Toyota Material Handling is the world’s leading name in materials handling solutions. Toyota customers benefit from global resources, national coverage and local support.

Jon Buckley
Commercial Director, Toyota Material Handling

Toyota offers a single point of contact for all your materials handling needs. From a single truck user to large fleet users, we have the products and services to be a strong business partner. Toyota offers unrivalled levels of support, consisting of world-class products, fleet management, short-term hire, operator training, genuine parts and unbeatable sales and service support.

Products include: counterbalance forklifts, pallet trucks, stackers, order pickers, tow tractors, reach trucks and automation. Jon Buckley, Commercial Director at Toyota Material Handling, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

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

We’re well known for our service offering where we provide a vital to support, keeping forklift fleets operating at peak efficiency to customers across the UK. We’re equally well known for our award winning warehouse equipment and counterbalance forklift trucks – everything from our hand pallet trucks through to our latest automated trucks offering safety, productivity and reliability. Underpinning it all is the World famous Toyota Production System from which we derive many of the principles by which we operate as a business.

WLN – Which market sectors and countries are your customers in? Which ones are growing fastest?

In the UK we work with customers from pretty much all sectors as the need for materials handling is universal. Our customers reflect the economy at large, so if a particular sector is growing well we will see that in our business.

WLN – Who are your major customers and what do you do for them?

We work with many major brands as well as many much smaller businesses that are just as important to us. We focus on understanding business need, the environment in which they operate and the challenges they face. This allows us to do much more than simply provide materials handling equipment, we provide a complete solution, informed by our expertise in materials handling.

WLN – How do your products benefit your customers’ businesses?

Our products provide benefits in a number of ways. For example, our trucks and warehouse equipment are extremely reliable and are designed for demanding applications. This translates into reduced downtime and operational disruption. Other benefits come from our constant development of our trucks and services, whether that is providing the latest technology to our engineers, increasing the fuel efficiency of our engines or introducing innovation such as our new automated truck range.

WLN – Why should customers choose you as their main supplier in your area?

Customers choose Toyota because of our deserved reputation for delivering reliable, efficient and effective warehouse equipment solutions. They also choose us because behind our truck range we offer an extensive level of service support and the expertise to deliver the right materials handling solutions.

WLN – What’s business been like in the past year? How have conditions changed over this period and how have you reacted?

Business has been great, against an unpredictable economic backdrop Toyota Material Handling UK has continued to grow, by putting our customers at the front of everything we do, and delivering an excellent service. While remaining focused on our core values like Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) and lean thinking, we continue to move forwards.

WLN – What were the business highlights for you in the last 12 months?

Our trucks continue to win awards across areas like efficiency and design – which is always a source of pride for us. Across the business there have been many new customers that we’ve started to work with as well as continuing to be a trusted partner for our existing customers.

WLN – What’s been your most outstanding recent project?

Oh, we can’t talk about specifics but let’s just say we’ve shaken up the market and won some really great new customers with our innovative commercial and technical solutions this year. WLN – How have you fine-tuned your offering in the last 12 months and why?

As part of our Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) focus we constantly ask for feedback and then acting on it. One of the main ways we do this is to use NPS (net promoter score) feedback for both our service and sales teams. This constant flow of customer suggestions and scoring allows us to identify areas for improvement. PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) reviews are then conducted to uncover how we can be even better in the future.

WLN – What recent enhancements have you made in customer service?

Our market leading service position with the UK’s most demanding customers makes a Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) approach essential for our service team. From the deployment of new advanced service technology, to our new Toyota Proace service vans; from Toyota Tyre Care to Toyota battery care Toyota Service is continually evolving and improving.

WLN – What new products have you brought out?

The past year has seen numerous new trucks and warehouse equipment released from a new reach truck through to our ‘simple automation’ TAE050, an entry level automated guided vehicle. We’ve also just released some new additions to our Autopilot family, meaning that we offer a complete line-up of automated trucks for pallet handling.

WLN – What factors do you see affecting your business in the coming year? How will you turn these into opportunities?

Uncertainty within the economy is likely for the foreseeable future, this may well present as many benefits as challenges for Toyota.

New challenges always require new solutions, and since innovation is in Toyota’s DNA no company is better positioned to cope with such challenges or to capitalise on the opportunities which occur from them.

WLN – Are you planning to branch into any new areas, target new customers and take on more people?

We’ll stay focused on our sector and on continuing to improve the service and trucks that we offer to our customers. Whist we do see a great deal of interest in automating material handling and offer solutions for that, we also continue to lead in operator driven trucks and equipment.

WLN – Are you investing in new premises and extra staff? What about staff development and training?

Yes, we are investing in both the upgrading of our properties and in the training we provide to our team members. Toyota team members are amongst the best trained in our industry but we are planning even more training and investment in our greatest resource – our team.

WLN – Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events over the next year?

It’s important to us to get out and meet as many of our existing and potential customers as we can at trade shows and networking activities across the UK. In 2017 we exhibited at over 20 events and we’ll continue this level of activity if not more in 2018.

WLN – What big news from Toyota can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2018?

Nice try, as you might expect, we have a number of new products in the pipeline and some very exciting developments planned, but unfortunately I can’t tell you about those today!

WLN – And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a tweet what would it be?

Toyota, global #1 in material handling equipment


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