Linde Material Handling’s enduring partnership with Australia’s Winning Group is based on shared values.
The Winning Group is one of Australia’s business success stories, transforming itself from a carriage and saddlery trade business in 1906 to an online and bricks and mortar powerhouse.
Its Winning Appliances, Appliances Online, Winning Services and Home Clearance businesses have been on a strong growth trajectory over the last decade, prompting a decision to create a new national distribution centre in Sydney.
Chief executive John Winning, a fourth generation member of this ultra- successful family business, particularly values the partnership with Linde because it was initiated in his time.
He sees Linde and Winning Group’s shared commitment to comprehensive customer focus as being a key enabler of their partnership.
Partnering for growth
“In recent years with the success of our Appliances Online business we’ve experienced year-on-year growth in excess of 100 per cent,” John Winning explained. “We need partners who can understand that growth and support it with the products and services that they give to us.”
Mick Bunt, General Manager of Winning Services, including its state-of-the-art 24,000 square metre Rosehill distribution centre in Sydney, agrees.
“When we went out to tender for the distribution centre material handling equipment we had some of our staff go out to Linde customers and try their equipment,” he said.
“We had a quite specific need for our narrow aisle turret trucks. Rather than have a fork blade we needed a clamp attachment which is how we move a lot of products around the warehouse. Using Linde to design a specific solution for our application was paramount and they were absolutely brilliant with the turret truck clamp attachment model.
“We have 11 counterbalance units here, as well as two high reaches and two turret trucks. Our turrets would be operating at 15 or 16 hours a day. They use a fast charge system that allows them to be in action all over the 24 hour shift. They are absolutely super-efficient and tick off any availability concerns that we had.
“Being a wire guidance machine the Linde turret truck is certainly a lot safer than having a guided rail. They are a lot more efficient and our team feels a lot more comfortable than when we historically had team members on platform pickers. It wasn’t great for the equipment and it certainly wasn’t great for them
“What Linde has been able to do for us is pretty much reduce all the manual handling for all the big and bulky items throughout our whole operation, which from a safety perspective is absolutely brilliant. Being a 24/7 operation, when we go into any partnership the after-sales service is super important. We know with Linde their 24/7 call centre allows us every opportunity to call in a breakdown or an issue with one of the machines. Winning Group is not just looking for best price. We’re looking for value naturally, but also for service, safety and after sales support. For me, I think Linde exceeds anyone else in the market.”
John Winning said. “I’m very proud to say that Linde also shares the same values as the Winning Group – safety, reliability and efficiency as well as customer service and I’m very proud of our relationship and partnership with Linde Material Handling and look forward to using their product into the future.”
Linde’s strength and experience as a solution provider enabled it to assist Winning Group on a far more comprehensive basis than provision of material handling equipment.
The company had already experienced Linde commitment on a smaller scale in its previous warehouse where Linde Material Handling had demonstrated the quality of its equipment and support.
STRATOS warehouse planning and simulation software developed by Linde added a quantum boost to help the high achieving Australian family company develop its current distribution centre.
In fact, Winning Group achieved its distribution centre goals, together with a 50 per cent productivity boost, made possible by textbook planning and implementation processes suggested by Linde’s STRATOS solution.
State-of-the-art trucks to suit all
Using VNA turret trucks with carton clamps to take advantage of the height of a tall building to store a large SKU profile in a significantly smaller footprint than would otherwise be the case had not been done in Australia. After evaluating tenders from alternative suppliers Winning Group took delivery of Linde equipment on long term lease, including E20-335 battery electric counterbalance forklift trucks with carton clamps, a R16HD – 1120 reach truck and two K Series turret trucks with carton clamps. The trucks are fitted with the Linde Power Solutions Fast Charge Battery System, allowing them to cope with heavy multi-shift usage.