Answers with Windsor Materials Handling
23 November 2023
Stephen Burton, Managing Director, Windsor Materials Handling on how a diverse product offering is more crucial than ever.
Q: What are your USPs?
A: Having a diverse product offering is more crucial in today’s climate than ever before, where equipment portfolios within the materials handling industry have to be reflective of the dynamic nature of the markets we work within and consumer behaviour more generally.
Due to market saturation, it is no longer enough to simply ‘do what we’ve always done because it works’ and so to maintain a competitive advantage, product differentiation ensures that Windsor Materials Handling stands out to attain and retain new and existing customers alike.
As a company, we invest heavily into conducting the appropriate levels of due diligence into the product lines we bring to market and that includes frequent reviews to ensure that what we do offer remains relevant to customer needs.
With this unique multi-brand dealer approach underpinned by our ‘local service, nationwide’ maintenance offering through our 13-branch strong network, we stand proudly as the largest family-owned materials handling company in the UK.
Q: What does your company have planned for 2024?
A: Without question, adaptation to market trends sits top of the agenda when deciding on the manufacturers we partner with and the directive today is typically aligned to three core decision making factors – technological advancements, environmental credentials and lifetime cost.
Through market insights and analysing our own sales patterns, we are confident that through data-driven decisions we have optimised the product mix we offer, discontinued products with low demand and a consolidation of brands within the marketplace we believe that we are bringing to market our best portfolio to date.
And to this end, these factors have been considered ahead of our recent introduction of new product lines from UN Forklift and XCMG – this launch has already spiked the interest of our customers and in building upon our already diverse range of products along with tailor- made service offering, we are seeing an increase in retained and new custom.
Q: What challenges do your customers face and how are you helping them respond?
A: While the initial months of 2022 witnessed a resurgence in consumer spending and increased business activity, the global energy price shock triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant that the logistics sector were forced to navigate a difficult economic climate in the second half of the year.
That along with the increasing need to decarbonise, we see both the challenge and the opportunity at a regional level. We have been working hard over the last 24 months to prepare the businesses we work with to adopt more sustainable operations in supporting those with older IC fleets in the transition to electric or lower carbon fuels.
Perhaps the most immediate challenge for businesses like ours is the shortage of skilled labour, particularly engineers, where recruiting and retaining good employees
has been a hindrance for some time. Strong relationships are key to the long-term success in any business and we are fortunate in that for some years now we have been investing in building the talent pool by investing in the apprenticeship scheme. We also have an internal training division that is dedicated to upskilling engineers so that they are abreast of changing technologies, enabling us to keep reaching the service levels that our customers choose us for.
WINDSOR MATERIALS HANDLING
8 Beacon Way, Hull, HU3 4AE Tel: 01482 329996