An organic food business has changed its entire fleet of material handling equipment, now to be exclusively supplied by Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA).
Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co., located on the NSW Central Coast, is a leading supplier of premium-quality certified organic meat and other organic food products. It produces retail-ready meat products and supplies to major supermarkets under the Cleavers Organic brand and its other private labels.
The new fleet consists of four Toyota LWE180 electric-powered pedestrian pallet jacks with maintenance-free batteries, two LHM230 Quick Lifter hand pallet jacks, two 8FBE18 counterbalance 3-wheel electric forklifts, a 7300 double-deep reach forklift, and a 8FBR16 moving-mast reach forklift for cold storage warehousing.
Both the LWE180 and the 8FBE18 are fitted with Toyota’s I_Site telematics and fleet management system, which helps fleet and logistic managers to understand vehicle status, driver performance, and overall productivity in their material handling operations.
Rounding out the exclusively TMHA-provided fleet is a Huski Construction Equipment SV06ENS E-Series 6000mm electric Scissor Lift for plant maintenance.
Rick Vella, chief operating officer at Arcadian, says the catalyst for such a significant investment in the new material handling equipment fleet included his past experience with TMHA, experience with business expansion in general, and unreliability of the preceding fleet.
“My employment history has included being a warehouse manager for many years in Sydney, so obviously being in charge of the material handling equipment,” explains Vella.
“I had various different equipment suppliers in that role, but ended up with Toyota, and they were my equipment supplier-of-choice when I left that role.”
The business’ growth has included major expansion to its plant operations in West Gosford, which has allowed it to expand into other non-meat organic food categories.
“With more space, there was obviously a requirement for more material handling equipment,” says Vella.
“When I started with Arcadian, I reviewed the material handling equipment inventory and I wasn’t happy with the performance of that equipment. It wasn’t meeting my reliability standards.
“So, we went through the checklist of our requirements, the number one consideration on our scorecard was reliability, and paired with that, regular servicing and strong customer service.”
According to Vella, although up-front price was one consideration, when examining suppliers, one must always balance the scorecard with a longer-term view.
“It’s about having equipment that you can rely on to perform in the long-term, in order to recover your investment costs. This is just as important, if not more important than the initial upfront purchase price,” adds Vella.
“Price is important, but more important is reliability. The lack of reliability and downtime we were getting from our old equipment was costing us, and it was unacceptable.
“So, with Toyota being able to assure us of more up-time, that was a big consideration when specifying the new fleet. The quality of equipment, the reliability of the equipment and its functionality were definitely key factors.”
Having had its new material handling fleet for over 12-months now, Vella reports virtually no issues to date.
“We haven’t had any bad problems and that rewards my buy-into the Toyota brand. I actually do think it’s great equipment, it’s a great offer,” Vella concludes.