James Radous was recently appointed president of UniCarriers Americas. His appointment comes at a crucial time in the organisation's history, during its integration into the Mitsubishi group.
Radous shares some of his views with Forkliftaction News
editor, Allan Leibowitz:Forkliftaction News:
What is your immediate priority in your new role? James Radous:
My immediate priority is to have a smooth transition and extend our recent successes. Beyond that, we'll continue to invest in our employees and infrastructure, which includes getting our new ERP system successfully launched in 2016, as well as building on the brand transition from Nissan Forklift/TCM to UniCarriers.Forkliftaction News:
What merger issues remain to be resolved? James Radous:
The official transfer execution date of the shares Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift will purchase from UniCarriers Holdings Corporation is planned for this spring. The share transfer agreement has been concluded. At the moment, there is nothing else to add.Forkliftaction News:
Will the UniCarriers brands in the U.S. continue to compete with Mitsubishi? James Radous:
In short, yes. However, one of the intended outcomes of the acquisition is for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift to achieve a full lineup of product offerings, so the brands will also complement each other.
UniCarriers Americas' head office
What about collaboration? For example, will TCM's new CCP solution be applied to Mitsubishi and other products in the group? James Radous:
Due to potential "gun-jumping," I can't discuss.Forkliftaction News:
What is your prediction for the performance of the forklift market in the US in the year ahead - generally and for UniCarriers? James Radous:
After six strong years of growth, history might suggest a cyclical slowing. But, whether the tide continues to rise, or it ebbs, UCA is positioned to meet and exceed customer needs and grow marketshare.Forkliftaction News:
What are the plans for further UniCarriers expansion throughout the Americas? James Radous:
We continue to look for opportunistic factory store acquisitions with sound dealerships who are either interested in selling due to retirement or those who lack a successor. But our merger and acquisition activities do not stop there: we are also looking at opportunities to secure businesses that provide high-value vertical integration, such as our recent purchase of Nissan Industrial Engine Manufacturing, which is now a subsidiary called Global Component Technologies Americas (GCTA). We are also expanding both our operational and dealer network presence elsewhere in the Americas with the addition of new dealerships in Canada and a growing team and business entity in Brazil.Forkliftaction News:
You mentioned the factory-owned retail outlets. What do they contribute?James Radous:
Our factory stores have been a great source of information. We feel that we're a better OEM because we are able to walk in the shoes of the dealer and truly understand their business model. It's an evolving process, and we're learning from strong dealers who have been successful for many years. As we evaluate the resources we can provide and think more like dealers, our expectations have become even greater. This has led to UniCarriers Americas considering several business model shifts to address the retail needs of the dealers. We've heard that dealers think in minutes, hours and days, while OEMs think in months, quarters and years. So, were learning to be more responsive and attuned to their customer-centric needs and enable them to deliver their own value proposition with every interaction.Forkliftaction News:
Do you have anything else to add? James Radous:
I am proud to inherit the mantle of UniCarriers Americas and participate globally as a Corporate Officer of the UniCarriers Corporation. I look forward to strengthening our position in this ever-changing marketplace and elevate UniCarriers Americas by delighting customers and providing best-in-class products and services. I'm also excited to influence the progress that we see as a whole in the industry through working closely with the ITA and chairing National Forklift Safety Day. I'm proud to be the chairman of the third-annual National Forklift Safety Day this June 14th. In one effort, we facilitate operator training with schools near our Marengo headquarters and throughout our dealer network. Our factory-owned stores, New England Industrial Truck and Capital Equipment and Handling, trained nearly 20 operators for free on National Forklift Safety Day 2015. Many of our authorised dealers also provide top-notch training. But we're also influencing the regulatory and legislative side of the industry, supporting the ITA's initiatives in Washington D.C. and making the industry's voice in the US heard by our representatives.