Industrial Cleaning and Forklifts

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Industrial Cleaning Equipment Purchases

After a thorough search through company websites, trusted media sites, and market research databases, we were unable to pinpoint definitively the person who would be in charge of making the decision to purchase floor cleaning equipment for both Amazon and DHL. However, based on available information, we were able to identify current employees that could be responsible for vendor approval/physical facilities management, and, when possible, their contact information. Please read on below for a full breakdown of our findings.

METHODOLOGY

Amazon and DHL are both large, global organizations, which complicated the search to pinpoint what branch of the organization would be in charge of physical facilities, or if this responsibility was fractured among other department/geographic areas. DHL was further complicated by the fact that there are several corporate divisions under the parent group Deutsche Post DHL Group, including DHL express, DHL e commerce, DHL Freight, etc. We began our search by trying to find information on each company's structure and organization. Although this information provided some clarity, it did not definitively identify which department would be in charge of physical facilities. We then began searching for individual departments that might exist in each company and were more likely to be in charge of vendors for physical facilities, including facilities management, operational management, environment, health, and safety, etc. We also attempted to find potential job duties by searching for individual job openings and positions-- especially at the senior or VP level. All of these searches helped provide some information, but ultimately did not definitively point to one person's or role's information. We've provided below information on people we believe potentially would be in charge, or have some say in, vendors for each company's physical facilities/warehouses. Our explanation for each inclusion, as well as our more specific search methods for each company are provided below. For each person, we attempted to locate further contact information, including email and direct phone number. However, no contact information for any of these people were publicly available, except potentially behind a paywall. Often, high ranking executives of business people actively prevent their contact information from being available, especially at such high profile companies as Amazon or DHL.

AMAZON

Amazon is, of course, a very large, global organization with many services and branches. We began our search by looking for an overall organizational chart to help narrow down our search. Among Amazon's top executives, it seemed, based on the available descriptions of their jobs, and the names of their divisions, that Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operation, was ultimately in charge of all fulfillment operations, including the physical facilities. However, it seemed unlikely that such a senior executive would actually be making a decision about cleaning vendors, and there was no publicly available information to suggest that he did. We then began searching for titles and roles within the operations and facilities department. We were able to find some open job descriptions and posting about these different positions, which suggested the facilities management position was perhaps the most likely, based on job description, to deal with vendors for warehouse/distribution centers. Within the facilities management division, we attempted to identify a chain of command, in order to pinpoint where within the hierarchy the person ultimately approving such vendor contracts/buying would be. Ultimately, there was no publicly available information to definitively prove that one position was in charge of decision-making in terms of cleaning supply and equipment purchases for warehouse/distribution centers. That being said, we did identify two people that could have this decision-making power within the United States divisions. It should be noted that based on our searches on LinkedIn, there were several people who were potential matches, but had set the privacy of their profiles such that their names could not be identified/their profile could not be viewed.


Donna Kelly is a Senior Facilities Manager at Amazon in the Silicon Valley. She does not provide any information about her specific roles, but her profile suggests she works/has worked with suppliers/contractors in the past. Further contact information beyond her LinkedIn profile is not publicly available.


Mr. Oddieo is a Sr. Facilities Services Manager at Amazon Lab 126, in California. He lists his specialities and current work on vendor management and securities management. Within his current job description at Amazon he states: "[I] oversee all facility service related activities for Amazon in Silicon Valley including new cafes and food services for all new Amazon sites in North America." We were able to find a Facebook profile that matched his name and job title. One contact-finding web suggested they might have his email/direct phone number, but requires a download and subscription to a plan to view.

