Newsletter 04/09 - Contents:
compared to the competition, Clark was able to ride out the sharp decline in the global materials handling industry, which witnessed a 60 percent drop in orders due to the financial crisis in 2009. This was achieved partly through costsaving measures at Clark, but also primarily of course through your actions and our combined efforts such as the stimulus programme. At this point I would like to express my thanks for your continued involvement and support over the past year. A look back drives our way into future. With sound judgement we will continue to grow and strengthen our proximity to dealers and end customers, such as the Dealer Support Center Lyon, and make every endeavour to develop unexplored potential. This includes optimised equipment and new service solutions, as well as maintaining our continued presence in new growth markets.
Here's to a better year 2010!
Managing Director, Clark Europe GmbH
Clark dealer present at trade fairs in Padua and Utrecht
In autumn 2009, Clark presented the very best it has to offer at trade fairs in both the Netherlands and Italy. Firstly, Geotrade the Clark importer for Italy exhibited at the Flormart/Milfor in mid September. Then Clarklift Nederland B.V. were present at Logistica in Utrecht in mid November.
The 59th Flormart /Milfor in Padua attracted 27,000 trade visitors, among them 2,600 from abroad. Covering an exhibition area of 37,000 m², this trade fair not only affirmed its position as the largest Mediterranean trade show for horticulture, it was also despite the financial crisis and true to its reputation the perfect showcase to meet the commercial demands of 1,200 exhibitors with the needs of visitors looking for innovative solutions in horticulture.
It was in these sur roundings that Geotrade presented the very best Clark has to offer to around 200 visitors on a 250 m² exhibition stand. The high outlay for the trade fair was, however, worthwhile. Piercarlo Brandolini, Sales Manager at Geotrade and Giovanni Bagatti also from Sales at Geotrade, establ ished high-quality contacts with potential end customers. They were supported by Andrea Galli, Clark Sales Manager for Italy, who informed interested parties about the strategies and future plans of the Clark brand over the course of the three exhibition days. Equally, the team at Clarklift Nederland B.V. also received positive feedback at Logistica in Utrecht – the trade fair for internal logistics in the Benelux. Logistica is considered to be a trend setting trade show with a high flair for innovation and this year attracted around 21,000 visitors. In Utrecht, Clarklift Nederland were able not only to offer customer service to their partners who made a visit, they were also able to meet many potential new customers and good follow-up business is expected. Visitors showed particular interest in the electric models GTX and GEX 16-20s.
Don Vernooy, Managing Director of Clarklift Nederland B.V. was very pleased with the attendance at Logistica: “We had around 40 serious discussions with interested customers over the five days. We will now follow up these contacts and generate orders.”
Clark Europe GmbH: Review of 2009 – Outlook for 2010
Step by step
The year 2009 was without question one of consolidation for Clark Europe GmbH. Although Clark still managed to achieve respectable profits compared to its competitors, the global economic crisis and the huge drop in demand, which resulted in lower levels of production activity, forced the company to take adaptive measures. Clark had to adjust its goals downwards, postpone plans at least temporarily and resort to cost saving measures such as reduced working hours. Our strategic objectives, however, remain unchanged.
Despite the recession - the severity of which has cast a dark shadow over all industries - Clark has made further advances in product development and opened the Dealer Support Center in France. In particular, the research and development department at Clark Europe in Mülheim an der Ruhr was set up in order to recognise and realise European trends in the forklift truck sector. “This shows that Clark is maintaining its course”, states Egon Strehl, Managing Director of Clark Europe GmbH, “in smaller steps, but we are moving forward.”
Egon Strehl on the prospects of “the forklift” comments: “If the crisis has taught us one thing, then it is that not everything is foreseeable and can be planned for. And so the realisation of our goals and further development depend on the calming and stability of the markets.” Nevertheless, investment of around $8.5 million is planned in various areas over the next three years. This investment strategy will stand us in good stead for when the global economy eventually recovers – even if temporarily delayed – and is also reflected by an upturn in the forklift truck industry. Clark is committed to further strengthening its position as a fullservice provider and expanding its range of products in electric and internal combustion areas. Furthermore, an electric tow truck will soon be introduced into the market. The assembly production in Germany, which was originally intended to start in 2009, had to be postponed for twelve months due to the poor economic situation. The start of production is now planned for late 2010.
“We can only grow together with our dealers and it is therefore another goal to further strengthen and build our distribution network in Europe, the Middle East and Africa”, affirms Egon Strehl. This also includes acquiring new distribution partners, but also of course increasing the support of our existing dealers. The Clark Academy and the foundation of further Dealer Support Centers are regarded as key projects. The establishment of new Dealer Support Centres for the optimisation of regional dealers as well as end customer support is currently being considered for the regions of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Great Britain.
Strehl adds: “To ensure higher market coverage, more trained sales personnel are needed to represent the Clark brand. Furthermore, to give the right level of service which guarantees customer satisfaction, our technicians and mechanics must possess expert equipment knowledge.” Who else could offer training better than Clark? In the foreseeable future, technical, sales and product training sessions will be conducted at regular intervals at the Clark Europe headquarters in Mülheim/Ruhr.
