With over 80 years’ experience in the manufacture of industrial doors and loading technology, Hörmann is a key partner and supplier to the logistics and warehousing sector.
Being able to call upon the experience and resources of an international organisation, they are able to provide a complete service from initial consultation through to design, installation, and long-term maintenance and service support – an all-encompassing support package which is second to none.
The acquisition of the Fen-Bay Group, which included Transdek has allowed the company to create one the largest services and maintenance teams in the UK through FBS-Hörmann.
Wolfgang Gorner, Managing Director at Hörmann UK, talks to Warehouse & Logistics News about the company’s integration with Fen-Bay.
Can you give us a brief roundup of how the past year has been?
It’s been an exciting year for us because business is up on last year and the past 12 months have seen us really consolidate the Fen-Bay business into Hörmann. Five years ago, we invested in the Hörmann Academy, our big training centre at Coalville and that has really come to the fore now as every week I see FBS-Hörmann vans in the car park as we train our colleagues from Fen-Bay on our industrial range. We have also launched some exciting products and there are further things planned for next year. It is all about trying to reinforce our position as being the one stop solution for the industrial market, whether you are a developer, a main contractor or a trade partner.
Looking forward to 2024 and beyond, does the company have a healthy order book and increased levels of projects?
Yes, the open tender bank is the highest I have seen it, with an increase of at least 50% over the five years I have been here. There is plenty of work out there. However, we are starting to see the first signs of projects going on hold or being delayed.
What new products and developments does Hörmann have?
We launched the Series 60 two years ago when we completely overhauled our industrial sectional doors, with it being the fastest sectional door on the market. It certainly offers users a lot more bang for their buck because it’s as fast as some high-speed spiral doors on the market. However, it did not have Secured by Design (SBD) and we are increasingly finding that particular Local Authorities will specify that you must have SBD for an industrial project. The Series 60 door has recently passed SBD with no modifications required. The push for next year will be to obtain SBD for our industrial and domestic roller doors.
We have also launched double action doors following Hörmann acquiring a business in Germany called Grothaus, who are a well-established manufacturer of double action doors. The doors are available in a variety of materials, both polymer and metal finishes. They are high quality as you would expect from a German company, but we were delighted to see them at a price point at which we can offer them into the UK and be competitive. At the moment we have got them into a major supermarket chain for evaluation and I can say that we are quietly confident. It is a beautiful product, incredibly hard wearing, which can be used in a whole variety of applications from warehousing to supermarkets, hospitals, and particularly important food preparation areas. We sell it as a Hörmann product, and we can supply it in corporate colours to match a company’s colour scheme.
What has the creation of FBS-Hörmann meant to the business?
After a complete rebranding the business is now called FBS-Hörmann and it has enabled Hörmann to strengthen their position in the UK by being able to offer a complete solution. We can not only sell and install our products, but we can now also provide long term service and maintenance for them. Previously our weakness had been that while we would do brilliant warehousing projects, we did not have the resources to offer the ongoing servicing. That presented a problem, as it made us less attractive to certain supermarket groups, as they required, in some cases, a four-hour call-out as they run their distribution centres to the absolute maximum. So, we now have over one hundred field engineers across the country, from Scotland down to the Southwest. We offer a true 24/7 call centre so you could call Sunday afternoon or midnight on Saturday and there will be somebody on the end of the phone. We will be able to deal with that enquiry as we have staff always on standby. Hörmann UK now has the largest field service division in the Hörmann Group outside of Germany, which is a nice accolade to have.
How has the FBS specialist Perimeter Protection Systems division been integrated into Hörmann?
Hörmann has had for many years a variety of perimeter protection products – gates, blockers, barriers, and bollards – so another attraction with the acquisition of FBS was the fact they had a dedicated perimeter protection division. They have the ability to offer complete turnkey solutions from the initial survey, product advice, installation including electrics and civils, together with ongoing service and maintenance. The group is delighted because already this year we have seen sales of our products increase.
Does the creation of FBS- Hörmann give you the ability to provide bespoke solutions for loading bay and lifting equipment for the refurbishment of existing logistics and warehousing operations?
Prior to FBS we would only undertake new build and we would shy away from anything that was refurb, whereas now we embrace it, and this year has seen us working with some high-profile retail clients. Quite often when a site changes hands from one retailer to another, the new company has a completely different fleet of vehicles, configured completely differently. We can now repurpose that site, take out old loading bay equipment, put in new and then offer ongoing support through the service side. We continue to have a strong new build division, but now we are equally strong on the refurbishment side of the business.
Does the combined company give you the availability of a range of specialist, modular loading bay and lifting equipment through Hörmann Transdek and to expand into the European market and make ongoing investment in their facilities?
When we acquired Fen-Bay we also acquired Transdek, with a range of modular lifting and loading solutions which are quite unique to the UK. The UK has for many years embraced double deck transport but not so much in Europe – this now seems to be changing. The manufacturing base in the UK provides the group with a platform to offer products throughout mainland Europe and not just the UK. To show the seriousness that Hörmann attached to that product range, it was featured heavily at the BAU in Munich earlier this year and received a lot of interest.