DHL

As stated above, DHL is a conglomeration of several companies under the parent group Deutsche Post DHL Group, including DHL express, DHL e commerce, DHL Freight, etc. We followed a similar research process as with Amazon, searching for organizational leadership charts, different job titles, and individual roles in divisions. In our search, we were able to identify the DHL Express's Director of Project Management, Facilities, and Infrastructure in the United States, a seemingly likely candidate for physical warehouse/facilities management:

1.) Tim Lang, Director of Project Management, Facilities, and Infrastructure

On his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Lang states: "[I am] responsible for all US projects, 112 facilities, and infrastructure." After a thorough search, we were unable to find any publicly available information for Mr. Lang's email/further contact information.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Forklift Manufacturers Sales Process

As case studies outlining the sales process of forklift manufacturers in the United States are not readily available in the public domain, we created case studies using publicly available information on the country's top forklift manufacturers, namely, Hyster-Yale Material Handling Inc., Crown Equipment Corporation, and Cat Lift Trucks. Hyster-Yale sells forklift trucks via its independent dealers and its National Accounts program, while both Crown and Cat sell forklift trucks via a dealer network. All three offer, in one way or another, leases, financing options, and aftermarket training or support. While the sales process time frames and the lease terms and rates of these manufacturers could not be located in the public domain, the whole sales process, from initial engagement to deal closure, reportedly could take as long as 12 to 18 months for industrial machinery.

METHODOLOGY

To confirm whether the requested case studies are readily available in the public domain, we looked for recently published articles, reports, white papers, and studies covering the forklift sales process and scoured databases of case studies for anything particular to this topic. Case study databases such as Effie and Warc, however, focus on advertising and marketing, and the most relevant source we were able to find with our initial approach is The Forklift Pro's article on the used forklift sales process.

As our initial strategy did not yield the desired case studies, we decided to create case studies based on the sales processes of top forklift manufacturers in the United States. (We understand these forklift manufacturers need not be headquartered in the country.) Using Hexa Research's report on the United States forklift market, we have identified these top forklift manufacturers to be Hyster-Yale Material handling Inc., Crown Equipment Corporation, and Cat Lift Trucks. These companies are top players in terms of revenue. To find information on sales processes, we scoured these manufacturers' websites, especially the parts describing the services. Annual reports, presentations, and other publications, where available, were also examined. This second approach proved more productive than the first, as it led us to information on the following topics: whether the company sells products through an internal sales team or a distributor network, whether the company offers financing and leasing options, and whether the company provides after-sales support or training. The only things we were unable to find were the time frame for the sales process and the lease terms and rates.

In finding these missing pieces of information, we checked if the media, press, or academic community has covered anything about the duration or length of the sales process or the lease terms and rates of forklift manufacturers. We did this for each of the top forklift manufacturers identified by Hexa Research. While we were unable to find the sales process time frame and lease terms and rates of Hyster-Yale, Crown, and Cat with this last strategy, we came across Toyota Lift Northwest's article on how long it takes to get a new forklift. When we broadened our search to industrial machinery, we came across Customer Think's article on how to shorten the sales cycle. There appears to be no paywalled resource covering these topics.

HYSTER-YALE MATERIAL HANDLING INC.

There are two ways by which Hyster-Yale distributes its forklift trucks and attachments: independent dealers and the National Accounts program. In the Americas, Hyster and Yale had 20 and 32 independent dealers, respectively, as of the end of fiscal year 2017. Hyster-Yale sells directly to large customers (with centralized purchasing) through its National Accounts program. Aftermarket parts and services, however, are distributed exclusively by the independent dealers. There is no indication online of how long this sales process is.

Hyster-Yale directly offers financing options to its dealers and customers through HYG Financial Services (HYGFS), an entity created as a result of the company's joint venture agreement with Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. Dealers are given extended credit, while customers are offered financing options for the purchase or lease of lift trucks. The joint venture agreement allows Hyster-Yale to receive fees and remarketing profits.

Leases appear to be available. Through HYGFS, the company offers operating lease financing, which relates to "specific sale-leaseback-sublease transactions for certain customers whereby the company sells lift trucks to HYGFS, leases these lift trucks back under an operating lease agreement and then subleases those lift trucks to customers under an operating lease agreement." The lease terms and rates are unfortunately not available in the public domain. This may be because terms and rates vary depending on customer needs.

The independent dealers are the ones providing aftermarket support. Working closely with these dealers, Hyster-Yale undertakes excellence initiatives to help dealers become better equipped to handle aftermarket support, rental fleet effectiveness, asset management, and service excellence.

