As the world becomes more crowded and demanding, companies have to do more with less.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of logistics, where soaring real estate prices are putting the squeeze on warehouse sizes and necessitating more efficient storage solutions for a given floor space.
The Global Financial Crisis has compounded this in many ways; including reduced access to credit that's seen many businesses unable or unwilling to maintain significant stock levels, and some having to reduce warehouse size and associated overheads simply to survive.
As nothing in business occurs in isolation, material handling companies like Powerlift Nissan - Australia's long-established Nissan forklift distributor - has seen a steady change in customer requirements. And this has meant an increasing demand for Nissan's range of battery electric Warehouse Reach Trucks.
"Businesses need to store and move things more efficiently to get the best returns from expensive floor space and equipment," says David Miller, Powerlift Nissan's National Sales Manager.
"Narrow-aisle - or reach-trucks - have always been popular as customers continue to look for greater lift heights to reduce their floor space requirements and aisle count. But the trade-off is the need for more specialised equipment and more highly trained operators. When you're storing products 11-metres off the ground you need an operator with a high degree of skill and a specialised forklift. Ergonomics, precision and safety are very important and impact directly on productivity," he continued.
"These trucks are battery powered and we're seeing significant development focused on increased battery life, reduced charging times and reduced maintenance. As such it is important to keep equipment up-to-date; ensuring you're getting the most productivity and lowest running costs from the latest technology. It's all about up-time," David said.
"Change in our industry is primarily customer driven. Faster, easier and safer are the key words in today's warehousing with a main driver being the need for just-in-time stock control. Also, whereas big companies used to lock-in, say, five year logistics contracts, these days a two or three year term is the norm. This keeps suppliers on their toes but means, for example, they need more flexibility in their fleet mix," he said.
"Another driver of change in our industry is the way the World does business. For example, goods from a myriad number of countries now routinely cross a warehouse floor and often arrive on pallets of differing sizes. This has led to the need for operators to have access to a range of forklift attachments that reduce the chance of injury whilst maintaining productivity," David concluded.
Not only are companies making better use of existing - and planned - warehousing space, but reduced stock levels means reduced storage times, with a resultant increase in forklift utilisation. The good news is Nissan's Warehouse Reach trucks are well up to the task. Long-life batteries, advanced ergonomics, precision controls and a high level of standard safety equipment all combine to offer businesses and operators alike the best machines at very competitive prices.
Powerlift Nissan provides the full range of Nissan Forklift trucks plus sales, finance, rentals, operator training, service and 24/7 on-site support.