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3PL warehousing specialist aligns with TMHA

TMHA

Two Toyota-related companies have forged a relationship underpinned by their commitment to a pair of key Toyota concepts. MHD finds out more. 

An alignment of business principles and actions has influenced two Toyota-related companies to forge a successful working relationship.

Third-party logistics (3PL) specialist, TT Logistics (Australasia) Pty Ltd, has turned to another Toyota Group company to supply material handling equipment: Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA).

The relationship in Australia was forged more than 25 years ago around shared principles within the Toyota Group, including Kaizen – the process of continuous improvement – and the philosophy of the Toyota Production System.

The Toyota Production System – established over many years – is based on two concepts: “jidoka” (loosely translated as “automation with a human touch”), wherein a problem occurs the equipment stops immediately, thus preventing defective products from being produced; and the “Just-in-Time” concept – in which each process produces only what is needed for the next process in a continuous flow. 

Both TT Logistics and TMHA adhere to these ways of doing business.

TMHA
TMHA’s equipment stands out for quality, durability, and reliability.

TMHA uses the Toyota Production System to ensure only the highest levels of manufacturing are employed in making its equipment, ultimately resulting in handling machinery that stands the test of time, as TMHA South Australia Area Sales Manager, Derek Baxter, explains: “Our reputation for legendary reliability is one of the key benefits of the Toyota Advantage.”

“Toyota’s range of equipment is developed using Toyota’s advanced manufacturing technologies and built to the same exceptional standards of quality, durability and reliability as Toyota’s automotive products,” he adds. 

TT Logistics operates a vast fleet of TMHA equipment in both its Melbourne head office and Adelaide sites.

Most recently it acquired two new Taylor-Dunn Stockchasers and three new Toyota RRE160M reach truck forklifts with 8500mm lift masts fitted – in order to meet the requirements at key-client Electrolux’s new warehouse.

The Adelaide site also uses Toyota 8FBE18 and 8FBN25 counterbalance forklifts, plus Toyota OSE120CB order-picking trucks.

TT Logistics Senior Manager, Operations, Nick Klironomos, estimated that the Adelaide site has up to 15 units of TMHA equipment and the Melbourne site in the vicinity of 40. 

TMHA
From left: TT Logistics senior manager, Business Development, Patrick Ingenegeren, TT Logistics senior manager, Operations, Nick Klironomos, Toyota Material Handling Australia Area Sales Manager Derek Baxter.

TT Logistics Senior Manager, Business Development, Patrick Ingenegeren says TT Logistics applies the full extent of the Toyota Production System methodology to ensure operational excellence.

“We implement the Toyota Production System methodology – which TMHA also uses to manufacture its equipment – in a logistics environment,” Patrick says. “That’s just one of the things we bring to the table.” 

“By identifying and removing waste from each process, and/or activity, we are aiming for the most optimised and efficient operating methodology,” he says. “Our Kaizen initiatives provide tangible cost-savings, an improved customer service experience, and higher safety standards.” 

Established in 2008, TT Logistics is a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Australasia, an affiliate of the Toyota Tsusho Corporation, which was founded in 1948 as a trading and supply-chain specialist of the Toyota Group.

Toyota Tsusho’s history in Australia dates back to 1971. A diversified materials trading and logistics company, Toyota Tsusho specialised in an expansive range of international trading services including supply chain management, intermediate goods processing across a multitude of industries including metals, chemicals, automotive parts and accessories, and logistics & supply chain management.

TT Logistics was created to grow beyond the internal (automotive) structure of Toyota Tsusho and is currently the only independent 3PL warehousing specialist within the Toyota Tsusho Group, providing quality contract logistics to Australian and multi-national customers.

It’s the quality-of-service that differentiates the business, says TT Logistics’ Patrick Ingenegeren. “Any business can have a shed and a forklift fleet, but we have a unique culture that we know works better,” he says. “It’s not what we do but how we do it, through providing our customers an improved experience across our people, our processes, and our culture.” 

“As part of the Toyota Group, Kaizen is in our DNA and we challenge the norm and the standards each and every day,” Patrick continues. “That’s how we get to work with iconic customers such as Electrolux, with whom we proudly partner to support their local manufacturing of ovens and stoves at their Dudley Park facility.”

TMHA
Toyota machines are equipped with sensors that help protect drivers and record data.

Patrick says that although TT Logistics is small compared to some of its competitors, it is more agile and has an advantage when it comes to culture and processes. 

“We strive to enhance our customers’ supply chain by value-adding through excellence in 3PL, and adhering to our business principles of TPS, quality, flexibility, visibility, and innovation,” he says. “This does not mean we are at face-value more-expensive. We are actually a very competitive provider, and yes, we consider ourselves to be the best, which is a common reality throughout the Toyota Group. 

“Again, we see things coming down to value, because if you can solve a client’s logistics challenges, you become credible and have – or can establish – a trusted, professional, relationship with that customer. Then, the cost becomes less important, because it actually comes down to value. For example, one of our largest customers is Electrolux and they were leasing a 10,000 square-metre warehouse. As part of our Kaizen culture, it was suggested that a new warehouse be built on the Electrolux site to save in lease and transport cost.

“It was quite the exercise to move their operations to the new warehouse, though,” says TT Logistics’ Nick Klironomos. “Over the Christmas and New Year period we moved six-and-a-half thousand pallets in just nine days.”

Toyota’s 8FBE 3-wheel counter-balance forklift in action.

TMHA’s Derek Baxter went to TT Logistics’ Adelaide site in order to assess the business’s system-of-work and make accurate and efficient material-handling equipment recommendations. “Derek came on site particularly to see the Electrolux business because we were interested in some new stockchasers,” says Nick. “Derek got a really good understanding of what we do and suggested some variations to produce a result that was most suitable for us, including some Toyota reach trucks that can extend to the required 8.5-metre-high levels in the new Electrolux warehouse, which also feature cameras.

“Derek also recommended TMHA’s I_Site telematics system, which helps fleet and logistic managers to understand vehicle status, driver performance and overall productivity in their material handling operations,” Nick continues. “We have had the I_Site system for the last three or four years and it has been valuable in that it lets us track the efficiency and safety of our operators and Toyota machinery. It’s a very important feature because it has helped us manage our safety in terms of the operational checks. And it is also customisable – for example, we programmed a question which was ‘Have you wiped-down the machine yet?’.”

TMHA went to TT Logistics’ Adelaide site to make an informed assessment of their equipment needs.

Nick says since the Toyota machines have sensors on them, if they knock something, a report is captured and the machine is operationally limited until a supervisor can go to it, assess any damage, and capture the incident.

“We want everyone to report any incidents or accidents,” he says. “And previously that was difficult to capture – but now with I_Site telematics if a machine gets knocked, or worse, there’s an automatic record so you’re not relying on the operator to disclose it.

“Moving-forward, all our Toyota forklift equipment will have the I_Site capabilities.”

For TMHA and TT Logistics, the quality and safety of equipment is paramount.

For more information freecall Toyota Material Handling Australia on 1800 425 438 or visit online at www.toyotamaterialhandling.com.au

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