As MHI’s US Roadmap notes, material handling is big business, making up about 8.5% of the country’s gross domestic product. And, as it also notes, that kind of money attracts competition. Nowhere except at industry association meetings is the attitude of “there’s enough for everyone” even voiced, much less believed. A half-century ago, there was generally enough for everyone, and competition was much more limited and much more genteel.
The kind of competition found in business-to-business and business-to-consumer distribution today is very different, and the companies that are growing are learning to refine their processes to meet ever-increasing customer demands. And their growth is coming largely from the customers of companies who are not responding effectively to the change. Relentless competition is good news for some companies; very bad news for others.
As a manufacturer serving these companies, Pack Mule is called on to help its customers deal with the new levels of urgency, the need for innovation, and the constant demand for expense reduction. The paradoxical “doing-more-with-less” concept is at the center of our customers’ lean manufacturing.
Focusing on Our Users
The fact that Pack Mule is the fastest growing brand in our industry is evidence that we are effectively meeting our customers’ needs. We’ve had to learn to think differently, and it’s worked. Here are some of the things that Pack Mule brings to the relationship:
- Our three-year warranty, the only one in the industry, is important protection for the customer. But it goes further than that. It documents how we build our machines. Downtime is expensive; so as far as possible, our engineers design downtime out of the machine: longer lasting batteries, stronger frames and bodies, more robust steering components, more precise controllers. If something goes wrong with a Pack Mule vehicle, our warranty is there. But we go to great lengths to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
- It doesn’t make sense for any industrial electric vehicle manufacturer to claim that it has the broadest line of industrial electric vehicles any more. The variations required by materials handling systems exceed even the broadest line of standard vehicles. Because of that, we work from the customer’s application back, fitting our machine to the customer’s need rather than asking the customer to fit the need to the machine. With the Pack Mule stock chaser, for instance, there are more than 6400 permutations that we know about, and there will be more as our customers present us with new challenges.
- Nobody wants to wait anymore; so we’ve cut the lead time required for fully configured vehicles to a fraction of the competition. Instead of waiting eight weeks or more to get the vehicles that implement their solutions, we ship most orders in between 48 hours and three weeks.
- Preventive maintenance takes machines out of service and increases expenses. Pack Mule continues to find innovative ways to cut down on maintenance. Sealed transaxles. Solid—but comfortable—tires. Batteries that require no maintenance and can be charged at any convenient opportunity.
Relentless competition is a good news/bad news proposition. It’s good news for the people who deal with it best. Those are the customers we like—the ones who always want it better.
See how Pack Mule stacks up against the competition by visiting PackMule.com and clicking on Compare. This provides a point-by-point look at Pack Mule and competitive vehicles. However, because competition is relentless, Pack Mule will provide fully configured vehicles to be compared working in your location.