Sunday, January 24, 2021

Interaction - Manojit Acharya, MD, Jungheinrich Lift Truck India Pvt Ltd

We believe in offering the right solution to our customers

 

 

Jungheinrich offers the entire range of products and solutions required for warehousing set-up starting from manual hand pallet trucks to complete automation of warehouses including racks, ASRS system, AGVs, Warehouse automation software, etc. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, MANOJIT ACHARYA, MD, JUNGHEINRICH LIFT TRUCK INDIA PVT LTD spoke about the latest trends, impact of Covid-19, solutions offered by Jungheinrich in the warehousing sector, new launches and a lot more.

 

 

 

 

 

Briefly give us an overview of the Indian warehousing and warehousing equipment industry. What are the warehousing equipment currently most in demand?

Even in the current scenario, the Indian Warehousing industry is still bullish about the market and set up large warehousing spaces in the last few months. Major 3PL companies have announced robust expansion plans in the next few years. It is likely that the market volume of Warehousing equipment will reach back to the 2018 levels latest by 2022. We are witnessing good growth opportunities in the Indian warehousing not only in Tier I but also in Tier II & III cities.  Expansion in E-commerce, Retail, Foods & Beverages and FMCG segments are strong contributors to this growth. Warehouses are getting bigger, taller and demand much higher throughputs.

Customers are now looking for contactless transactions and thereby pressing for automation & up gradation of technology in material handling equipment. We see a good demand for Pallet trucks, Stackers, Reach trucks & VNA trucks. The demand for Automated Systems like ASRS & Conveyor systems are picking up too as customers are looking for higher throughput & productivity.

 

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on sales of your company’s products and what are your strategies to overcome these sluggish market conditions and expand market share?

The Year 2020 was extremely challenging across industries including Logistics & Warehousing. Entire humanity was in a crisis. However, cooperation & collaboration between buyers, suppliers and other stakeholders helped in overcoming the crisis with innovative ideas & solutions.

In the initial period (March-June), business was sluggish but our ‘Customer First’ approach, introduction of new products in Class III and strong product portfolio in Class II has helped us gain customer confidence and thereby market share in spite of de-growth in market volume. Our segment centric approach (E-commerce, Retail, FMCG,F&B) & agility in serving customers has helped us in growing our business during this crisis time.

 

Tell us on the Cutting-edge technological innovations featured in your products. What are the USP’s of your products Vis-à-vis competition?

Jungheinrich is a leader in Intralogistics solutions. As per the current market scenario, we are ready to offer customers with our Li-Ion technology solutions, which helps customers to utilize their MHE’s fully for a 3-shift operation and increase their throughput. Jungheinrich also offers Fleet Management System for large warehouses where customers have a large fleet at one place. This solution supports customers for tracking the utilization of their MHE, live status of the truck, maintenance schedule of the truck and reporting of accidents on time. Jungheinrich offers VNA trucks with Warehouse Navigation and Logistic Interface that can be integrated with the customer’s Warehouse Management System.This in turn helps in inventory management of the Warehouse and increase the efficiency of pallet movement. Automated Guided Vehicle can be offered for standard operation within production area or in stacking and de-stacking of pallet in the racking.

 

What are the indigenisation efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements?

Although growing, the market volume for MHEs in India is still not very high. We are closely observing the market opportunities in India and working on various possibilities, but we do not have any immediate plans for starting local value addition.

 

Detail us on the Safety features in your machines.

Since we are moving higher and higher in the Warehousing sector, safety is of paramount importance to us. Jungheinrich has added various safety measures in the trucks which can take care of the safety of machines and operators within the Warehouse. Forklifts can be fitted with safety lights for operations within warehouse and production areas. Rear-view camera can be added to forklift for safe operations during reversing within the facility. Reach Truck is fitted with video camera for safe handling of loads at height of 13mtr. Safety sensors like Personnel Protection System are included in trucks like Very Narrow Aisle truck.

 

Provide us details regards to any new products being launched by your company.

We have launched and added a wide range of products in our portfolio like Electric Stackers, Electric Pallet truck and Electric Counter balanced Trucks.

