Black Country-based forklift truck manufacturer Flexi Narrow Aisle designs and builds a range of products that are widely regarded as having revolutionised pallet handling, warehousing and logistics processes not just in the UK but across the world.
Forklift trucks provide substantial savings in the time and effort required to load, unload and stack materials and, across the Midlands region alone, there are literally thousands of companies for whom many thousands of forklifts are a critical business tool. These volume products are built by global scale companies like Toyota, Linde and Mitsubishi. One of the few British-owned lift truck manufacturers operating on a global scale is Black Country-based niche warehouse truck systems company Narrow Aisle Limited. Established by present owner and managing director Peter Wooldridge in 1976, Narrow Aisle has built an enviable worldwide reputation as one of the great technical innovators within the warehousing and logistics industry. The company has a specialist product portfolio but is, perhaps, best known for the ground-breaking range of Flexi-branded articulated forklift trucks that it designs, builds and sells worldwide. In simple terms, until the Flexi articulated forklift truck was developed in 1990, forklift users had little alternative but to operate a two truck system with a traditional ‘counterbalanced’ forklift working outside to load and unload wagons and then feeding pallet loads to traditional ‘reach’ trucks inside the store or warehouse to put away and retrieve palletised loads from narrow aisle racking. But, with the arrival of the Flexi, forklift users were firstly able to eliminate this often costly double handling and generally inefficient arrangement. Flexis load and unload lorries and deliver pallets directly to and from the racking in a single operation. By doing so, the trucks increase efficiency and productivity while abolishing double handling and the costs associated with running a bigger forklift fleet than is necessary. Furthermore, their ability to operate in warehouse aisleways as narrow as 1.6 metres wide and lift pallet loads to heights of over 13 metres, means that Flexis can also save warehouse operators at least 30 per cent of their storage costs. Given its many unique selling points, it is hardly surprising that the Flexi articulated truck concept is widely regarded as being part of a revolution in warehousing and logistics processes across the world. A firm favourite in the cutthroat third party logistics industry where margins are often wafer thin. The concept is now being picked up by food and FMCG manufacturers, automotive and the burgeoning “e” fulfillment industry. Over 5000 Flexi trucks have been sold across all continents and demand continues to grow. This is because although Flexi users are involved in the storage and handling of many different palletised products – from foodstuffs to engine parts – they all share at least one common aim: the need to save costs by maximizing efficiency within their storage operation. The Flexi range helps them by eliminating double handling and increasing throughput making the most of the warehouse space that is available. To mark the 25th anniversary of the development of the original Flexi Articulated truck concept, Narrow Aisle Limited recently hosted a series of distributor open days at its UK manufacturing plant in Great Bridge. Attended by over 150 visitors from all corners of the UK, the open days gave guests the opportunity to see a live presentation and demonstration of the latest models to be added to the Flexi AC range. Since its introduction, the Flexi brand has become synonymous with high quality, ultra-reliable products and Flexi Narrow Aisle has earned a reputation for exceptional product reliability and customer service across the world. To find out how the British-made Flexi AC product range can bring significant operational efficiencies to your business contact the company today on (tel) 0121 557 6242 or visit www.flexi.co.uk for further information.
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