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DISCUSSION FORUMS : Forkliftaction.communicate
Forum: Business management
Discussion:  Analysis
Number of messages: 17

Ontario, Canada
Read through all relevant discussions and some very useful info here! Similar to others, am leading a cross functional team analyzing our company's use of lift trucks. Problem is we have 30 plants in the food manufacturing/processing industry which are spread coast-to-coast in Canada and each plant often has their own preference for lift truck brand/dealer. We're trying to establish one or two national preferred lift truck vendors and trying to drive compliance at the plant level. Am open to all and any tips/suggestions with respect to selection of national preferred vendor(s) and then the compliance piece for the plants.

Posted 27 Jun 2006 01:17 AM Reply  Report this message
REPLIES: Sort replies by
Michigan, United States
Your program will only work if you have a corporate culture in which you can 'force' your plants to do what you want them to do.

Too many times I see corporate staff interested in standardizing, lots of time is spent collecting data, interviewing suppliers, negotiating prices; then plants still do their own thing and the whole effort is wasted.

Posted 27 Jun 2006 12:00 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Excellent points ... unfortunately there is some history of this happening (I have just joined about a month ago). In the end however, each of the plants is responsible for their own budgets and purchasing. We can only set guidelines and preferred vendors and standards and try to help them obtain cost savings through the preferred vendors. For the first time in a while, I am directly involving plant representatives to get their feedback etc ... Change management and cultural sensitivities play a huge role. I'd be interested in hearing others' anecdotes, experiences, suggestions, etc...

Posted 27 Jun 2006 11:13 PM Reply  Report this message
United States
In my profession, I have been involved in many of these types of projects. Some have worked very well and resulted in very significant savings for the companies involved. Some have not and the savings realized were very small. In the cases where it worked, it was part of a top down driven plan to reduce overall costs and increase productivity. By top down, I mean that it was part of an overall plan that was driven by upper management and instilled into the culture of the company through total employee involvement including education on the benefits to the company of each employee’s contribution to reducing costs, inclusion of specific goals in each employee’s performance objectives and incentives where appropriate.  Each followed a well thought out and documented plan that included a cost/savings/productivity analysis by location that was developed with the total involvement of each location's management as well as corporate managers. Vendor selection was also a key area that was addressed by once again involving the local management in developing the metrics to be used in evaluating potential suppliers. Several layers of management and employees were involved in the evaluation process to offset any "favorite son" bias that may have existed. Another key component is the ongoing measurements that are reviewed monthly or quarterly to insure that the objectives continue to be met or necessary adjustments made.
Where this kind of road map was followed, the success rate is extremely high. Where it was a mandate that was forced by corporate with little or no involvement of the individual locations or employees, the success rate was low. Where it did work, I have seen average savings between 17 to 22% with some saving as much as almost 30%.
Hope this helps.

Posted 29 Jun 2006 11:23 PM Reply  Report this message
Alberta, Canada
Part of the problem, as I see it, is finding a dealer network that is good all accross Canada.

Quebecor World went national accounts Yale about 2 years ago. They ran into huge problems here in Alberta because the dealer (AR Williams) doesn't really want/like Yale and basically refused to service them.
(to be fair they didn't actually refuse, they would just take 10 weeks to repair a burnt traction motor post)

Going to national accounts, makes it very difficult to get around a bad local dealer. In the end, a compromise was struck and Edmonton gets serviced by the Hyster dealer.
BUT, all new equipment must be Yale so they are still stuck for 3 more years...

Rona, has forced all it's branches to switch to Shyster, which means they must deal with Wajax. We recieved some resistance from a few locations. This led to our PSR's having to get Rona big wig's to put pressure on the culprits.

Also, be aware that if you are going to tie into a particular brand, make sure that brand has all the different types of equipment available that you might need in the future.
(ie. if you tie in with Raymond, you'll need a different supplier for IC trucks etc.)

Posted 10 Jul 2006 10:16 PM Reply  Report this message
Parksville Areal, Canada
Mike is correct remember this you will only deal with the corporate office who will of course tell you that they will be able to look after you all across Canada.

Technically this is correct  there dealer network will allow for this transaction,-however  once you get out of Ontario you run into different provinces with there own legislation & ways of working.

The specific dealer in Winnipeg may not a have a wire guidance tech that you need they may not have the parts that you need etc etc.

