President and CEO of Toyota Material Handling Australia, Steve Takacs pointed-out how vital it is for its customers to continue to receive TMHA sales, service and support, so they can continue their businesses during COVID-19 restrictions.
Mr Takacs said TMHA has been included as an essential service provider in the logistics and supply chain industry from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“Logistics and support services have always been included considered essential to the continuation of the economy by the government, even before the lockdowns, and that is indicative of how literally essential our Toyota forklifts are,” said Mr Takacs.
TMHA are exempted from public health order restrictions because the government understands that disruptions to supply chains adversely affect Australians’ access to essential goods and services, and that material handling equipment is vital to the continuity of trade in the economy,” said Mr Takacs.
“TMHA is so deeply entrenched in the logistics industry in Australia that by very definition we are an essential business in the supply chain. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought-on a huge increase in demand for food, groceries and medicine, and there has been a corresponding increase in demand for material handling and transport.”
Mr Takacs pointed out that TMHA equipment is involved at all stages of the nation’s products reaching their distribution destinations.
“If you look at where we at TMHA come in to play – let’s take a loaf of bread, for example – we go all the way back to the farmer who is using our forklifts.
“To reach the shelves at a major supermarket it undertakes a journey that involves our material handling equipment from beginning-to-end. From the wheat-seed producer to the farmer that grows the wheat, the wheat moving to the grain mill, then to the baker, to the supermarket loading dock, then also via our equipment within the store until it reaches the shelf.
“The same scenario is in place for any supermarket products, even a can of baked beans. We supply equipment to the farmers that grow the beans, the can-makers who make the cans and the processing plants that bake the beans.
“There's no point keeping your Coles, Woolworths, Aldi or IGA open without material handling equipment working behind the scenes in the supply chain. There would be nothing to put on the shelf.”
Emphasising the volume of materials involved in supply chain logistics Mr Takacs said “These farmers we are talking about aren’t growing produce by the bucket, they have thousands of acres of crops and when they load a truck it’s generally a B-double and they don't do it by hand, they do it with a forklift because no one can afford to perform those duties efficiently with manual labour.
“Nobody makes a conscious choice to buy a forklift just because they want one, they buy them because they have to.
“So it is essential for TMHA to be able to provide our equipment, service and support to the market given that essentially half of the nation's businesses rely on us to help keep their businesses alive.
“If you went to your fridge or pantry and did an inventory, the majority of it would have been handled by Toyota Material Handling equipment at some stage. Every item you can think of – not just foodstuffs but medicines, fuels, oils, building materials – and this repeats for products right across the country.”
“We are concentrated in the corporate end of town.” . “Take for example the major food manufacturers. We provide our Toyota forklifts to big blue-chip companies such as Nestle, Goodman Fielder, Cargill, Uncle Tobys, Kellogg’s.
“It is the same for the supply chain, our customers are likewise large blue-chip logistics companies such as for example Toll, Linfox, DHL – which is presently handling the Pfizer vaccine influx with our Toyota forklifts – and we also supply Australia Post” Mr Takacs said.
TMHA customers have greatly appreciated TMHA being able to operate in lockdowns, as evidenced by one of its strategic partners offering to support TMHA staff, Mr Takacs said. “Our customers are absolutely appreciative of our ability to continue to operate and be available to ensure their equipment needs are met.
“One of our major corporate customers has expressed their gratitude for our ongoing support during the pandemic by allowing our staff to use their private in-house drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities because they see us as a true partner, not just a supplier, and see the importance of our staff being safe as well.
“It's a clear indicator of how vital our role is in keeping our customers’ businesses going. They rely on us and know we are crucial to their ongoing success. It’s evidence of a very strong partnership.”
Asked to summarise TMHA’s importance to the economy, Mr Takacs said “If things can’t be moved, business can't happen.
“When you think about the economy and keeping it buoyant, then equipment that moves material is intrinsic and essential to that.
“No matter if it’s big business or small, goods must reach a point-of-sale. If you don't have the equipment to move goods in order to get them to that point-of-sale, then you obviously can't sell them. We at TMHA are a critical part of achieving that.”
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