A history of innovation lies behind Linde Material Handling’s new Forklift Evolution.
The benefits enjoyed today by local customers are the outcome of an ongoing drive for efficiency and productivity, which has been at Linde’s core since 1907.
In those early days as a machinery builder in Germany, Linde’s engineer founders encouraged a spirit of innovation, which still keeps its designs at the forefront of material handling equipment evolution today. A century later that same drive for innovation has made Linde in Australia a one-stop shop for material handling solutions built on unrivalled productivity, cost efficiency, advanced safety and nationwide support.
The Linde story began in Germany in 1907 with stationary diesel and gas engines ahead of their time in terms of performance and reliability. A tractor range followed and then, in 1955, the world’s first transport vehicle with a hydrostatic gearbox – a clue to Linde’s future engineering direction. Four years later the Linde Hubtrac model was introduced as the world’s first forklift truck with hydrostatic drive system, dual pedal control and a central control lever. It’s a formula that’s been optimised over 50 years, providing the benefits of extended service intervals, less wearing parts, fuel efficiency and operator safety and comfort. In Australia at the same time the company which has since evolved beyond recognition to become Linde Material Handling Australia was establishing its own reputation in the local industry’s infancy. The name and ownership changed long ago from Lansing Bagnall to Linde Lansing and then to Linde Material Handling Australia, but the connection with quality equipment has never faltered. In fact, since 2004, the commitment to quality has broadened into a company culture which has transformed Linde and provided new options for local material handling equipment users. That’s been achieved not by trying to sell the most forklifts in Australia, but by selling and supporting the most productive forklifts in the world, with a focus on the outcomes that really matter – cycle times, fuel efficiency, servicing, labour and finance costs.
Independent tests have proven that Linde Forklifts are up to 22% more productive than their closest competitor*, but current CEO Carl Smith and his senior management team have made Linde Material Handling Equipment Australia a one-stop shop not just for efficient forklifts, but for all aspects of after sales support. The drive to innovate, which is part of Linde’s corporate DNA, has shown itself in Australia through the introduction of Linde field service technician vehicles fitted with GPS tracking for better fleet control and in-van terminals to provide live data feeds of service histories and billing information. Linde has also pioneered a system of overnight parts deliveries into service vans, eliminating the “dead time” of returns to base for needed components. Field service technician numbers have been dramatically increased, skill levels raised and policies put in place to ensure Linde field service resources will always match and exceed customer needs. The outcome of these initiatives has been dramatically reduced response times for customers and more effective use of highly trained technicians.
It’s been a journey over time and a transformation so complete that not all details have been fully understood in the market place. For instance some businesses may not yet know that Linde technicians can provide expert field service for any make of equipment, not just for Linde. This enhanced customer focus also sees Linde sales and support staff take the time to understand their customers’ businesses thoroughly, leading to material handling equipment solutions tailored to specific needs. To ensure its approach remains proactive and meets changing customer requirements, Linde also has in place professional account management systems and outstanding fleet management through its acclaimed FleetFOCUS web-accessible software.
With significant investment in personnel, facilities and systems, Linde Australia can meet the needs of a material handling equipment market that is growing and evolving. Linde forklifts in Australia are now supported by the account managers, the technology, the technicians and the parts supplies which can maximise their availability to perform at their productive best. The success of Linde and its status as preferred supplier for a growing number of large and small companies is not simply because of its one-stop-shop versatility. Nor is Linde trading purely on its ability to supply and support outstanding quality forklifts and warehouse equipment.
Far more crucial is the unique Linde culture, which doesn’t see success as an end point, but an opportunity to gather more experience of customer requirements, which it can then use to drive the next round of product and service innovations. “Successful businesses select, operate and manage material handling equipment so that it becomes an asset,” CEO Carl Smith said. “Because productivity improvements flow directly to the bottom line. “Linde Australia now has the range, resources, systems and personnel to be the ideal material handling equipment partner for any business. We have evolved to become a genuine one-stop-shop for all the needs of customers operating a single forklift or several hundred. “More importantly, we are committed to continually evolving our products and services and to learn from our customers’ experience. “Linde has been evolving the forklift for over 50 years, and as we continue to strive for excellence in all areas of business, it enhances our ability to help customers achieve that outcome by benefitting from our experience. “That is a point of difference, which I believe makes us unique in the market and able to add unprecedented value for customers.
“If you’re ready to evolve your business, talk to Linde. We’ll give you the facts.”
* Established using comparative published data and independent testing by TUV Nord. Based on Linde H25T 392 on 1000 hours use per annum.