Toyota Material Handling is the world’s leading name in materials handling solutions. Toyota customers benefit from global resources, national coverage and local support.
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 automated trucks. Jon Buckley, Commercial Director at Toyota Material Handling spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products and services?
Toyota is very well known for our comprehensive service offering a vital service supporting a wide range of materials handling equipment and keeping forklift fleets operating at peak efficiency to customers across the UK. We’re equally known for our award winning warehouse equipment and counterbalance forklift trucks – everything from our legendary hand pallet trucks through to our cutting edge automated trucks and systems, offering safety, productivity and reliability. At our heart as an organisation is the world famous Toyota Production System from which we derive many of the principles by which we operate as a business.
What new products/services will you be launching next year?
We’re well known for our continuous innovation in both products and services. If you look back over the past year we’ve introduced a host of things including enhancements to our I_Site fleet management system, built-in telematics for all of our warehouse trucks, a new design for our heavy tonnage Traigo and previewed a brand new Lithium-Ion powered pallet truck. You can be sure we’ll have lots of innovation to launch next year.
Tell us about your business highlights or a project you have recently completed?
Without going into specifics we’ve continued to deliver some fantastic automation projects using our automated trucks. Equally, we’ve many projects using operator driven trucks, with lots of activity on the Lithium-Ion powered side of things.
What challenges will the business environment offer to your industry in the coming year? How will you turn these challenges into opportunities?
Business continues to be great for us. We have a simple formula, we put the customer at the heart of our decision making and focus on providing an excellent service. On top of that, we focus on our core Toyota values such as Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Lean. We continue to grow our market share and customer base.
What industry sectors do you see offering you the most potential next year?
The need for materials handling is universal so, we work with a diverse range of customers from virtually all sectors. Our products cover a wide range of needs from general materials handling requirements through to specialised uses, so we have a broad appeal. Our customers reflect the economy at large, if a particular area is growing well we will see that reflected in our organisation.
How do your products help businesses become cleaner, recycle more and reduce their carbon footprint?
Sustainability is a major focus for us. We were recently awarded Gold level accreditation by Ecovadis. Toyota electric vehicles aren’t a new innovation to us at all, and we continue to look for more opportunities to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint, whether that is through ultra-efficient engines or introducing solar and power walls as a way of recharging an operation’s forklift batteries.
Are you involved in any major trade shows or other industry events next year?
In 2019 we appeared at several shows, including a very successful time at IMHX. For 2020, we’ll be at selected shows and continuing as sponsor for key events that we think benefit our customers.
What recent changes/improvements have you made in customer service?
Customer service has always been at the heart of what we do, and in keeping with the idea of Kaizen (continuous improvement) we are always seeking opportunities to improve. Our corporate strategy is ‘zero muda’ (or ‘no waste’), and by eliminating waste within our own business we make ourselves even more able to meet our customers’ needs efficiently.
How do your solutions help customers increase the level of automation in their business?
We help customers to identify the best opportunities to introduce automation into their business and then provide them with those solutions whether that is an AGV or an automated reach truck. Importantly, automation doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It is perfectly possible to introduce automation to certain areas and in fact sometimes desirable to gradually introduce automated solutions.
How do you help customers make optimum use of their existing warehouse space?
By offering a full service that can extends from racking solutions and high density storage using our shuttle systems. Our VNA range of trucks are also ideal for increasing storage density and warehouse efficiency. Because we have so much experience to draw upon, our customers benefit from that knowledge of getting best value from warehouse space.
How much do your solutions and products contribute to warehouse safety?
As most readers will probably be aware, safety is a big consideration for Toyota. From our longstanding investment in our counterbalance forklift trucks award winning – System of Active Stability (SAS) to our innovative I_Site telematics system, we are constantly looking at ways to improve warehouse safety.
What big news can our readers look forward to seeing in Warehouse & Logistics News from you in 2020?
I know that we have some outstandingly innovative things in the pipeline, but as ever I can’t discuss them. What I can say is that 2020 will be a great year for new developments from Toyota.
And finally, if you had to sum up your company in a hashtag what would it be?
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