With the expansion of warehousing in the UK continuing at pace, the Industrial Projects team at Hörmann UK are busier than ever, with 2022 seeing order books for industrial doors and loading systems at their highest level ever. Phil Thorpe, Industrial Projects Manager at Hörmann discusses the market and how the company is uniquely positioned to respond to an unprecedented growth in business.
The demand for UK warehousing space continues to grow at record levels, with research carried out by Savills* on behalf of the UKWA showing a rise of 32% in the number of warehousing units since 2015 and the trend towards bigger units looks set to continue. The report shows that driven by both Brexit and the pandemic, the resulting unparalleled growth in e-commerce and home deliveries means that for every extra £1bn spent online, a further 775,000ft2 of warehousing is needed to meet the new demand. Leading occupier groups are third party logistics and online retailers who have increased their warehouse occupancy by 614%.
Alongside the demand for new build warehousing the second-hand warehouse market also continues to thrive. Once again online retailers have gained the most space, whilst the manufacturing sector appears to be ‘trading up’ and moving from older premises to more modern facilities.
The continued expansion of the market has obviously presented very real challenges to all those involved, for OEM manufacturers like Hörmann right through to the recruitment of warehouse operatives. However, having over 80 years’ experience in the manufacture of industrial doors and loading technology, Hörmann is ideally placed to respond. Not only are Hörmann able to provide a complete range of equipment, but more importantly we have the capability to offer a one-stop solution.
With the experience and resources of a multi-national organisation to hand, Hörmann is able to provide a complete service from initial consultation through to design, installation, and long-term maintenance support – an all-encompassing support package setting it apart in the market. Our team of experts are on-hand to provide advice and support from the very beginning to ensure that the best possible options are selected to meet the needs of a project, whether it be large or small. Our team of Project Managers are available to work on-site and can develop new ideas and solutions to suit specific operational requirements drawing on their extensive knowledge.
For both new build or refurbishment projects, Hörmann offer the most extensive product portfolio available on the market including dock levellers, loading houses, dock shelters and industrial doors. Whether it be an off-the-shelf product or collaborating with customers to develop specific solutions, the fact that we design, develop and manufacture all of the key components for our loading systems and doors in-house places us in a unique situation. This ensures the very highest standards both in terms of quality and inbuilt safety, together with the assurance that components have been designed and tested to work together. It also removes the reliance on third party suppliers and places us in a strong position to get product to the market and help mitigate sudden surges in demand.
An experienced, wide-ranging view of the marketplace results in us keeping pace with changing requirements and we are able to respond with the rapid introduction of new products and updates. For example, our Series 60 door offers the fastest operating sectional door on the market with an impressive opening speed of 1 m/s when installed with the WA 500 FU operator – designed and developed to work in perfect harmony. The increased speed of the Series 60 industrial sectional door offers the benefit of lower ventilation heat loss, together with speeding up and streamlining internal processes.
The Hörmann team are on hand to provide support from the planning stage, right up to the final building inspection. Assistance in reviewing calculations, detailed product drawings, specific site requirements and finalising all designs is all part of the partnership and service offered. Access to all necessary technical specifications and manuals is provided, alongside our online Architects Programme which can be used as a platform to obtain technical information.
During installation we ensure timely delivery to site, and we only work with fully trained partners that are ISO 9001 accredited and have received training at the Hörmann Academy. A designated Project Manager will provide on-site inspection at regular intervals throughout the installation process.
Second-to-none service, and maintenance is provided by our team of in-house service engineers who are all experts in their field. Working closely with clients our teams can provide up-to-date information and advice on how loading and door operations can be adapted to reduce the risk of downtime, accidents, or potential damage. If a certain type of fault is occurring frequently, our service engineers can work closely with clients and can draw on global experience to design and develop a bespoke solution. This is part of our commitment to building long term relationships with our customers throughout the whole lifetime of their logistics operation.
Whilst our service engineers are the visible face of the service operation they are backed by a whole team behind the scenes – a large department working to ensure that on-site operations are fully supported. The launch of our Training Academy in 2019 is part of our commitment to support the next generation of engineers through free first-class training and support, with 2021 seeing the introduction of a new apprenticeship scheme. The scheme will enable the next generation of industrial engineers to receive training through a structured programme of academic training and real-life experience in the workplace. This will help expand the team with operatives who are well equipped with a good understanding of the marketplace and have been trained by Hörmann to the high skill levels required.
There is no doubt that the continued growth in the market will present opportunities and challenges for all involved. Working with the right partner to achieve demanding objectives will be vital, with Hörmann able to provide the total package; exceptional guidance, support, products and after service – we make the real difference.
*Savills UK | The size and make-up of the UK warehousing sector – 2021
To find out more about Hörmann dock levellers visit https://www.hormann.co.uk/industry-commerce-and-public-authorities/loading-technology/dock-levellers/ or call 01530 516868.