Australia, Battery-power, Companies, Distribution, Features, Forklifts, Freight, Logistics, Materials Handling, Supply Chain, Warehouses and distribution centres

Strategic synergy

Coates acquired its first Hangcha unit in 2022. Image: Coates.

In a world where efficiency, sustainability, and strategic foresight are paramount, the partnership between Coates, Australia’s leading equipment hire and solutions provider, and Hangcha, a forklift manufacturing powerhouse, demonstrates how like-minded collaborators benefit industry. MHD explores the strategic, customer-centric, and sustainability-driven facets that drive innovation and mutual growth.

The inception of the Coates-Hangcha partnership was not a decision taken lightly. It was the culmination of an extensive period of due diligence, involving technical reviews, demonstrations, and customer trials, leading to the acquisition of the first Hangcha unit in 2022. “Coates and Hangcha are steadily building a strong strategic relationship in the Materials Handling sector,” says Dan Goodfellow, Group Manager – Products & Fleet Trading at Coates.

Faced with the global supply chain challenges of 2020, Coates began exploring options among various Chinese OEMs, with Hangcha standing out for its shorter lead times and competitive pricing. This exploration was not merely about overcoming immediate challenges but was geared towards fostering a long-term strategic relationship. Dan highlights, “After undertaking extensive research and conducting a number of demos, we bought our first units in 2021/22.” The adoption of Hangcha’s rough terrain forklifts and the consideration for expanding the product range within Coates’s fleet underscore a commitment to excellence and innovation.

Sustainable synergy

The strategic alliance between Coates and Hangcha is underpinned by a shared commitment to sustainability and operational efficiency. The Hangcha products deployed by Coates, including the new “High Voltage” Lithium Rough Terrain forklifts, align with Coates’s “Greener Choices” range. This range encompasses battery electric, hybrid, and solar equipment, along with low pollutant Stage V engines, offering customers sustainable solutions for their projects. “The majority of our investment in Hangcha has been in our ‘Greener Choices’ range,” Dan emphasises, showcasing the partnership’s role in supporting industry towards a greener future.

Amplifying customer value

The business models of Coates and Hangcha, though distinct, complement each other in a manner that amplifies value for customers. Coates’s position as Australia’s largest equipment hire and solutions provider, combined with Hangcha’s stature as a globally recognised materials handling manufacturer, creates a formidable force in the industry.

This collaboration is not just about providing equipment; it’s about delivering comprehensive solutions that support customers’ net-zero commitments and operational needs. Dan reflects on the mutual understanding and shared goals that have been instrumental in providing effective product solutions: “Hangcha’s focus on more sustainable electric equipment supports this. Hangcha also have efficient delivery times with equipment which assists with our fleet replacement strategy and enables us to match our fleet investment requirements with customer demand.”

Exceeding customer demands

The partnership supports Coates in meeting the diverse demands of  its customers, from large corporations to local tradespeople, across Australia’s vast landscapes. With $1.95 billion in available assets across numerous product categories, Coates provides its customers with end-to-end solutions across equipment hire, power and HVAC, temporary works engineering, and industrial shutdowns and maintenance.

The national footprint of more than 145 branches enables the delivery of materials handling solutions that are efficient and safe for operators, irrespective of the project’s scale or location.

“Our customers require materials handling to safely move, place, replenish or just reduce manual handling on the site, from our top-tier customers like BHP or Downer, all the way through to the tradie improving a school for our kids,” says Dan.

“Australia is also a vast country, with remote sites and massive distances to travel which means warehouses and distribution centres are common across the country. With more than 145 branches across the country, we have the national footprint to offer materials handling like forklifts, telehandlers, pallet jacks or walkie stackers to make these sites efficient and safe for the operators.

“With so many sites to service, it’s important to have reliable partners like Hangcha on board.”

Elevating brand reputation

At the heart of this partnership lies a shared emphasis on elevating brand reputation through diligence, quality, and innovation.

Coates’s rigorous supplier due diligence process and Hangcha’s commitment to product quality and improvement reflect a mutual dedication to excellence. “Whether we’re purchasing equipment from the US, Europe, or China, all suppliers must pass our compliance and fit-for-purpose test,” Dan remarks, underscoring the importance of reliability and maintenance in enhancing brand reputation.

Charting a path forward

The strategic partnership between Coates and Hangcha is more than a response to immediate market needs; it’s a forward-looking collaboration that helps set a higher benchmark for industry. Through a shared vision for sustainability, a commitment to meeting diverse customer needs, and a dedication to elevating brand reputation, Coates and Hangcha are not merely navigating the present—they are shaping the future of the materials handling sector.

The Coates-Hangcha partnership illustrates the power of strategic collaboration in meeting and exceeding industry standards. By combining Coates’s extensive network and customer-centric solutions with Hangcha’s manufacturing excellence and innovation, this alliance not only addresses current challenges but also paves the way for a more sustainable and efficient future. In fact, this forward-thinking approach is baked in from the outset, as Dan explains:

“Before forming a strategic partnership with a supplier we will often spend time at their factory or with their R&D team to ensure they have the capability and resources to continue to improve the product. We are in the process of doing this with Hangcha and it’s been very productive. Rental equipment needs to be robust, so how a supplier responds to issues, breakdowns and feedback is important to us so we can continue to deliver high-quality equipment and excellent customer service for our customers.”

For more information on Hangcha, click here

For more information on Coates, click here

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