Warehouse automation has gained huge traction in recent years, notably in the past 12 months as a result of Covid-19 and the spike in e-commerce.
More often than not, though, it’s the fulfilment innovations that grab all of the headlines, which is understandable as they’re the systems at the fore when it comes to alleviating the stresses and strains placed on distribution centres, the supply chain, and ensuring customers get their orders on time.
Automated cleaning solutions are rarely mentioned in despatches, hence Tennant UK’s Danny Cross is looking forward to highlighting some of the many benefits to IntraLogisteX visitors this July.
“Robotic innovation is definitely at the heart of our developments at the moment and following the recent launches of the T7AMR and T380AMR, this year will also see the launch of our brand-new T16AMR, which is the first industrial robotic floor scrubber cleaning machine,” reveals Cross, who is the Business Marketing Manager at the Northampton-based cleaning specialist.
“I had never even heard of a scrubber dryer until I joined Vaclensa in 2015, so working in the cleaning industry was a huge eye-opener for me and I pretty much had to learn about the industry, the business, and the cleaning machines from scratch,” he admits. “When Vaclensa became part of Tennant Company in 2017, I was fortunate enough to be in such a position that I am now part of one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of professional and industrial cleaning machines.”
Cross is clearly proud of his company and its products, which he believes are some of the “most advanced and trusted industrial cleaning machines available”.
But for Cross, what makes Tennant particularly stand out in the marketplace is that it puts the customer first and aims to find a specific solution to their particular problem or need. “As an example, where many of our competitors were creating scrubbing machines for traditional areas such as retail stores and supermarkets, although we did cater to those applications, we then went on to create a solution for our industrial customers with the new T16AMR,” he says. “For many of our industrial and aggregate customers, silica dust is a huge issue, so we created the S16 compact ride-on sweeper, which features HEPA filtration – that’s a unique feature to these machines.”
Cross, who before embarking on a career in marketing used to teach EYFS, KS1 and KS2 at a primary school in Oldham, feels that many businesses are still using cleaning equipment that is not suited for their particular facility, or are unsure of the right machinery they actually require in the first place. Even in his new career, he still finds himself in the business of education. “We are constantly on hand to deliver free, no-obligation site surveys for our customers, to help us both understand exactly what cleaning issues and activities they have and how best we can find a solution.”
Tennant also boasts a dedicated product demonstration team in place so free on-site machine demonstrations can be arranged, hence customers and their teams can not only see first-hand the benefits of the company’s solutions, they can also try the machines for themselves and ask the team any technical questions that they may have.
“What excites me about this industry is that it’s a mix of both old and new,” Cross says. “It is still very much real people involved and making those connections within their own business and with the wider industry, but it’s full of innovation. We are constantly seeing these new technologies and processes come into play and seeing that happen first-hand – or in my case sometimes being part of the team to create that innovation – is fantastic.”
Cross and his colleagues are eager for IntraLogisteX to open its doors. “My role includes traditional marketing activities such as design, online activities, social media, PR, events, managing budgets, and preparing strategic marketing plans,” he says of his responsibilities. “Events and exhibitions such as IntraLogisteX were a huge part of our business marketing plans, so Covid-19 definitely had an impact when we could no longer put ourselves physically in front of such a huge audience, but we were prepared with a digital ‘Plan B’ in terms of marketing activities. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing people again! I’m sure the show will be well attended and I’m very excited to get back to a real-life event again.”