(L-R) Rushlift chairman Peter Cosgrove, Doosan technical director Dr KB Park, Doosan UK general manager, Tim Waples and managing director of overseas sales Kun H Lee.
Doosan national supplier Rushlift has secured the UK's largest supply agreement with international construction materials group Saint-Gobain.
The company will supply over 2,000 counterbalance forklifts to Saint-Gobain's UK manufacturing, retail and merchant sites, including the company's Jewson, JP Corry and Gibbs and Dandy builders' merchant networks.
Doosan UK director Tim Waples believes the deal will cement the forklift company's position in the UK and greatly raise the brand's stature. "We feel that our profile has been rising for many years and it's a real vote of confidence. We look forward to an excellent partnership with the group."
The GBP100 million (USD156.7 million) agreement will see Doosan forklifts operating in over 800 Saint-Gobain sites over the next decade. The deal has prompted Rushlift to employ 30 additional engineering, account management and administrative staff. More appointments are expected to follow.
Rushlift chairman Peter Cosgrove says the deal was made easier with the backing of a major manufacturer like Doosan. "A deal of this size is not just about equipment. It's about service, top quality account management and building up trust over a long period.
"All parties have worked hard together to bring this deal to fruition. The agreement is on an unprecedented scale and we are excited by the opportunities and challenges it presents our business."
During the two-year-plus tender process, Rushlift was given opportunities to demonstrate its abilities at several Saint-Gobain sites, which, Cosgrove says, allowed the company to outperform its competitors. "We have been able to deliver higher levels of service at lower cost than our competitors and we have gained the business against competition from all the major companies in the industry."
Saint-Gobain was particularly impressed with Rushlift's flexibility in providing electronic data exchange. An online system allows companies to log jobs without having to call a depot and for Saint-Gobain's fleet management systems to be updated by Rushlift daily.
Saint-Gobain fleet director Ian Berrill says he was impressed by Rushlift's track record and was keen to make the most of its economies of scale and take advantage of its latest technical developments.
"We've had many years of growth and acquisitions since first establishing our truck fleet and we were keen to provide modern, reliable equipment to our many different users. Having the UK's largest fleet has many benefits, but also many challenges.
"Being able to manage the fleet makeup, control costs and respond to our changing needs is crucial. Rushlift's approach offers us a real business advantage, allowing for full visibility of equipment across over 800 sites in the UK and Ireland," Berrill explains.
Saint-Gobain has many different businesses, using many different types of forklifts. Its builders' merchants businesses mainly use 2-3 T diesel counterbalance forklifts between two and five years' old.
After detailed site surveys and stakeholder consultations, Rushlift has reduced the overall number of trucks, and offered Saint-Gobain machines with specifications designed to maximise equipment utilisation and improve operator efficiency.
Over 100 Doosan counterbalance models are available in the UK from 1.5-16 T internal combustion forklifts to 1.3-5 T electric trucks.