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innovative ideas
In the ever competitive market of materials handling it always helps to keep one step ahead of the competition.

How has your company managed to stay one step ahead of the competition. Have you offered Mr Customer a better deal or integrated new technology to progress ?

Any thoughts appreciated.

  • Posted 21 Jan 2012 07:47 PM
Total replies: 11. Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I disagree that we need to "keep one step ahead of the competition", and that in a business that is really based in relationships, that slow and steady, following a "keep it simple, stupid" and/or "concentrate on your core competencies" business method and not try or claim to be everything for every body, but be the very best at what you do, is actually the way to outlast and out perform your competition.
I think no one really wants to buy any extra bells, whistles, or gold covered seats on their forklifts, what they want is the best way to move their goods and products, for the least amount of money over all.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 22 Jan 2012 01:02 AM
  • • Modified 22 Jan 2012 01:04 AM by poster
  • chublil
  • California, United States
I disagree EdT-Bells and whistles can have a great impact on a companies bottom line. Fork pads for product protection-power steering on long rider jacks for operator fatigue and less damage-Triple load wheels for longer use and lowered tire costs-etc. Staying on top of the latest and greatest offered from the factories IS part of being the best you can to your customer.

Fix it right!!!
  • Posted 26 Jan 2012 10:50 PM
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
In keeping a customer base, I've found that bells & whistles or the best deal isn't always what a customer wants. Customers don't want to be "sold" anything, but they want solutions to the specific problems they may have. Just because some widget is available doesn't mean that the customer wants/needs it. I've talked clients out of buying widgets because it wasn't the solution they thought it was-even if I could sell it to them. Maybe a poor business practice, but I can only hope that it shows them that I have their best interest in mind

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 24 Mar 2012 02:57 AM
  • Jplayer
  • North Carolina, United States
bells and whistles are noisy and irritating (a bit of pun here....)

most of my customers hate em especially when it comes to fixing them (when truck is out of warranty) ;o)
they just want the ability to move product without any problems.
I like what edward said about [url removed] (Keep it simple stupid) ;o)

But it is what it is
we are at the mercy of the engineers and whoever decides what the design of the truck is going to be.
welcome to the age of electronics and new innovations, make a small cosmetic change and push it off as something huge and ground breaking... wallah! you have the cutting edge that will crush your competition.....

ehhhh..... NOT ;o)

John Player Jr
LiftOne, LLC
Charlotte, NC
  • Posted 25 Mar 2012 12:10 AM
Jplayer... You forgot that the bells and whistles are generally not cost efficient either. They tend to cause repairs to get pricey. However, as you said, we are at the mercy of the designer and the engineers.
What was wrong with the original design?

Equipment, Inc.
Mobile, Al.
  • Posted 25 Mar 2012 11:01 AM
The LAST thing in my experience that my customers want is "bells and whistles", as i think player put it, quit simple stated. All they want to do is move product.

David Sharp
Have a Great day and thanks for all the great advice!
  • Posted 22 Apr 2012 01:29 PM
  • chublil
  • California, United States
I agree 1sharpdog, Moving product is the end all, but to do it as cost effective as possible is the edge. And the majority of those savings are the little small things that add up to a bigger whole. Not all bells and whistles fall in that catagory, but some do, and it is a smart techs goal to find them and see if they could apply to the site application.

Fix it right!!!
  • Posted 23 Apr 2012 09:23 PM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I agree Chublil, I kind of think we might even distill it down to what an expert service tech can do that will truly add value to his customers AND sales people, is to know which customer and which bells and whistles go together.
Bells work good on cattle, whistles work good on dogs.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 24 Apr 2012 08:36 AM
  • chublil
  • California, United States
EdT- I have been an in house guy now for four years-running my own shop. Was a road guy for over 17 years, I have no sales people to please. I can definitly tell you the triple wheels have saved us big bucks, considering the fact we have over 80 class three trucks. I know they work and last longer because my knees dont hurt anymore from changing out load tires that got flat spotted, those are an optional component. I can also tell you that thru my site R+D on them, they now can be bought as an option on the red jacks Nationaly on the delivery jacks we buy.(Use two wheels instead of three-same axle size). How about fork pads, we ship and receive over 21 million cases of beer every year, and I can definitly tell you they reduce breakage big time, how do I know? Our inventory guy has the numbers and types of breakage, its gone down since we installed them, thats an aftermarket option. How about debris diversion plates on riders? They also have extended the life of our loads, thats an optional device. If I as a buyer and customer of equipment providers apply these "Bells and Whistles" upon our new truck purchases, I am two steps ahead of our competitors when it comes to an hourly cost per equipment to operate. Makes for a heck of a bonus at the end of the year as well. Not all Bells and Whistles are worth buying, but some in the right applications can be gamechangers.

Fix it right!!!
  • Posted 24 Apr 2012 09:36 AM
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
Excellent point chublil & kudos to you. You are correct that bells & whistles can make a huge difference. Sounds like you did your homework. The challenge I see is when a salesman sells an accessory which has the only advantage of putting money in his pocket. The items you mentioned are great for your situation, but not for everybody. I see it too many times that a salesman uses hightech gimicks to sell equipment which offer no real advantage for the user

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 24 Apr 2012 09:50 AM
  • chublil
  • California, United States
Thanks BB-I can give you a good waste of money example on a bell and whistle-On board truck monitoring. As you know, there are a few companies that provide this, some in proprietary form, that have little value to your average buyer. Does the purchasing agent at corporate know what they are? Have they any real experience using them? The most useless and dangerous Bell and Whistle is the one bought thru a national account salesman, sold to a purchasing agent, and installed on hundreds of units bought at one time. Those are the ones they make a pile of money on.

Fix it right!!!
  • Posted 24 Apr 2012 10:47 AM
Total replies: 11. Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.

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