Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, Hörmann UK specialises in the manufacture, installation and servicing of a complete portfolio of loading technologies. Hörmann UK is a leading supplier for high profile developers across the UK including Prologis, Panattoni, Gazeley and St. Modwen Industrial & Logistics.
Hörmann UK’s dedication to continuous product development aids developers in ensuring each occupier’s unique requirements are superseded. From the specification of Double Deck Dock Levellers to BBS Dock Shelters for smaller commercial vehicles, Hörmann UK applies a bespoke approach to each individual project.
Hörmann UK is also the market leading provider for garage doors and is a leading supplier for entrance doors and internal doors. Working closely with homeowners, architects, specifiers and housebuilders, Hörmann UK is committed to providing the highest standards in quality, performance and efficiency. Tom Langley, Projects Director for Hörmann UK spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
Our high quality products include Loading Bay systems, Level Access Doors, High Speed Doors, Fire Sliding Doors and Steel Door sets. Oh, and maybe the odd garage door!
What new products/services will you be launching next year?
In 2020, we will be introducing to the industrial market a wide range of innovations, including our new DAP – Controlled Docking Assistance vehicle sensor and red/amber/green traffic light system.
The technology is designed to slow a vehicle to a stop before making buffer/building contact, protecting the structural integrity of the warehouse and increasing the safety of drivers and warehouse operators. We will also be launching our new foam sided dock shelter, model DDF, without any steel link or scissor arms. This allows the shelter to completely collapse without damage for misaligned vehicles. The heavy duty Velcro fastenings allow quick and easy change in the event of damage.
Among many other products, we will also be introducing Van Bay solutions for home delivery. The BBS dock seal is designed to suit a delivery van, while our parcel door with a removable shelf at waist height aids easy van loading.
Tell us about your business highlights or a project you have recently completed?
2019 has shown fantastic growth for Hörmann UK’s industrial department, up 75% on project work (design and install) and 27% up on trade supply to the market. In a recent standout project, we supplied 126 externally mounted loading houses, designed to suit double deck vehicles for ambient, chill and freezer bays.
We also worked closely with a high profile UK developer, supplying all of its loading bay equipment and doors for all planned projects for the next 12 months. This was all delivered and stored in one of its warehouses, ready for call off, subsequently securing last year’s price and preventing any threat from Brexit.
What challenges will the business environment offer to your industry in the coming year? How will you turn these challenges into opportunities?
The effect of Brexit is the biggest unknown. With possible tariff cost, delays at ports and also exchange rate changes increasing costs and delivery times. We are encouraging our customers to place orders earlier, where possible, and we have also boosted our loading bay manufacturing capacity by 40% to keep our lead times competitive.
What industry sectors do you see offering you the most potential next year?
While we expect distribution to be busy next year, we also supply our high quality solutions to a wide range of markets. This includes doors for the Fire and Rescue Service, car showrooms, chilled environments and fire rated sliding doors for distilleries.
Are you investing in new premises over the next 12 months? What about recruitment, staff development and training?
With regard to staff development, yes. We have put in place a new installation structure that is supported by a newly promoted manager, who will also cover the midlands. We have also appointed a supervisor in the North and South to improve our site management.
Training is a constant commitment here at Hörmann UK, not only internally but also for our trade partners and installers. This year, we opened our new Hörmann Academy at our headquarters in Coalville, which provides product installation and maintenance training across all of our main product groups in a controlled and safe environment.
How do your products help businesses become cleaner, recycle more and reduce their carbon footprint?
As we manufacture all of our own products, we can control the recyclability of the materials used. Our operations team is dedicated to the sustainability of our operations, working hard to reduce our land fill waste for our Head Office and warehouse in Coalville. We now operate at 98.7% recycle waste.
How have business conditions changed and how have you reacted?
Overall order intake slowed slightly between the second and third quarter of 2019 on main projects, however, we were still busy with projects from 2018. We had a number of expected orders that have been put on hold, which will look promising for 2020.
Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events next year?
We are currently evaluating our events calendar for 2020 and will be visiting a range of shows across the UK to aid this decision.
What recent changes/improvements have you made in customer service?
We recognised that an important area we needed to strengthen was our customer contact with site management. This includes overseeing our installations and ensuring the projects are carried out to the highest quality expected of Hörmann UK.
Do your solutions reduce manual handling and physical lifting?
Our parcel door with a removable shelf at waist height for easy manual van loading is specifically designed and manufactured to meet this requirement.
How do your solutions help customers increase the level of automation in their business?
Our controls are flexible to allow easy integration into automation systems. We can also manufacture bespoke control systems if required.
How do you help customers make optimum use of their existing warehouse space?
Our new range of Loading Houses, now fully CE marked to EN1090. They are fitted externally, which saves utilising valuable internal warehouse space for the dock levellers. These can be supplied for new build or retrofit.
How much do your solutions and products contribute to warehouse safety?
The new DAP Controlled Docking Assistance – light and sensor system. The technology stops the vehicle before making buffer or building contact and can also include wheel chocks with sensors to ensure a vehicle is safely docked before the loading bay door and / or vehicle door can be opened.
To what extent are you drivers of technological change?
As we manufacture all of our own products, we can easily adapt to market changes. We also have our own BIM department (Building Information Modeling), which works around the clock to develop BIM files for all of our products. These resources are free to download from the Architects Programme section on our website.
How futureproof and flexible are your solutions as businesses change?
By engaging with a client early in the design process, we can ensure we offer the most flexible and future proof solutions. Manufacturing all our own products with our inhouse R&D department for each product group also ensures the technologies are future proofed and backwoods compatible.
What big news can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News from you in 2020?
2019 marked our 40th Anniversary here in the UK and we held a number of events raising a significant amount of money for charity.
In 2020, we will carry on our commitment to charity fundraising, along with our continuous product development to provide the highest quality solutions for the logistics and wider industries.
And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a hashtag what would it be?