John Maguire, managing director of Narrow Aisle Ltd – manufacturer of the iconic Flexi collection of articulated warehouse trucks – has delivered an upbeat message to employees at the company’s UK headquarters in the West Midlands.
John Maguire said: “There is no denying that the past few months have been a testing time for the business community but I am delighted to say that Narrow Aisle Ltd will emerge from the Covid crisis in very strong shape indeed.
“In the past two years we have had to contend with the uncertainty created by Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the economic and social impact of the global pandemic and yet our order intake has continued its upward trajectory.
“Narrow Aisle Group is built on solid foundations and, while nobody underestimates the challenges that lie ahead, the company is preparing for further expansion and success.”
John Maguire paid tribute to the efforts of Narrow Aisle’s staff for their dedication and commitment to the company throughout the pandemic. He said: “It would have been quite understandable if staff members were anxious about continuing to work during the health crisis. But our team ignored any fears they may have had and, as a result, the factory worked at full capacity throughout the lockdown period. We are fortunate indeed to have a team of people with such tremendous loyalty to the business.”
John Maguire went on to describe how the upsurge in e-commerce activity since 2020 has created opportunities for Narrow Aisle globally.
He said: “Covid-19 has changed the way goods are stored, picked and moved to the consumer dramatically. The switch to online shopping has prompted retailers and their logistics partners to radically rethink and quickly adapt well-established working practices.
He continued: “Higher throughputs, greater picking accuracy and increased emphasis on break bulk picking at ground and first level are now the key goals at many SME sites. As a result, the type of materials handling equipment used within the modern order-picking environment is changing too.
“At the height of the pandemic we launched the Easi-Pick. Designed specifically with e-fulfillment operations in mind, the Easi-Pick is a compact ride-on electric-powered vertical order picker that delivers hugely improved productivity and increased safety for warehouse staff as they carry out a range of picking duties at both lower levels and at height within warehouse aisles. The market has responded very positively to this exciting new model.”
John Maguire also stressed the importance of product development and environmental issues to Narrow Aisle.
He said: “We see it as essential that we constantly rethink our product offering and, of course, sustainability drives much of our thinking. That’s why, for example, earlier this year we formally announced that we will no longer offer LP Gas-powered Flexi models. We believe that Narrow Aisle is the first manufacturer in the materials handling equipment sector to formally drop LPG-powered articulated trucks from its product portfolio.”
He explained that the company is focusing on the further development and environmentally conscious production of environmentally conscious battery-powered trucks with renewed emphasis on lithium-ion technology which, Narrow Aisle believe, can be ideally suited to the needs of some modern, 24/7 logistics and e-fulfillment operations.
“As a company Narrow Aisle has pledged to operate in the most environmentally responsible way possible. Lithium-ion-powered trucks match the performance of LPG types but without the drawbacks of high fuel costs, noise and emissions, maintenance downtime and increasing legislation issues.
“We see ever more customers targeting zero emissions across their business so it is essential that Narrow Aisle has a range that helps them to achieve their goal.”