Dealer Support Center Lyon officially opened
Off to a dream start
The sun reappeared just in time for the photo shoot, capturing exactly the right frame for the highly successful opening ceremony of the Dealer Support Center Lyon in mid October 2009.
Around 50 invited guests from the French dealerships, who braved the early rain, travelled to the Rhône to attend the ceremony. Clark was joined in Lyon by representatives from all over the world: Egon Strehl , Managing Director of Clark Europe GmbH, Dennis Lawrence, Managing Director of Clark Material Handling Co. in the USA and Seung Soo Baik, Managing Director of Clark Material Handling International, were present to wish Albert Argudo, the General Manager of the newly founded subsidiary Clark France sarl, all the best and every success for the Dealer Support Center in person. Together they had planned the Dealer Support Center project and now they also cut the red ribbon together to mark its opening. S.S. Baik in his speech spoke about the importance of the French market for Clark and that it would be achieved with the new regional customer base, which is essential for optimal communication and support. “Especially in these difficult times, it is very important for us to show our partners that we are there for them when they have questions and problems, said Baik, as the representative of the parent company. Of course, this is true for all markets which is why the establishment of further support centers in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Great Britain is planned for the coming years. “The current crisis will not stop us from continuing our expansion.”
New dealer in Emirate of Qatar – Ibin Ajayan Trading Group
Partnerships in future markets
Clark further expands its dealer network in the Middle East. Having already successfully acquired sales partners in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, the Ibin Ajayan Trading Company as part of the Ibin Ajayan Group in Qatar is the latest addition to join our network of official dealers from early October 2009.
The Emirate of Qatar is located in the Persian Gulf to the east of the Arabian Peninsula and is a major oil and gas producer. “We consider the Middle East as a whole to be a very important future market with high potential for Clark in which we will be represented even more in the coming years”, confirmed Egon Strehl, Managing Director of Clark Europe GmbH. “What is even more gratifying is that we are able to use the new partnership in Qatar to further consolidate our existing presence of Clark in the Middle East.” The cooperation was sealed on 4th October 2009. The contract was signed by Sheikh Mouhammed Mahdi Ajayan Al Ahbabi (Chief Executive of Ibin Ajayan Group) and Thomas Hansen (Clark Sales Manager for the Middle East and East Africa) in the presence of Sheikh Ajayan Al Ahbabi (General Manager of Ibin Ajayan Trading Group) and Charles Mansour (General Manager of Ibin Ajayan Trading Co. WLL). The first joint step in operating business will be conducted in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Several technicians from the Ibin Ajayan Trading Group will be travelling to Germany to visit the Clark headquarters and receive product training. The aim: to offer customers the very best of services on site in Qatar. The new partnership was also reported in the leading newspaper in the Emirate, the “Al Sharq” newspaper as well as the official magazine of the Chamber of Commerce in Doha, the “Al Mutakla” magazine.
Did You Know? . . .
. . . That the outside vertical bars on all Gen 2, GTX and GEX style Load Back rests have a specially shaped profile.
So What! This means that the heads of the bolts are not protruding and will not snag on an adjacent load.
Benefit: No damage to bolt heads. Shrink wrap, protective coverings and products on adjacent pallets are not damaged. – Less costs
Yet another reason for buying Clark !
PEOPLE AND MARKETS
Clarklift South Africa wins Gold Award
Continuing on their road to success is Clarklift South Africa. This sales partner of Clark Europe GmbH was obviously not content with just winning the “Best Dealer” accolade in 2007. The above-average success of this Clark dealer showed no signs of slowing down in 2008. Clarklift South Africa sold over 250 Clark forklifts. As a reward for this extraordinary sales achievement, the Team of Clarklift South Africa received the “Clark Gold Achievement Award” presented to General Manager Francois Otto (2nd from left). Even South Africa has felt the painful effects of the global financial crisis. But the optimism at Clarklift South Africa remains unbroken and the order of 40 machines during the visit of Clark Managing Director, Egon Strehl (3rd from left) and International Sales Manager Jeff Green (2nd from left) and the beginning of November 2009 underscores this truly commendable achievement.
Upturn in the Middle East
We are confident that even in the Middle East the economy is noticeably on the up and this is reflected in Clark’s order books. Clark sales partners in the key markets of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, Jordan and Turkey have ordered large numbers of machines to stock up their warehouses and also so they can fulfil customer orders directly. Further large scale orders are envisaged. This shows that with our increased involvement in the Middle East, we are truly on the right path. A further Dealer Support Center is also planned in the region.
British Clark dealer visit Mülheim
Top seller pays a flying visit
Guests to Rhine-Ruhr were two British top sellers from Clark Spare Parts Business.
Clark of fered an incentive in 2008 and the winners won a two day visit to the Clark headquarters in Mülheim an der Ruhr. On 13th October 2009, the t ime had come; Les Marshall from Bel Lift Trucks Ltd. and Paul Vousden from Active Handling Stacatruc travelled to Mülheim an der Ruhr, accompanied by UK Sales Manager Jeff Green. After visiting the Clark headquarters, our guests from Great Britain were aptly taken on a guided tour of Düsseldorf’s Old Town, accompanied by Parts Director Markus Jöckel amongst others.