CROWN EQUIPMENT CORPORATION

Crown relies on its dealer network to sell or offer its material handling machinery, support services, and storage solutions. It has more than 500 retail locations across 80 countries. The company's dealers are a mix of independent and company-owned dealers. Regarding the time frame of its sales process, Crown has not disclosed any information about it.

It offers flexible financing options to customers buying or renting new or pre-owned lift trucks. For purchases or rental of lift trucks, the local branch could be contacted for financing options. When it comes to rental, the company offers well-maintained, heavy-duty lift trucks. Prior rental, it inspects lift trucks thoroughly to guarantee reliable and consistent operation. It promises fast, same-day delivery for rentals requested by 11 a.m through Rental Express. Crown does not publicly share its lease terms and rates.

The company's aftermarket support comes in the form of safety and training options and aftermarket parts and services. Safety and training options include DP MoveSafe for operator and pedestrian training, DP LeadSafe for supervisor training, Demonstrated Performance Service Training for service technician training, and DP TrainSafe for train-the-trainer training. These training classes are offered at the company's retail branches and regional training centers. Crown also has aftermarket parts and service programs, such as its Integrity Service System, which monitors first-call fix rates, technician response time, and parts and service availability, its Battery Charger Service, and its On-Site Consignment Program, which "provides inventory of Crown parts in the customer facility on a pay-as-used basis." Services can be requested via the Crown Service Request App.

CAT LIFT TRUCKS

Cat's forklift trucks are sold via a dealer network. It is the dealer network that supplies, manages, and maintains client fleets. Dealer service personnel are chosen based on their practical experience and technical expertise. They undergo regular training to guarantee they give only the best advice and service. Whether the dealer network is composed of company-owned and independent dealers and how long the sales process is could not be ascertained from publicly available information, however.

Cat offers financing solutions only for the rental or contract hiring of forklift trucks. It offers ownership and non-ownership leases. The ownership lease, also known as the financial lease or the capital lease, is an on-balance-sheet financial solution that does not entail any fixed maintenance obligation. This is recommended for companies with their own service mechanics. On the other hand, the non-ownership lease, also known as the full-service operational lease, is an off-balance-sheet financing solution that is inclusive of maintenance and repair. Unfortunately, the terms and rates of these leases are not publicly available.

Regarding the aftermarket training and support that Cat provides, dealers have at their disposal Cat's Planned Maintenance (PM) and Total Maintenance & Repair (TM&R) programs, which are considered forklift warranties. Customers have the option to customize service agreements. Cat also has on-call service vans, which are fully equipped with specialized tooling and stocks of select service items. Service technicians are well-trained to guarantee services are performed to the highest possible standards.

SALES PROCESS TIMEFRAME

Based on The Forklift Pro's article on selling used forklifts, a realistic timeline for funding and logistics is typically established after the initial conversation. Hyster-Yale, Crown, and Cat's respective time frames for selling forklifts are not publicly available, but Customer Think's article on shortening the sales cycle suggests that for industrial machinery, the whole sales process, from initial engagement to deal closure, could take as long as 12 to 18 months.

