provide the client with not only a totally unbiased view, but to produce an easy to read report, with all of the information needed to support the client in ensuring their storage systems remains safe. The Head Office is located in Cramlington, Northumberland. Our team of Inspectors cover all of the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Philip Pinel, Managing Director at SESS, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
WLN – As a leading supplier in the Warehouse Safety (Racking) category, what has the last year been like for your business? How about for the rest of your sector?
30 Years in business and, as previous years, business has continued to be truly phenomenal. Again we have been in a position to employ more staff both externally and internally to cope with the increase. More and more clients understand their responsibilities in terms of taking ownership of their equipment and look to have totally independent external inspections carried out. I believe the upturn in this area of our industry will continue.
WLN – What are your best-known products and services?
We are known for our total independence to carry out rack safety inspections and our professionally delivered inspection and maintenance industry approved training courses.
WLN – What makes you the first choice supplier in your field?
Our Independence is key to our business, more and more clients understand the benefits of independent inspections – we have no vested interest in finding damage to their racking or shelving, therefore they take comfort in the fact that our reports give an accurate account of our findings. Our resource is also a strength as a number of our clients have multiple sites based around UK, Ireland and Europe.
WLN – What changes have you made to your core offering in the last year?
As a business, we are always trying to improve the service we offer to our customers. Customer requirements vary dependent on the type of warehouse facility they run. We try to encompass their requirements whilst remaining in the realms of our guidelines. We provide as much information as possible, along with management information. Our service does not finish once the inspection has been completed, our Technical Department is available to assist with any issues the client may have during the year, at any time.
WLN – What new products and services have you introduced?
Whilst we do not carry out repairs to racking, we are always looking for products that will enhance safety in the warehouse. We have found unit called Collision Sentry. This unit easily clamps on to the corner of a racking upright, the sensor will detect if there is two way activity (i.e. an operative working in the aisle and a fork lift truck operating in the adjacent aisle) and omits an audible sound and a flashing red light. This inexpensive unit eliminates the risks of two way collisions. A number of our clients have purchased these and are delighted with the results.
WLN – What industries are your customers in?
We have a very diverse customer base. Many are blue chip organisations. Size varies, from the small builder merchants with perhaps 2-3 runs of racks to the 100,000 plus pallet location warehouses. We will inspect any type of storage equipment in any warehouse environment, regardless of the type. This includes bespoke racking systems, fabricated racking and mezzanine floor structures.
WLN – How do your products and services help customers become more efficient, greener or work safer?
The environment is of importance to us. We encourage our clients to accept their reports electronically or they can take advantage of using our on-line portal to view their reports. This makes a tremendous saving of paper.
WLN – Can you tell us about some of your customers and the work you do for them?
Client confidentiality is paramount to us. But in general terms, across the board, we ensure their racking systems stay safe with our inspections and enhanced by our approved SEMA and IOSH training courses for their operatives to carry out their own internal basic inspections.
WLN – Is there a recent or current project that stands out as a showcase for your company? Can you tell us about it?
Alas that remains between the client and ourselves!
WLN – What were your company’s biggest achievements in the last 12 months?
To have an additional training course approved by IOSH. We are the only rack safety inspection company worldwide to have our inspection courses approved by this body. In addition one of our inspection courses is also approved by SEMA. We are privileged to have two highly respected organisations giving our courses their seal of approval!
WLN – Are you currently investing in the business, taking on staff or going into new markets or countries? If so, how’s it going?
We have employed an additional 6 internal staff and 3 additional rack safety inspectors over the last 12 months. Europe continues to expand.
WLN – What are you doing to bring on new talent and raise skills levels in your company?
The work we carry out is quite niche. We are keen to encourage internal staff to undertake NVQ’s at various levels.
Mentoring is also given to those who chose to increase their knowledge in some of our specialist areas. A number of our internal staff have eventually became rack safety inspectors. Externally our Inspectors all take the SARI (SEMA Approved Rack Inspector) qualification, our inspectors who carry out training also hold the CIEH – Level 2 Professional Trainer Certificate. Other qualifications include NEBOSH, RoSPA Accident Investigation and specialist working at height. We have also introduced a Graduate scheme for those wishing to develop their skills at a technical level with the first candidate commencing January 2018.
WLN – What are the major issues facing the Warehouse Safety (Racking) category as we go forward? How is your company addressing them?
There is a significant rise in the building of larger warehousing facilities, with much higher racking installations. This means that operatives need to be vigilant in terms of protecting their racking systems and SESS inspectors are carrying out an increased number of high level safety inspections.
WLN – Will you be exhibiting at any major trade shows in the coming year?
Yes we will be exhibiting at the Safety & Health Expo 2018 at the ExCel.
WLN –What other big news from SESS can our readers look forward to reading in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2018?
Our new innovative bespoke rack inspection system will be a huge benefit to our clients.
01670 736 444