With over 140 years of operational expertise, Yale® is one of the most respected and trusted names in the materials handling industry.
Yale provides forklift trucks and materials handling solutions to a vast range of clients from around the world. Keeping the tagline ‘People. Products. Productivity’ at its core, Yale is committed to continuously driving technological development, setting new standards and maintaining competitiveness for customers in this highly demanding industry.
Yale operates from 19 locations situated across five continents and benefits from an established network of over 150 dealers. The company’s European operation is headquartered in Frimley, Surrey.
Ian Melhuish, Vice President Sales – EMEA at Yale Europe Materials Handling, speaks to Warehouse and Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
Yale is regarded as one of the main global suppliers of materials handling equipment. We are best known for offering a comprehensive counterbalance and warehouse product range and a full suite of services covering parts, servicing and financial solutions. Despite its scale, Yale takes a very personal approach to its customer relationships. It is these sustained relationships, built up through our dealer network, that have given us a reputation as offering a rounded and personalised service.
Which market sectors and countries are your customers in? Which ones are growing fastest?
We pride ourselves as being a company that consistently delivers across a wide range of market sectors and countries. In most markets, electric-powered trucks are gaining popularity, due mainly to growth of the retail, warehousing and distribution segments, particularly in Western Europe, but environmental concerns also play a part. Yale is focused on continuing to introduce new electric models and a greater array of alternative power solutions in all markets.
Who are your major customers and what do you do for them?
From multinational operations to small businesses, Yale provides tailored solutions to customers in a broad range of industries. Our dealers and product development teams bring a remarkable breadth and depth of understanding, which is essential to meeting the unique needs of each application successfully.
We like to view our product and service offering as a complete package. From sitting down with the customer and discussing their needs in order to provide them with the most suitable products to offering Yale Rental and financing options and delivering a full after-sales service.
It’s hard to single out individual companies, they are all equally important to us. On our website, www.yale.com, you will find detailed case studies on some of the work we have done to help various customers with their operations.
How do your products benefit your customers’ businesses?
When it comes to ensuring high rates of productivity, providing operators with equipment that is tailored to the application and designed to maintain operator comfort is key. Yale is focused on providing a full range of differentiated products and solutions for specific customer applications, ensuring our customers benefit from a partner that fully understands their pain points and will work with them to deliver the right solutions. Our product development teams are committed to enhancing operator ergonomics, reducing fuel consumption in ICE trucks and improving the energy efficiency of electric trucks to reduce direct operating costs.
Why should customers choose you as their main supplier in your area?
Yale really does deliver on its brand promise of ‘People. Products. Productivity’. As a company we are continuously researching and developing to ensure that we stay at the forefront of materials handling trends. Alongside our vast range of trucks our reputation has been built upon trust and the personalised service offered to all of our clients from beginning to end. We listen to the needs, concerns and wishes of our customers, and provide complete, tailored, practical solutions to help deliver the most cost-effective operations.
What’s business been like in the past year? How have conditions changed over this period and how have you reacted?
This has been a very exciting year, to say the least. Yale has continued to invest heavily in the development of a variety of innovative products and industry solutions.
Automation, alternative energy and big data continue to be key market trends and we seek to anticipate emerging customer needs within our new product development engineering process. These solutions range from technology, ergonomic or functional enhancements to full product designs based around specific application requirements and targeted business challenges.
How have you fine-tuned your offering in the last 12 months and why?
The industry experts at Yale track current trends and challenges facing their sectors today. An increased safety focus and a shortage of skilled labour has led to a growth in automation, particularly in warehouse industries. We believe the demand for automated lift trucks will continue to increase and we’ve worked tirelessly to understand how best to introduce automation into our product offering.
After consulting with our clients, we recognised that a major hurdle to introducing robotics in warehouses and production lines is the installation of dedicated infrastructure. By collaborating with Balyo we’ve been able to produce a range of trucks that use existing structural features to self-locate and navigate in realtime. There’s no need to bury wires in the floor or mount reflectors on walls, which reduces the cost of installation and virtually eliminates ongoing structural maintenance.
The solution is fully connected to the customer environment and can be integrated into current processes quickly and easily while dual mode capability means the trucks can still be operated manually to accommodate unexpected requirements without the need for separate equipment. The result is a flexible solution offering the reliability and durability Yale is famous for and the support of its extensive service network.
What new products have you brought out?
2018 was an exciting year for us with the launch of a number of important new products and refinements. We began the year by expanding our popular tow tractor range to offer greater towing capacities, before bringing affordable automation to the market with the launch of our robotic solutions. We unveiled our highest capacity truck to date at our exclusive ‘This is Yale’ event in September and we optimised the visibility on our 8-16 tonne capacity lift trucks with a series of updates. Our MR Series reach truck range has continued to evolve with the introduction of the MRE tilting mast reach truck for low-height, narrow-aisle applications and our pedestrian pallet truck is now available with a noise reduction option and precision control tiller for applications requiring quiet or precise movements. I could go on, but rather than listing all of the new products I would recommend you visit our website: www.yale.com as well as watching this space as details of our latest advances will be shared with readers in the coming months as our new products are brought to market.
What factors do you see affecting your business in the coming year? How will you turn these into opportunities?
The future of energy consumption and supply continues to be one of the major global challenges. With challenge comes opportunity and investment in fuel cell and Lithium-ion technology, along with continuous efficiency improvements in all of our products remains a key priority for Yale.
Are you planning to branch into any new areas, target new customers and take on more people?
Yale never stops investing in its future. Not only are we continuing to grow our product range, but we are also developing our people. Internally, our success can be measured through the recent achievement of Investors in People Gold at our European headquarters in Frimley, Craigavon manufacturing plant and Irvine office. Externally, our network goes on expanding and improving through the appointment of new global dealer partners.
Are you investing in new premises and extra staff? What about staff development and training?
We believe it’s truly a team effort that’s responsible for such an impressive record of understanding the ever-changing needs of our customers. The Yale team works hard to design and manufacture the best materials handling equipment, but it is our knowledgeable dealer network that can combine it in the most beneficial way for our customers. Yale works closely with its dealer partners on excellence initiatives designed to strengthen their functional capabilities in areas such as new equipment sales, aftermarket support, asset management, rental fleet effectiveness, all of which contribute to superior customer satisfaction and growth.
Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events over the next year?
Getting out and meeting our customers and potential clients is very important to us and our industry solutions showcase event This is Yale was a big focus for us in 2018. Two key highlights for us in 2019 will be the LogiMAT exhibition in Stuttgart and IMHX at the NEC in Birmingham. We look forward to demonstrating some of our latest advances at the show and welcoming new and existing customers to our stand.
What big news from Yale Europe Materials Handling can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News in 2019?
It’s going to be a very interesting year, with developments in the product range and many more tailored solutions for a whole variety of customers’ requirements. Details are confidential right now, but Warehouse & Logistics News readers will be among the first to know when we reveal our latest innovations. You can also keep an eye on our website www.yale.com to see the latest news.
And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a tweet what would it be?
People and products working in unison to deliver the productivity our customers need. Harnessing industry innovation, setting reliability standards and putting customers at the heart of the design process for over 140 years. We’re proud of our past and focused on our future.
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