Toyota Lift Northwest's article on how long it takes to get a new forklift also shows that while delivery takes only one to two days for forklifts that are readily available in inventory, the duration stretches to at most 147 days for factory-ordered forklifts. Factory-ordered forklifts take anywhere between 106 days and 147 days. This is because building forklifts to customer specifications takes anywhere between 90 days to 120 days, delivery from factory to warehouse takes anywhere between 7 days to 10 days, final checks by territory managers take anywhere between 7 days to 14 days, and delivery to customer takes anywhere between 2 days to 3 days.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "The Company relies primarily on independent dealers for sales of lift trucks and aftermarket parts. Sales of the Company's products are therefore subject to the quality and effectiveness of the dealers, who are not subject to the Company's direct control."
  • "The Company is engaged in a joint venture with Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. (“WF”) to provide dealer and customer financing of new lift trucks in the United States. "
  • "Under the joint venture agreement with HYGFS, the Company’s dealers and certain customers are extended credit for the purchase of lift trucks to be placed in the dealer’s floor plan inventory or the financing of lift trucks that are sold or leased to customers. "
  • "The Company distributes lift trucks and attachments primarily through two channels: independent dealers and a National Accounts program. In addition, the Company distributes aftermarket parts and service for its lift trucks through its independent dealers. The Company’s end-user base is diverse and fragmented, including, among others, light and heavy manufacturers, trucking and automotive companies, rental companies, building materials and paper suppliers, lumber, metal products, warehouses, retailers, food distributors, container handling companies and U.S. and non-U.S. governmental agencies."
  • "In each region, certain marketing support functions for the Hyster® and Yale® brands are carried out by shared-services teams. These activities include sales and service training, information systems support, product launch coordination, specialized sales material development, help desks, order entry, marketing strategy and field service support. "
  • "The Company offers a line of aftermarket parts to service its large installed base of lift trucks currently in use in the industry."
Quotes
  • "From our smallest hand pallet truck to our highest lifting turret truck, Crown designs, manufactures, distributes, services and supports material handling products that provide customers with superior value."
  • "Our broad global dealer network provides a wide variety of quality material handling equipment, storage solutions and support services. "
  • "Crown has an extensive global production, sales and service network to meet customer needs anytime, anywhere. Our strategic locations worldwide offer reliable, flexible and responsive support including sales, service, regional training centers and much more."
Quotes
  • "Crown’s expansive dealer network is ready to support you before, during and after the sale. Our comprehensive customer service helps you get more done while ensuring safe operations."
  • "Crown's leadership in lift truck design is mirrored by its excellence in forklift training. With regional training centers and additional training options through our extensive branch and dealer network, we offer the most tailored and comprehensive operator and service training programs available."
  • "Crown provides reliable, responsive service to keep your fleet moving. Customers trust Crown’s System of Performance to maintain their Crown lift trucks and mixed fleets. "
Quotes
  • "Our network includes more than 500 retail locations in over 80 countries and spans the continents of North America and Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, and in the countries of Brazil and China. Each location offers products and services uniquely tailored to the local market while providing a consistent customer experience worldwide."
Quotes
  • "Buy or Rent, new and pre-owned lift trucks. Crown’s flexible finance options mean you get the equipment and service you need at a price that fits your budget."
  • "Whether you are buying a new or second-hand lift truck, a Crown purchase is an investment in quality."
  • "Rent the right truck – right now. Crown’s branch network has the newest and widest range of lift trucks available for rental backed by industry-leading support."
Quotes
  • "Working with our dealer network, we supply, manage and maintain client fleets, to deliver highly targeted and cost-effective materials handling solutions that maximise utilisation. This means that our customers benefit by keeping their fleet sizes and therefore number of operators to a minimum without adversely affecting output and simultaneously lowering their total cost of process."
  • "We select our Cat® Lift Trucks dealer service personnel based on their technical expertise and practical experience. Through regular and on-going training programmes, our highly qualified salesmen are trained to offer you the best advice on material handling equipment to match your requirements, whilst our technical training allows for fast, accurate maintenance and servicing of your forklift trucks & other equipment with the absolute minimum of downtime."
  • "By working closely with our authorised Cat® dealers, we strive to set the service standard within the materials handling industry for delivering the best possible materials handling service. And this in turn helps to ensure that the service you obtain, from financing through warranty and maintenance, to spare parts, is of extremely high quality and that your forklift trucks perform optimally."