You must also remember that the people in your plants have already crossed that bridge they now who can & will look after them & they are using those people right now.

If you desire to pursue this you can only use the big boy,s  Toyota Raymond Hyster Yale  etc.

Toyota has a different dealer in Vancouver than Toronto --  Clark also has a different dealer in Vancouver in TO it is Ryder Machinery in Vancouver & Alberta it is Williams machinery.

Yale also has different dealers Hyster has the same name Wajax presently on Vancouver Island no forklift dealer .

The only big boy withe same dealer network presence that i know of is Raymond they have branches accross Canada with same head Office in Mississauga.

remember its easy to promise something the Question always to ask is how do you intend to fulfill your obligation.

Having said that Raymond is a sound company with good integrity at least this is what i found when i worked for them some of my close friends still work  there.

Good luck in your endevours.

FrankieW Technician

Posted 19 Oct 2007 07:16 AM Reply  Report this message
British Columbia, Canada
So Frankie, are we retired and living in Parksville?

Posted 19 Feb 2008 05:21 PM Reply  Report this message
Parksville Areal, Canada
Mr Nighthawk.
                          Retired no,- living in Parksville almost we moved to Nanaimo when we bought our first property here.

Presently i am self employed and enjoying every minite of my life right now.

We do all the work for a large company on the Island here, Forklifts & trucks & Trailers & anything else that breaks.
Early on i did some work for Arpac & Williams but it became to much of a hassle & then my big guy complained that i was not there enough so i eventually cut back to the one big customer & i try to help some small guys as well -  with 1-2 trucks thats not to difficult to manage  along with the big guy.

Looking for a good apprentice to train if anyone knows of someone over here would be a great blessing to me let me know.

When i read your posting it seems like you know me do i know you.

             All the best guys Frank 250-760-0353

FrankieW Technician

Posted 20 Feb 2008 01:33 AM Reply  Report this message
Virginia, United States
a good dealer in canada capable of handling your volume may be masterlift.

Posted 1 Mar 2008 03:08 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Thanks ... do you have any details? Head office location, Tel/Email contacts, # of branches etc ...

Posted 1 Mar 2008 03:14 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Check out their site at [url/email removed]. Contact info is there.

Also check out their hilarious forklift customization site,

Posted 4 Mar 2008 00:48 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Sorry about that, didn't realize I couldn't post a full url! MasterLift's website is

I believe they sell nationally, but not sure if they'll service nationally. They might be just Ontario for service. You might have to give 'em a call.

Hope that helps.

Posted 4 Mar 2008 01:33 AM Reply  Report this message
Barcelona, Spain
You posted the first post two years ago, I guess it is not easy!!

From my point of view (dealer) you should priorize the service. I've seen some companies force their plants to buy an specific brand, with great savings at the beginning. But later on, they have a worse service wich can mean significant less productivity.
Other times, the new service is much more expensive, and at the end there's no cost saving.
I have also seen problems with rentals, plants with rented machines with such a bad service, that they have to rent new machines, having the machines doubled.

The best case, and the easiest, is when buying from a central position a brand wich doesn't force plants to change their dealer. (One dealer sells and others repair)

A very good practice is to buy/rent very common or standard forklifts. If you have ten forklifts in a plant, and they all have the same characteristics (brand, engine, weight, height...), the service should be faster and cheaper, because the dealer will be very prepared (equipment, spare parts, workers...). It will also help productivity, because any forklift can replace another one: no drastic stops.

Hope it helps

Posted 27 Mar 2008 06:33 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Actually, the post was just to get some ideas/feedback. We did implement a 1-year national servicing contract with 1 vendor. Really it was to help us understand our needs and gain a better picture of our fleet. Overall, a good start and great learnings. We're revisiting the category and determining/finalizing next steps very shortly.

Thanks to all who provided insight.

Posted 29 Mar 2008 02:38 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada
Just curious, which vendor did  you use for a national contract?


Posted 22 Jan 2010 00:11 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada

It could not have been Masterlift, they only had two branches in the GTA and went bankrupt last year. Not sure why that was recommended.

Posted 22 Jul 2010 09:32 AM Reply  Report this message
Ontario, Canada

I'm still using Masterlift for rentals- so I know they aren't bankrupt. However, they do only have 2 branches which is probably not best for a coast-to-coast operation.

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