Last December, Hörmann UK announced the acquisition of the South Lincolnshire based Fen-Bay Group, in a move which saw Hörmann strengthen its position as the market leader in the supply and servicing of loading bay equipment, industrial doors and perimeter systems.
The acquisition also included Transdek who became part of the Fen-Bay Group in 2020.
Based in Doncaster Transdek are a specialist in the design, manufacture and installation of modular loading solutions and lifting systems.
Leon Butler, Managing Director of Transdek UK, tells Warehouse & Logistics News what the acquisition has meant for Transdek.
What changes have there been since Transdek became part of the Hörmann Group?
Within the last 9 months we have been able to move the servicing of Transdek equipment over to the dedicated Service Centre at Fen-Bay, for their service teams to focus on the 24/7 aftercare and asset care. This allows Transdek in Doncaster to concentrate on working with our existing and prospective customers on specific design solutions to allow more efficient logistics; quicker loading times, reduced number of road miles and reduced CO2 by running more efficient trailers.
We can put all our focus on the solutions side of the company and our manufacturing capability , as everything produced is built right here in Doncaster.
This ability to focus on the product, since we joined the Hörmann Group gives us scalability. We have always been a UK manufacturer and installer working in what is quite a frantic UK logistics industry, it’s intense, with lots of goods DC-to-DC movement. Being part of the Hörmann Group now allows us to get our solutions into the EU, into Germany, Portugal, Spain, France and beyond.
The Hörmann Group have also provided investment for our warehousing and manufacturing capability. We are only 4,500 square metres in size and the investments made so far have been about increasing efficiencies in our manufacturing processes. We have already created a larger storage area for our goods-in area and increased the high bay racking to increase materials storage. A new paint shop is in progress which will allow us to reduce the energy used in the procedure and achieve improved paint drying times, from 4 hours down to 45 minutes.
The investment to make our manufacturing slicker is just one side. The other part is that we recognised very quickly is that Hörmann UK have a fantastic National Distribution Centre at their head office in Coalville. There they have a training academy, an exhibition space where they display all the latest products and a newly developed demonstration area where engineers can be trained and have refreshers on the Hörmann equipment. This demonstration area also enables us to conduct live product displays for clients, there’s nothing quite like being able to show just how a product works in a real-life situation.
What does the acquisition mean in terms of investment, growth and opportunities that may not have been available before?
Hörmann have something like 5,000 salespeople and now Transdek products are included in their portfolio. This is the key to opening the European market and creating a sizeable export market into which we can expand. Investment-wise, we have now got the backing of a well-known, financially stable Group. If a product looks good and it’s suitable for the market we now have the ability to get on and do it.
What will the acquisition mean for the long-term stability of Transdek?
The important thing about the acquisition is that Hörmann have seen that the products are good, the quality is there, the solutions are there and are right for the market, and they just wanted it to grow. This means that the long-term stability of our manufacturing in Doncaster is stable, there is no uncertainty within this acquisition that anything is going to change in terms of workforce reduction or change of product or anything being moved outside of what we produce.
All the developments and changes are around improving the manufacturing process to increase the volumes going out the door, whilst maintaining the quality and innovation for which we are well known.
What are the unique aspects of the Transdek range that you are bringing to Hörmann?
The unique aspects of our range are the modular pods that can be installed either as a retro fit or in new build situations. Everything is fully manufactured here as completed units and assemblies. These are transported in modular blocks and then installed on a customer’s site in one to three days, quick as no civils are required.
The Transdek unit sits straight onto an existing yard or warehouse slab without any foundations required. If the yard is good for an HGV, it’s good for a Transdek unit. We literally bring the base, drop it into place, fix it down and pop a lid onto it – it’s a plug and play solution.
Further down the line if a customer moves from a site because they have outgrown it into a larger site, they simply take the unit with them and reinstall it. We’ve done this with several customers as their logistics have changed over time and moved from one trailer type to a larger capacity trailer – the lift is future proof, ready for them to accept the larger trailer. The ability to move units is also ideal for companies if they move from a short lease location into a more permanent location, they can pick the asset up, take it with them and reinstall it, with no dilapidation costs for exiting the site, giving them total flexibility.
Do you have anything new you are bringing to the market or that is under development that you can discuss?
We have created a lift called the universal dock lift (UDL). This allows for any type of vehicle, HGV, LGV, van (Mercedes Sprinter for example), to be unloaded from a traditional 1.2m loading bay door, something you cannot achieve with a dock leveller because the angles of a dock leveller to range down to only 0.3m, so to service a fixed double decker is just not possible. We have one of these lifts at the demonstration area at Coalville ready to illustrate just how it brings ultimate flexibility to a loading bay.
The Transdek UDL has a pocket to accept a tail lift underneath it and the bridge plate folds to create a smaller aperture to allow the safe loading of a Transit van. It can then be quickly adjusted so that you have the full width (2.2m) of the loading bridge to load an HGV.
We have also just launched an interactive presentation which is available on our website. This features all our products, you can view relevant case studies, videos and download the technical specifications. It’s not just about the machinery development, it’s also about backing up these great products in an easily accessible manner, with online support that customers can look at and think I want to talk to these guys and find out more.
Is there anything else you want to add?
We have always worked with customers from the original scoping out – asking can this concept work, what does it mean for the logistics, what changes are needed and how can we provide a solution. Some of our customers have been with us over 15 years and I would like to believe these collaborations will remain, that we have built strong, lasting partnerships. That has got to be a testament not just to the product we manufacture and supply, but to my team as well.