Quotes
  • "Financial Lease/ Capital Lease / Ownership Lease This Cat finance option is an on-balance-sheet facility without a fixed maintenance obligation. This might be especially interesting for companies that have their own service mechanics. The monthly payments cover the whole of the capital outlay of your trucks. Rentals are not reduced because there is no residual value. You are the owner of the equipment."
  • "(Full service) operational Lease or Non-Ownership Lease This Cat finance solutions is an Off Balance-sheet method of finance that could include all maintenance and repair. These easy to budget rental payments include VAT and are 100% tax deductible as operating expense. Finance Vendor or a third party will guarantee a residual value which reduces the rental payments. You are not the owner of the equipment."
Quotes
  • "Our dealerships employ well-trained and dedicated service technicians to ensure inspections and service operations are carried out to the highest professional standards. This means that potential problems can be identified quickly and prevented."
  • "Using the latest technical information and genuine Cat parts ensures fast repairs and minimal downtime."
  • "Fully equipped service vans, carrying specialized tooling and carefully selected stocks of service items, are on call to ensure the best quality care for your fleet."
Quotes
  • "The Cat Planned Maintenance (PM) and Total Maintenance & Repair (TM&R) programmes take the stress out of lift truck maintenance. Our forklift warranty allows you to concentrate on your business, while a professional takes care of your lift trucks. In addition to keeping your trucks in peak operating condition, customised agreements help you save money,"
  • "With a tailored service agreement, you are assured a high-quality service which is carrier out, administered and monitored by your dealer. Wear or problems identifies early during scheduled inspections generate preventative maintenance action. Ad such, downtime caused by unexpected failure is minimised."
  • "PM and TM&R maintenance and repair programmes offer more than standard maintenance programmes."
  • "Your Cat dealer will work with you to customise a PM or TM&R agreement which corresponds to the specific demand of your operation."
Quotes
  • "This unique and powerful infrastructure enables our dealers to supply the right warehouse equipment and forklift parts, in the right place, at the right time. When you buy a Cat® part, you can rest assured it has been manufactured from top quality materials to meet the original design standard. Genuine Cat® warehouse equipment and forklift truck parts guarantee full exchange compatibility and possess the same durability and reliability standards as the original parts."
Quotes
  • "A new, factory-ordered forklift can take anywhere from 106 days to 147 days."
  • "After 90-120 days of hard work at the factory, your forklift is ready to be shipped to our warehouse. "
  • "Before your forklift leaves our warehouse, our Territory Managers do one final check. This entire process takes about 7-14 days, but can vary depending on the workload of our shop at the time of your forklift’s arrival."
  • "Once we are certain your forklift meets all of your requirements, one of our drivers loads it up and brings it to you, which can take 2-3 days depending on the delivery schedule."
Quotes
  • "We define the sales cycle as the time it takes for the average prospect (if there is such a thing!) to progress from initial engagement to close of business. In some industries (e.g. enterprise software or industrial machinery), this cycle can be as long as 12-18 months and requires a large amount of time from the sales team."
Quotes
  • "Major players in this market comprise of companies such as Hyster-Yale Material handling Inc., Crown Equipment Corporation, Cat Lift Trucks, Clark Material Handling, Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. and several others."
Quotes
  • "Unexpected increases in warehouse activity require a quick solution. Rental Express, the fast track to forklift rental solutions, guarantees same day delivery when requested by 11 a.m. or the first day is free."
Quotes
  • "Crown makes training available through our regional training centers and retail branches located across the United States. Crown offers training classes for your operators, trainers, supervisors, pedestrians and service technicians. "
  • "Crown offers quality tools and resources for your training department. Our DP TrainSafe Train-the-Trainer program and our comprehensive line of course materials provide a program to efficiently train your employees."
Quotes
  • "The Crown’s Integrity Service System tracks multiple factors that impact the effectiveness of your service program. Technician response time, first-call fix rates and service and parts availability all have a direct impact on the productivity of your fleet."
  • "There’s more to maximizing uptime than just maintaining your forklifts. Crown’s professional service technicians are also trained to service and maintain forklift batteries and chargers, providing a one stop shop to keep your fleet moving. "
  • "The Crown Service Request app provides a fast and convenient way to request service from your smartphone or mobile device."
Quotes
  • "Crown provides an inventory of parts at the customer facility. Our consignment program provides inventory of Crown parts in the customer facility on a pay-as-used basis. This allows customers to reduce costs by eliminating inventory management, parts procurement labor costs, parts obsolescence loss, freight costs and downtime."