First of all, Martin, can you talk us through the different products and services Combilift provides?
The range of Combilift products we have brought to market over the last 21 years was very much based on collaboration with clients and listening to their feedback which enabled us to design solutions to solve their handling challenges. As well as the products mentioned above, we also provide a free warehouse design and material flow service – Combi-Connect. Our 3-D simulations clearly illustrate the potential space and time savings that can be made on a company’s premises which can in some cases double available capacity, as well as enabling optimum material flow in any facility.
What sets your company apart as a supplier in your category?
Our ability to customise and the pace at which we can develop new models and bring them to market is unrivalled in our sector. With 7% of our annual turnover reinvested in R&D we can provide innovative solutions for customers, often as a result of their direct requests. The Combi-PPT is a good example of this: the first model was designed for Cummins UK, who wanted to enhance operational safety and product flow with a pedestrian truck to move very heavy assembled engine units from the production area. They outlined their specific requirements and we developed the solution.
What business sectors are your customers in? Which industry sectors are growing fastest for you?
The sectors that use Combilifts are as diverse as our product range and any company that needs to make handling and storage safer and more productive will benefit from our solutions; from ports to poultry, wind turbines, steel, timber, manufacturing – the list of industries we supply is almost endless. The relentless growth of E-commerce is fueling the demand for our warehousing range such as the Aisle Master articulated forklifts. Warehouses are continuing to increase in height and the Aisle Master’s 15m lift height makes them a very popular choice in the UK.”
Which of your core products and solutions are you presenting on your stand at IMHX? Are you launching anything new at the show?
Our range will be well represented in the form of multidirectional forklifts, sideloaders, pedestrian stackers, stand on models and articulated trucks. Two new products are making their UK show debuts: the Combi-PPT powered pallet truck and the Combi-CSS Container Slip-Sheet.
The 30,000kg capacity Combi-CSS enables quicker and easier mechanised loading of long products into containers. It has a low free-standing platform on which a steel sheet rests. A full load can be prepared on the sheet which is then guided into the container with a dual-directional patented hydraulic pulling mechanism and a 20’ container can be loaded in just three minutes. When fully loaded, a hydraulic barrier swings across the container opening, is locked in place to hold the material within the container while the metal sheet is slipped out from underneath it.
The Combi-PPT, which won the Safety Category of the FLTA Awards in 2019, is a pedestrian operated powered pallet truck, with capacities from 3,000kg up to 16,000kg. Large and bulky products can easily be manoeuvered on foot in confined spaces, ensuring maximum safety when working in areas where personnel are present, in production plants for example. It features Combilift’s unique, patented multi-position tiller arm that is used in all the company’s pedestrian models. This incorporates tiller and operator offset position with the touch of a button, allowing for excellent visibility and reducing crush risk to the operator.
Why should busy professionals from the warehouse and logistics industry take time out to visit your stand at IMHX?
We are constantly adding to our range so there is always something new on our stand that visitors may not be aware of. The interactive experience at a show, the live demos and the opportunity to get immediate access to our specialist team of product managers cannot be matched by reading brochures or looking at websites. Even a short visit to our stand will be invaluable for sourcing the best solutions for any materials handling issues that companies may be experiencing.
What do you see as the main benefits to your company from being involved with IMHX?
As a major event in our industry sector, IMHX offers a unique platform to get our products in front of as wide an audience as possible and for personal contact with our customers, potential customers and business associates. It is also an ideal opportunity to meet up with our extensive network of UK dealers who can get an insight on the rationale behind the development of new products and find out about new features or enhancements to existing models. It also generates a lot of leads for potential future sales opportunities of course!
The last IMHX was 2016. How has your business changed since then?
Year on year sales have continued to rise – our annual output has risen by more than 60% in the UK and worldwide since the last IMHX. Last year we also moved into our new HQ with its 46,000 m² manufacturing facility, which will enable us to grow even more. We have of course also introduced a number of new models. These include the AC electric powered Combi-MR stand-on multidirectional reach truck, the Combi-CBE4 which combines electric power, 4t capacity, multidirectional travel and compact counterbalance design as well as mobile gantries for extreme loads.
Can you tell us about your major customer contract wins in the last three years? Do these represent new development areas for your company?
We have had more substantial orders from Eddie Stobart for Aisle Masters, and we delivered the 100th to the company in 2018. By the end of this year we will have delivered 200 Aisle Masters to B&Q, which reinforces the fact that Combilift is seen as the preferred narrow aisle solution provider for many 3PLs and DIY operations.
Which other countries do you operate in besides the UK? Which overseas markets are most important for you?
We are present in over 85 countries and this number is growing. The UK, which we consider to be our home market, is our largest, followed by the USA and Germany. But most countries are potential targets for us and since the last IMHX we are present in Singapore, Vietnam and South America. We are now seeing significant growth within all the fast-growing BRIC markets.
It’s three years to the next IMHX. Where do you see your company going in that time?
We aim to double the current annual output of around 6,000 units within the next 5 years and of course our R&D department is always coming up with new ideas. I have no doubt that by the time the next IMHX comes around we will have even more innovations to show. CONTACT
+ 353 47 80500
STAND NUMBER: 18L125