One of the oldest family businesses in Australia, Sadleirs, tells MHD why it’s partnered with Toyota Material Handling Australia, and how the Japanese manufacturer’s forklifts are helping it improve its operations.
A family-owned logistics and packaging company has further refined its supply chain logistics with the help of Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) forklifts and technologies.
Sadleirs Transport, headquartered in Perth, recently entered a partnership with TMHA for material handling equipment in its facilities across the country, renting a broad fleet of small and large Toyota counterbalance forklifts, reach trucks and pallet movers.
After using competitor products for years, Sadleirs took delivery of its new fleet of Toyota forklifts and immediately began to notice the benefits of Toyota’s technology, comfort and ergonomics.
Creating visibility with Toyota’s I-Site
Perth-based Sadleirs Transport terminal manager Brod Walton has been impressed with the new TMHA products, which have helped increase operational efficiencies since taking delivery in May.
Brod was particularly fond of Toyota’s I-Site fleet telematics system, which streamlines warehouse processes for the business, helping to minimise unwanted incidents.
“It was a pretty good call to transition to Toyota from an operator perspective but also from my perspective with being able to manage through the I-Site program, there’s a lot more visibility with driver performance and machine performance too,” Brod says.
“It’s not only about keeping an eye on the negative things, but the positives as well. A lot of the utilisation and operating times out of individuals who I would have never thought would be our top performers, they’re getting highlighted, which is great because you can give them positive feedback and not just ask for improvement.
“It’s about recognising some of the positive performances as well, so it’s been really good from my point of view to have that visibility.”
Brod adds that the Toyota I-Site system provided holistic benefits to the business and its warehouse operations while also closely monitoring the status of the equipment.
“The overall visibility is unreal, being able to pull reports off I-Site, managing user profiles, getting alerts with one month to go before the expiry of a high-risk licence, it just enables us to have those conversations with the operators,” explains Brod.
“Overall visibility is something that I haven’t had before. The ability for us to identify impact alerts straight away, locking it in limp mode, having the supervisor unlock code, it helps identify things like failed pre-starts or pre-starts not being done and impacts as well, so it keeps the guys on their toes to report any little incident they have where in the past they may be able to get away with those sort of things because we’re a large site and we can’t be everywhere at any time.”
Reducing emissions while increasing efficiencies
Having used other competitor brands for years, Sadleirs warehouse operators have been impressed with the ergonomics and comfort of the Toyota forklifts, which help improve the working experience for those who spend long hours on the machine’s day in, day out.
Brod says the new Toyota forklifts have been warmly received by the operators.
“It’s pretty funny – we had a couple of trial (Toyota forklifts) come through about a year ago that we were using just to get used to while we still had the old fleet and not many people wanted to get on them,” notes Brod.
“And then when we transitioned to having our new fleet of Toyota forklifts, we actually had a couple of the old forklifts hanging around and the opposite happened – nobody wanted to get onto the old forklifts because they got so comfortable with the new Toyota machines. The ergonomics of the machines are a big standout for them.
“These machines, some of them can be going non-stop for 10-12 hours each day, the guys are on them all day long outside their breaks. We need a reliable machine that can just keep going. These are also much more fuel-efficient, and the emissions are a lot lower.”
During the tender process and since starting the tender, Sadleirs has formed a strong working relationship with TMHA corporate accounts manager Jason Fennell and Perth representative Tony Walther who have helped provide an easy onboarding and servicing experience for the company.
“When we did the handover Jason spent a lot of time here, he personally came and did the induction and training with the operators, spending full days on site and making sure the guys were familiar with the new features of the machines which they wouldn’t be used to,” Brod says.
Due to their high usage rates, the fleet of Toyota machines has already undergone scheduled maintenance, which Brod says was made simple by the Toyota team, while on-the-spot fixes are also simple to organise.
“The good thing is they’re really quick (to respond to callouts) – they’re usually on site the next day when I submit a request,” he adds.
“In August we went through and had the servicing done on the whole fleet, and that was organised by Eliza at Toyota, and that was pretty seamless getting through that as well.”
Supporting one of the oldest in Australia
Sadleirs added that the overall experience provided by TMHA has so far been, “incredibly positive and always very professional” – a sentiment echoed by Mr Fennell and his team, who hope to enjoy a long and prosperous working relationship.
Sadleirs is one of the oldest family businesses in Australia having been founded in WA all the way back in 1829 by Lionel and William Samson as a general import/export business with a focus on alcohol, and by the 1880s became the largest importer of beer and spirits into Australia.
In the late 1800s, RC Sadleir was established by John Sadleir as a customs and shipping operation and was registered as a company in 1923 before being acquired in 1936 by Lionel Samson whose business had grown substantially thanks to its involvement in the Western Australian gold rush.
2012 marked a merger between Sadleirs and Lionel Samson and Son to become the Lionel Samson Sadleirs Group, making it the oldest family-owned business in Western Australia and the second oldest in the entire country.
For more information on Toyota Material Handling Australia, click here.