INDEPENDENT MATERIALS HANDLING SPECIALIST, RUSHLIFT, HAS SECURED THE UK’S SINGLE LARGEST SUPPLY LEVEL AGREEMENT WITH THE BUILDING DISTRIBUTION DIVISION OF LEADING INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS GROUP, SAINT-GOBAIN.

The exclusive ten-year deal will see Rushlift supply the group with a variety of materials handling equipment and covers the management and maintenance of over 2,000 forklifts across a variety of UK manufacturing, retail and merchant sites. These include the company’s Jewson, JP Corry and Gibbs and Dandy builders’ merchants chains.

The scale of the agreement, over two years in the making and worth around £100m over the next 10 years, has prompted Rushlift to recruit 30 additional engineering, account management and administrative personnel, with more appointments expected to follow.

Rushlift Chairman, Peter Cosgrove, says the contract has only been made possible thanks to the efforts of Rushlift’s national accounts, technical and service teams, and thanks to detailed negotiations with key suppliers.

Said Peter: “A great deal of credit has to go to everyone involved in this journey, from our sales and operations teams to our engineers and support staff, who have continually, and to the highest standard, demonstrated to Saint Gobain what we at Rushlift are capable of.”

During the long tender process Rushlift were given opportunities to demonstrate their abilities at several Saint-Gobain sites, opportunities which, Peter Cosgrove believes, allowed the company to outperform its competitors.

“We have been able to deliver higher levels of service at lower cost than our competitors and we have gained the business against competition from all the major companies in the industry. The agreement is on an unprecedented scale and we are excited by the opportunities and challenges it presents our business. It’s a superb vote of confidence in our business values and approach.”

The world leader in the production, processing and distribution of construction materials, Saint-Gobain has a dedicated team overseeing UK and Ireland logistics, based in Southampton.

Saint-Gobain were particularly impressed with Rushlift’s flexibility in providing electronic data exchange. The online system in place allows companies to log jobs without having to call a depot and for Saint-Gobain’s fleet management systems to be updated by Rushlift on a daily basis.

Saint-Gobain Fleet Director, Ian Berrill, says they were impressed by Rushlift’s track record and were keen to make the most of their economies of scale and take advantage of these latest technical developments.

Said Ian: “We’ve had many years of growth and acquisitions since first establishing our truck fleet and we were keen to provide modern, reliable equipment to our many different users. Having the UK’s largest fleet has many benefits but also many challenges. Being able to manage the fleet makeup, control costs and respond to our changing needs is crucial. Rushlift’s approach offers us a real business advantage, allowing for full visibility of equipment across over 800 sites in the UK and Ireland.”

Rushlift has already taken responsibility for maintaining Jewson’s lorry mounted cranes as well as deliver a number of machines in selected businesses. One of the first groups to benefit from the deal has been the company’s Irish builders’ merchants chain, JP Corry. Over 50 new trucks have already been delivered and weeks of discussions, site surveys and feasibility studies have been completed.

Rushlift Sales Manager for Saint-Gobain, Matt Turner, believes the new fleet will deliver both cost savings and increased productivity.

 “We’ve taken a hard headed look at the fleet, and it’s true to say there were significant savings to be made from amalgamating the whole service package. However, we’ve also restructured the makeup of the fleet to more accurately reflect the business’ needs, and introduced new Doosan and Combilift equipment which has really pushed the operation forward.”

As well as liaise with key suppliers, Rushlift has also introduced bespoke operator training and online reporting procedures. It’s a complete package befitting one of the world’s biggest forklift operators.

“There are certain expectations that come with a deal of this size,” say Matt Turner, “and we have done our utmost to exceed them. There has been much effort in developing our own business structure to allow us to bring practical solutions to the likes of JP Corry, Jewson and other group businesses. The work is now underway in delivering the promise and bringing wide-ranging improvements across the group.”

Rushlift is a leading provider of innovative materials handling solutions, with over 100 mobile engineers servicing customers from Aberdeen to Cornwall. As part of the Specialist Hire Group, Rushlift has experienced phenomenal growth over the past five years and was recently voted one of the UK’s fastest growing companies.

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