Belron® are the world's leading vehicle glass repair and replacement group. Home to 30,000 employees, Belron® operates across over 30 countries and 6 continents. The worldwide leader is built upon some of the most popular and unrivalled brands - including Carglass®, Safelite® and Autoglass®.
Laddaw® is the UK distribution centre based in Bardon, Leicestershire and is the largest European distribution centre in the Belron® Group. Alongside this extensive B2B business is the Autoglass® brand, the well-known vehicle glass repair and replacement company. The business has recently taken delivery of a brand new fleet of STILL machines, John Cooper (Belron® UK Ltd Head of Supply Chain) was keen to express his enthusiasm: “Our partnership with STILL is built on integrity and trust. We could see immediately the ‘can-do’ attitude of STILL’s team and their desire to work with us, their willingness and professionalism is why we chose them as a partner.”
Laddaw® are proud to have received delivery of a mixed fleet consisting of 50 trucks (including STILL’s RX 20 electric counterbalance, RX 70 IC engine trucks, OPX’s, FM-X’s and EXV-SF machines) to run their 15-year-old glass picking operation. Rob Gorton (STILL UK National Key Accounts Manager) commented: “The team here have been wonderful to deal with, we have such a positive relationship and a real connection with all team members. The collaboration and communication has been a key factor in our relationship.” The operation at Autoglass® is one which requires care and precision so the materials handling requirements were of paramount importance. Kevin Warn (Belron® UK Ltd Distribution Centre Manager) remarked: “The stability of STILL’s OPX product is quite remarkable, our operation requires these trucks to travel at high speeds around corners (carrying fragile glass products) our previous trucks couldn’t handle the required speeds but STILL’s machines are working at optimum which has improved the overall site productivity.” The OPX series is STILL’s new, all-round, horizontal order picking machine which is designed for maximum performance. This series provides a great variety of different machines and functions which are suited to this type of application.
Justin Gibbons (Belron® UK Ltd Technical Training Manager) explained the importance of recycling for the company: “We recycle on average 10,000 tonnes worth of glass and the STILL counterbalance trucks which primarily operate outside have massively improved this operation. With the new clamps, we are now able to rotate the glass at about 4.5 metres and a full rotation only takes 18 seconds, this has more than halved the time of our previous machines.” The company have high focus on their Health and Safety and Justin Gibbons has been delighted with STILL’s safety features and the innovative FleetManager®: “This software was a huge selling point for us, we are able to slow down individual machines, run full reports for transparency and analyse specific skill sets but most importantly this system can be implemented on a regional level within our other distribution centres. All the infrastructure is there which is something we couldn’t find anywhere else on the market.” The site now has twelve STILL FM-X reach trucks which boast a 10.3 metre lift height and are used in both wide aisle and drive in racking storage areas.
This world-class reach truck offers Active Lateral Stability (ALS) which reduces oscillations at a maximum lift height meaning a reduction in waiting time by up to 80 percent. James Herbert (Belron® UK Ltd Forklift Operator) commented: “We are all really impressed with the STILL machines, they are quick, smooth to drive, easy to operate and the seats are really comfortable which we need when doing long shifts.”
In addition to the new family of trucks at Laddaw®, STILL have also installed a new battery management facility which is fully maintained by STILL and is described by John Cooper (Belron® UK Ltd Head of Supply Chain) as “the best solution on the market.” STILL have taken ownership of this important maintenance work to reduce the impact on battery life and thus reduce costs for Laddaw® throughout the contract term.
What made you choose STILL?
STILL listened to us. We wanted a partner who had national coverage. To deal directly with the manufacturer (one company and not multiple suppliers) was crucial for us. We went to one of STILL’s largest customer sites and saw first-hand the quality of these machines (even after 7 years of operation). We spoke with real users of the equipment which gave us nothing but confidence that we were making the right decision by changing to STILL trucks.
What were your requirements?
As with any new equipment, there is always the fear of change but the STILL product and team have given us genuine confidence from start to finish. The product build quality is seamless and robust - our operators have given us nothing but positive feedback. One of our key requirements was to rationalise two trucks into one – the EXV-SF high-lift pallet truck has now combined our loading and stacking operations and thus we have reduced the fleet from 8 machines down to 4 machines. This has not only saved us space, but also time and therefore has improved our productivity. We are now looking into how this truck can benefit our France and Belgium operations.
Are you happy with the level of service?
The service we have received from STILL’s engineers and management team has been faultless. As with any large scale operation there are always initial teething problems but these have been ironed out quickly and with total professionalism and transparency. The engineers have been a credit to our site.
Are there any areas that stand out for you?
It is very clear to see that STILL focus on the driver’s needs as a priority. Our operators absolutely love the seats, there is more room in the cabs and the truck ergonomics are drastically improved from our previous fleet. The Anti-Wheel Slip feature, Blue Safety Lights and FleetManager® software have all been a massive bonus for us.
Would you recommend STILL?
Yes, without hesitation. We have been made to feel important and their priority. We have a true connection with STILL’s team, our relationship is built on complete trust and managing expectations. With STILL, you are buying from ‘real people.’