  • The powerful and efficient electric pedestrian stacker EJC BB 216 is perfect for in-house application be it transporting in confined space or stacking up to a lift height of 5,300 mm. Upright tiller driving enables the truck to operate easily in confined space.
  • The efficient and versatile electric stacker ERC BB 216 is particularly well suited for the economic indoor transport over longer distances as well as for stacking and retrieval operations up to 5500mm. Proportional hydraulics enable the operator to pick up loads accurately and safely.
  • The efficient and robust electric pallet mover ERE BB 220 is particularly well suited for economic indoor transport over longer distances. Equipped with a folding stand-on platform, the multifunction tiller head, contributes to a higher efficiency and safety in a warehouse.
  • Our electric counter balanced EFG B series trucks with the latest 3-phase AC and can-bus technology are designed for versatile use in all transporting and stacking operations. It is an ideal combination of stability and maneuverability. It can be applied indoor and outdoor and can be operated in a narrow aisle. It is cost-effective and energy saving. With the great controlling system, compact design, latest Can-bus technology and curve control, Jungheinrich EFG B series offers high efficiency, best ergonomics & safety solution.

 

Aftermarket services offered by your company. To what extent are aftermarket services a strategic differentiator?

The customer today has a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a material handling equipment. Most companies are coming in with products at a competitive price. Service however is a key differentiator in customers choosing Jungheinrich over other competitors.

At Jungheinrich, we believe in being associated with our customers during the entire lifecycle of our trucks, right from the time it reaches the customer site until end-life of the truck. During this period, we support the customer in different ways. As soon as customer gets the truck, we conduct a training programme. During the installation, we guide our customer’s team & users about the safe and correct operations. This ensures that the trucks are operated in a safe and correct manner thereby increasing their life and productivity for the customer. This leads to a longer and an economical life cycle of the truck with minimum interruptions in terms of downtime and maintenance.

Once out of the warranty period, we cover the truck through an Annual maintenance contract or a Full Service contract. The benefit of this is that we stay continuously engaged with the truck and customer. It helps the customer to maintain the truck as per Jungheinrich standards with genuine service and spare parts. During our planned maintenance visits, our trained engineers advice the customer about the health of the trucks and spare parts replacement, if needed. In this way, the customer has a better idea of the health of their trucks and can avoid any unforeseen breakdowns which can affect their operations.

We also provide the customer with latest safety accessories and fleet management solution. This helps the customer to maintain the truck by following all safety requirements as per the industry standards and use their trucks in different applications. The fleet management solution provides the customer with a 360-degree view of the  trucks and helps the customer to have a better control over the material handling operations.

To sum it up, a strong after sales support becomes a key factor as it increases the customer’s confidence in the product and the company, thereby ensuring a long-term relationship with the customer.

 

What is your price strategy in a price sensitive market like India?

We believe in offering the right solution to our customers, providing a wide range of product portfolio so that the customer can choose the right product according to his need, rental solutions and a right price-performance ratio.

 

Do you offer equipment finance or do you have tie-ups with finance companies for the same. Any innovative schemes you have launched to boost sales?

We do not offer equipment finance yet, nor do we have any tie-ups with any finance companies. Jungheinrich directly finances all our Rental Solutions.

 

Your take on the rentals market?

High initial investments involved in the purchase of new equipment are encouraging a shift towards the rental model. Market factors such as equipment insurance and maintenance entailed by new machines is contributing to the growing demand for renting equipment. Our wide range of technologically advanced trucks available for rent is also making customers to look at the option of renting.

Now the customer demands are shifting to a mix of need-based requirement, to meet peak deliverables in short-term and regular demands in long-term. This is creating a robust market demand for renting equipment. Benefits such as reduction in technical and maintenance expenses which are included in rental charges are also driving customers towards renting rather than owning.

 

Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective.

The pandemic has created many opportunities for material handling industry. Every industry wants to explore the option of automation in terms of handling material within a warehouse and production area. Current market for Hand Pallet Truck is upgraded to Battery Operated Pallet Truck with less number of trucks and operators. Companies have started looking for less dependency on manpower for material movement and utilizing the same manpower for productivity at the shop floor in order to increase the turnover of the company. A large part of the industry is moving towards automation within a warehouse and production area.




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