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Getting on the App Wagon

Thursday, 14 Nov 2013 ( #642 )
News Story
Yale developed its new mobile app using SnAPPii.
Since News published ‘Suppliers go online to reach customers’ in August, we have been notified of other materials handling companies which are expertly using the Internet and social media to advance their businesses, reports Christine Cranney.

To support its new Durabuilt 4500 and 6500 agricultural tracks launch, off-road tyre and rubber tracks maker Camoplast Solideal has launched its first mobile app, now available on Google Play for Android tablets.

The manufacturer says that with so many different types of soil conditions and machine usage, "it goes without saying that farmers around the world need the right track for the right application".

The track selector tool in the new app is designed to help customers "find the right track to get the best return on investment". Users can also get a 360-degree view of its tracks in 3D and access the Camoplast Application Guide.

Another global tyre and wheel supplier, Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has launched the Trelleborg Load Calculator (TLC) app for Android tablets. The app, available in 12 languages, has already been launched for iPad and desktop computers, and assists customers calculate the optimum tyre inflation pressure on agricultural vehicles.

Trelleborg launched a version of the app for iOS smartphones at AGRITECHNICA 2013 in Hannover, Germany this week. Trelleborg now has three mobile apps - the TLC app, Tire Book app and Tire iBrochure app.

Digital marketing manager Roberto Angelucci says: "Modern agriculture demands that farming professionals are fully aware of the latest tools, solutions and services available to them in order to run their farming operations more efficiently and productively."

North American forklift manufacturers Yale Materials Handling Corp and the Hyster Company also announced the launch of mobile apps last month.

Yale MH has released an app offering a suite of information on the company’s forklift models and a dealer locator function.

Touting the benefits of the new app, Yale Distribution president Bill Pfleger says: "This app delivers helpful information about each of our products so that our customers and the industry in general can stay informed about their forklifts or can answer questions about their future forklift needs. Having the ability, in the palm of their hand, to locate and contact our nearest dealer makes our customers’ lives easier."

Yale developed the app using SnAPPii, a cloud-based mobile app development platform. SnAPPii enables companies to easily build native apps without having to write code or identify programming languages.

North Carolina-headquartered Hyster Company’s mobile lift truck also features a forklift product selector tool, detailed information on Hyster models and a dealer locator function.

Jonathan Dawley, president of Hyster Distribution, says the app informs the customer about which applications certain products are best suited for, while also delivering a wealth of information on each product.

The app was also developed using SnAPPii, the brainchild of Alex Bakman, a software entrepreneur who established technology firms Ecora Software Inc and V-Kernel.

It’s not only mobile apps that are important to materials handling companies. Company websites and other social media tools need to be maintained and updated in this digital age.

KAUP of Aschaffenburg, Germany has just completed a revamp of the layout, content and programming of its company website. The forklift attachment maker boasts that its website has a "new contemporary design that includes a clear and streamlined navigation". The website is multilingual to support the company’s international business.

KAUP says: "The intention of the relaunch was to bundle all information into a single platform as well as to fundamentally improve the ease of operation, user guidance and access.

"Fast loading times do not only enable a fast access to the searched contents – 90% of all page impressions are loaded within 1.5 seconds. They enhance the ease of operation and strengthen the search machine ranking. The visitor reaches his target even faster with only these three different search functions."

Steve Cianci
UniCarriers America Corp vice president of sales and marketing Steve Cianci informs News the new company (from the merger of TCM and Nissan, News #610) is definitely emphasising its web presence as a way of reaching out to old and new customers.

"Although [our website] is user-friendly, we have plans to make it more state-of-the-art including a new web platform to help integrate mobile (responsive design), blogging, and multi-language support, among other things. We expect to launch this in 2014."

Cianci says the website is a component for generating leads "but not the only source". The company invests a considerable amount of time to optimise the website’s page ranking on major search engines.

He adds that UniCarriers America uses all the typical social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. "We've recently started diving into Google+ and Pinterest. And we use Nutshell to keep track of everything. YouTube is great for us to show off our product. We've also posted information regarding the merger of TCM and Nissan Forklift using video as a way to communicate our message.

"Social Media is important for building our brand and migrating through our current brand transition, especially through our recent merger and name change."

Cianci says UniCarriers America has seen its total website visits increase by over 30% and new visitors by almost 40% in the past year. Its Facebook ‘likes’ have increased by 80%.
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