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African Petrochemicals is South Africa’s leading bi-monthly print and digital trade magazine for the past 15 years. Featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances etc.

Speed of service matters

For any materials handling equipment owner, uptime is a key parameter that distinguishes between success and stagnation. Based on this understanding, speed is such an important factor that is sought in every aspect of Goscor Lift Truck Company’s service strategy to help customers maximise uptime.

As today’s tough operating and economic conditions continue to squeeze already constrained bottom lines, materials handling equipment (MHE) owners are well aware that maximising uptime is the basis upon which they can keep their businesses healthy and growing.

It is thus no surprise that today every fleet owner of capital equipment expects maximum equipment uptime. To increase and maximise production efficiency, one must choose equipment from a supplier with the highest reliability; that does not compromise on service, to ensure that equipment runs at peak performance.

Lex Winson, National Service Manager at Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC), is of the view that maintenance alone is not the whole story when it comes to uptime and the consistent improvement to the bottom line. “In today’s superfast modern age, a supplier’s efficiency is not only based on the provision of spare parts and fulfilment of maintenance contracts but is largely measured on how fast the service is.”

Winson says it’s true that service initiatives are the starting point, but the speed of the service is what really matters. “There is so much emphasis on speed of service as the importance of uptime cannot be reiterated enough in today’s operating conditions. Speed of service is at the core of our service strategy,” he continues. “We have put great emphasis on speed of service, while not compromising on quality.”

speed-of-service-matters

Practical training for GLTC technicians

Speed is such an important factor that is sought in every aspect of GLTC’s service strategy. To drive this point home, the company has set itself a target to respond within 2-4 hours within a radius of 100 km.

To be able to adhere to such stringent response times across the length and breadth of South Africa, requires Goscor Lift Truck Company to have the infrastructure that allows them to respond to any service needs timeously.

“In that regard, our strategic national footprint of branches in Gauteng, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Nelspruit, Bloemfontein and Polokwane, complemented by a strong network of dealers in the outlying areas, are a key enabling factors allowing us to meet our stringent response times,” explains Winson .

Darryl Shafto, MD at GLTC, believes that infrastructure is not enough to influence speed of service, especially in today’s information age. “The use of newer technologies, such as fleet management solutions, are helping ease maintenance issues. Rapid development in machine technology, particularly the use of electronic controls and remote monitoring systems, have opened up new avenues of fleet monitoring and remote troubleshooting,” says Shafto.

The same view is shared by Winson, who explains that fleet management is very important in today’s industry. “If managed correctly, it can cut on unnecessary costs. This technology is able to measure many different operational areas/functions on the lift truck, and can be set to accommodates exact customer needs,” says Winson.

Shafto continues, that delivering accurate data on fleet performance and associated issues linked to a customer’s downtime, link directly to productivity, total lower cost of ownership and ultimately the bottom line. It is part of the most vital services that the company offers, and this all needs to happen in a time efficient manner for the customer.

In order to make use of the technology available, GLTC has invested in people and the ability to monitor fleet activity promptly. This is to ensure a rapid response to fault detection or service requirements. This often happens prior to the machine owner becoming aware of an impending issue. “Technology is thus used to aid productivity and reduce the owning and operating costs,” says Shafto.

“Technological evolution, driven by trends such as automation and Internet of Things, is influencing the supply chain in terms of service provision. We are well ahead of the curve in that regard. For instance, we offer APS (Automatic Positioning System) on all our VNA trucks,” says Shafto.

“We also offer Access 123, which is patented by one of our principals, Crown, and is a self-diagnostic real time fault finding instrument. So, I believe we are already ahead of the game and as technology evolves so will the rest keep up with this technology. In conclusion, I wish to stress the criticality of prioritising an MHE supplier that has this sort of capability when it’s time for those buying decisions,” concludes Shafto.

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