Clark presents electric warehouse technology with and without driver platform
Uncompromised durability, easy to operate and low maintenance. Clark expands it warehouse technology range with the introduction of three new electric models: The C PS 15 P (rider/pedestrian palette stacker), the C PSi 15 P (rider/pedestrian palette stacker with initial lift), and the C PSLS 15 (pedestrian straddle leg stacker) have all developed out of different challenges. The same can be said for as limited space, changing load conditions and increased operational use. With carrying loads of up to 1500 kg, the new Clark machines feature lighter handling, improved manoeuvrability and greater stability, even at full capacity loads.
The Double Decker: C PSi 15 P
The C PSi 15 P electric model is designed as a rider/pedestrian palette stacker with fold-away platform, which increases both the flexibility and handling capacity of goods up to 1500 kg. With initial lift function, the C PSi 15 P (maximum lift height of 4650 mm) is the perfect solution for overcoming medium duty lifting operations and can also be utilised as a pallet truck. Demonstrating increased efficiencies in shelving operations, horizontal transport, truck loading and unloading, block stacking and order picking also allows the possibility of transporting two loads simultaneously. For effortless operation and a safer working environment at maximum travel speeds up to 9.5 km/h, this model provides a range of forklift compliant functions: the ergonomically designed towing bar, one-handed operation with right and left hand as standard, hub motors with exceptional torque, as well as free view masts for maximum visibility. Another outstanding feature is the microprocessor control and the use of AC technology with factory fitted low maintenance components.
The Robust: C PS 15 P
The C PS 15 P electric rider/pedestrian palette stacker with fold-away driver platform is perfectly suited for more challenging warehouse conditions. The robust design with 4-point lift system ensures total side stability when carrying capacities of up to 1500 kg. In addition, the masts made from cold drawn steel prevent torsion and bending. The maximum lift height is 4650 mm whereas the maximum travel speed when fully loaded is 8.5 km/h. For optimal safety and ergonomics this model has the same features as the C PSi 15 P. To sum up: thanks to proven technical components, the C PS 15 P is also an extremely flexible, highly deployable and reliable piece of transporting equipment.
The Flexible: C PSLS 15
The new electric pedestrian straddle leg stacker C PSLS 15 is capable of pallet transporting and warehousing, as well as for handling special loads such as gitter boxes, loading platforms and trolleys. Two outwardly pivoting wheel arms (straddle legs) provide the stability necessary for driving when lifting or lowering loads (max. lift height 4650 mm). The C PSLS 15 has a maximum load capacity of 1500 kg. The advantage: the fork spacing can be adjusted according to the carrying load and the FEM fork carriers make it possible for easy fork positioning.
Clark makes donation for orphans in Kenya
“Ahada” means hope
A water tank for 300 pupils, windows for the classrooms - and every day a warm meal. With the support of Clark Europe GmbH, the Child Support Project “Ahada” (hope) and the “Child Rescue Center” in Kenya can take another step further.
In June 2009, Egon Strehl Managing Director of Clark Europe GmbH presented the Mülheim Balloon Club with a cheque for over Euro 1,000 to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The purpose: to help the “Child Rescue Centre” (CRC) in Kenya, which the Balloon Club has supported over many years. The CRC is an orphanage in Thika, an hour’s drive north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. In close proximity to the Child Rescue Center is the Rubiru school where over 60 orphans attend. The orphans are sometimes cared for by relatives, but often the families do not have the money to support the children by themselves. The Ahadi “hope” project came about to ensure that the children can at least have a meal at the school. The donation money made by Clark and other supporters was presented in July 2009. The head teacher gratefully received the donation in Nairobi and even made sure that the framed Clark cheque found pride of place at the CRC.
What is absolutely certain is that the donation money received will be put into good use. The Beckwith family from the Balloon Club Mülheim were utterly convinced that the money would make a positive difference to the CRC project and to the Rubiru school. Mama Luka can now finance mealtimes for the school children and the CRC can provide their children with a better home. Even some farm animals, including cows, chickens, rabbits and goats have been acquired in the meantime.
From person to person: Clark supports Friedensdorf campaign “Help is being packed”
As in the previous year, the Clark team also took part in the 2009 campaign “Help is being packed” for the charity partner Friedensdorf International. “Even though the financial crisis has hit all of us hard, it is by no comparison the same kind of hardship that people in troubled areas around the world have to suffer”, says Egon Strehl, Managing Director of Clark Europe GmbH. “If we can lessen some of this suffering, then we should make every effort to do so”. This was also the opinion of the Clark employees who helped pack and load numerous packages and parcels containing basic foodstuffs, which the Friedensdorf employers in December 2009 transported to those in need in Armenia, Georgia and Tadzhikistan. To make loading that little bit easier, Clark also donated along with the packages a handoperated pallet truck.