AR Racking is a company specialized in designing, manufacturing, calculating, and installing industrial racking and storage systems for heavy and light loads, complying with the most stringent European standards. With an export rate of above 90%, AR Racking currently has commercial presence in more than 60 countries.
Mike Smyth, UK Key Account Manager at AR Racking – Storage Solutions, speaks to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products/solutions/services?
AR Racking is a comprehensive supplier of storage solutions for heavy loads and specific needs. It has a wide range of systems, considering multiple criteria: the use of floor space, the type of load, the speed of access to the load, stock control, speed of rotation, etc.
Based on these criteria and the needs expressed by the customer, AR Racking works in close collaboration with the customer to provide them with the optimum storage solutions and move towards greater competitiveness in their logistics operations, turning warehouses and/or distribution centres into strategic growth factors for companies.
Which industry sectors are your customers in and which ones are growing fastest?
Obviously, all business related to eCommerce are booming and we’ve also seen a transformation in smaller, or more conventional companies, who have been trying to adapt themselves to a more B2C model.
What are your most recent product innovations?
AR Racking is constantly improving its products and involved in different innovations. We were one of the few manufacturers that moved from painted to pre-galvanized steel frames. We have a complete range of new beams which are much more efficient, and I cannot forget to highlight our beam and upright traceability system, unique in the sector. And our galvanised finish offers great resistance in extreme environmental conditions.
What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?
In logistics and warehousing, the current trend is the transformation of supply chains. Many of our customers have adapted their logistics to respond to new demands or sales channels, and this requires logistical adaptations that involve new investments or modifications to existing facilities. AR Racking is positioned as the ideal partner to configure warehouses with greater efficiency, greater speed, greater automation. Furthermore, despite the instability of the steel market, AR Racking has continued to supply its industrial racks in compliance with the agreed deadlines and the highest product quality standards. In short, we have proved to be a reliable company: because of our technical knowledge, our care for the product and our commitment to the customer. At AR Racking, we work to provide comprehensive project management, whatever the sector, the client or the size of the project.
Can you tell us about any recent customer contracts and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?
In the UK, we can highlight the project carried out for Boughey Distribution, a company specialising in logistics and distribution services, which entrusted AR Racking to equip its innovative and cutting-edge 21,000 m2 warehouse located in Crewe. There we installed a pallet racking solution. The warehouse, which has been recognised with the highest certification for storage and distribution according to the BRC global standard, has 35,500 pallet positions.
Another remarkable project was the one we did for logistics provider Great Bear, who entrusted AR Racking with their 20,000 m2 warehouse in Nottingham. The project included the dismantling and removal of old conventional racking that was not from AR Racking and the installation of the new adjustable pallet racking system from our range, resulting in a storage capacity for 17,400 pallets.
How does business in 2020 compare to previous years? What’s your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?
It has been a difficult year for all of us. As an organisation, we have faced challenges related to internal operations and managing large international projects has been more laborious than in the years prior to the health crisis.
However, the logistics sector had a very busy year, so we overcame all these difficulties with good results in terms of both project delivery and business generation. Looking ahead to next year, we have a sector that has remained active in the worst phases of the pandemic and in which there is still a lot of dynamism. We expect next year to be a year of growth in our sector.
What’s the latest news from your company?
Despite the pandemic, the team has continued to grow during all these months and there has been an important restructuring with the appointment of José Manuel Lucio as the new Sales Director for the EMEA markets for conventional storage solutions (which do not require the integration of automatic elements). This will facilitate the implementation of a more efficient organisation that is more aligned in its operations with the strategic objectives set at global level.
Can you tell us about any areas where you’re currently making technical advances?
We have recently reached a collaboration agreement with the University of the Basque Country to set up a research classroom. This is a technical-academic space that will be added to the testing laboratory that we have at another university since 2019. Innovation is an intrinsic component of our activity; it is at the heart of our business.
Are you investing in staff training and skills development?
As I said, we are a company that pivots on innovation, not only in terms of infrastructures or collaboration agreements to improve our products every day, but also in terms of personnel. We understand that, in order to be at the forefront, continuous staff training, and the incorporation of young talent is essential to stay one step ahead.
Are you taking part in any major trade shows? Can you tell us what you’ll be exhibiting there?
We follow very strict internal health prevention policies and for the time being we want to be cautious with major events, so it will not be until 2022 that we will start to regain our presence at major European trade fairs as we have done in the past.
t: 01628 421825