News story

Two decades on, Forkliftaction still growing

Monday, 6 July 2020 ( #982 ) - Brisbane, Qld, Australia
An early newsletter and the current design for portable devices
An early newsletter and the current design for portable devices
This week marks the 20th anniversary of Forkliftaction News after the first newsletter was distributed to a handful of industry insiders on 7 July 2000. The debut newsletter, which featured three stories, hailed itself as "a fantastic service that is part of the materials handling portal to be released soon". Forkliftaction.com was founded by former forklift dealer Michael Leu, who recalls: "I had a lot of knowledge gained over 15 years of trading and I thought of ways to utilise those skills whilst not breaching my contractual agreements agreed during the sale of my previous business." Leu notes that the Internet was still new, technology was changing the way business was being done and he could see a huge potential. "My idea was to create a platform to share this knowledge by linking materials handling people around the world on one platform." 20 years and 980 newsletters later, Forkliftaction has over 73,000 opt-in subscribers. CEO Ann Hofmans notes the continuing steady growth of subscriptions, with an average of 55 members added every week. "Where the very first subscriptions 20 years ago were mainly industry professionals such as forklift manufacturers and dealers, the biggest group of new subscribers today are business people who have to make decisions about their company's materials handling operations: purchase and manage equipment, and ensure effective and safe handling processes in their workplace(s)," she explains. Forkliftaction remains a private, family-held business and Hofmans takes some pride in its achievements in building a reputation and growing its followers throughout 20 years of economic ups and downs - without external financial backing. "Despite the e-commerce crash in the early 2000s, the GFC in 2009, the gradual but steady demise of the publishing industry in the past 15 years, and currently the COVID-19 pandemic, Forkliftaction is still there, surviving, squashed in between a forever smaller group of digital platforms, its numbers slowly reduced to a handful of large and seriously backed digital platforms such as Google, Facebook and LinkedIn." Both Hofmans and Leu attribute the success of the newsletter and the portal behind it to loyal readers, committed advertisers, support from industry associations and experts who both contribute to and benefit from the industry know-how collected and made available through Forkliftaction and the "team of skilled and passionate professionals that work in the small business which depends heavily on the positive minds, creativity and dedication of its people". To mark the anniversary, Forkliftaction is including a blog with personal reflections from team members and a number of messages from leading companies which have partnered with Forkliftaction over the past 20 years.