When Amvar Group, TCM dealer for the West Midlands, became a Member of the UK Material Handling Association in 2015, the company was keen to reflect its status as a professional, high-quality supplier and service provider.
Managing Director Malcolm Mitchell explains: “We have been trading for more than 20 years and have built an excellent customer base in the local area.
“We wanted to move to the next level and our UKMHA Membership has given us the recognition we were looking for. Our team has made good use of the technical and legal knowledge base which is readily available to Members, and the logical next step was to take advantage of the UKMHA Member Audit.”
A strictly confidential process, the Audit examines Member companies to ensure they are fulfilling the agreed criteria for Membership: maintaining the exceptional standards for which the organisation and its Members are known. It also shares best practice so companies can benchmark themselves and benefit from shared tips, tricks and techniques.
Malcolm explains: “The UKMHA Audit was an ideal opportunity to gain an outside assessment of our current working standards, particularly health and safety. I saw real benefits to our business: raising the standards for the way in which we operate while increasing our levels of professionalism and efficiency.”
Created specifically for the forklift truck industry in order to help Members work more effectively and profitably, the process is conducted on site using face-to-face visits, guaranteeing probity – unlike some quality standards which are undertaken online and may be open to falsification.
“The process was quite exacting and required us to look at every aspect of our day-to-day operations,” says Malcolm. “That ‘helicopter’ view helped us identify areas for improvement going forward. We found it a really valuable exercise.”
The Amvar Group worked closely with UKMHA Quality Manager Lee Medway throughout the process. Malcolm explains: “We were extremely impressed with the relevance, thoroughness and engagement.
“Lee was excellent in his approach: very professional, willing to listen and really helpful in recommending appropriate solutions in areas where improvement was necessary. He’s a friendly and supportive guy who recognised – at all times – that we needed to continue trading seamlessly throughout the process.”
Since receiving its Audit Compliance certificate, employees across the business have taken a huge amount pride in their achievement. Malcolm explains: “We’re delighted to be independently recognised for the quality of our working standards. When I’ve shared this with customers, they’ve been genuinely impressed and see this as an important addition to their own quality standards by offering greater traceability and accountability.”
He concludes: “I would recommend the Member Audit wholeheartedly. It’s a commitment in terms of time and resources but it will pay real dividends in terms of delivering continuous improvement in your business.”
To find out more about the audit process, contact Lee Medway: firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Amvar Group is the authorised dealer for the TCM range of forklift trucks and warehouse equipment across the West Midlands. The company, a Member of the UK Material Handling Association, offers complementary handling, supply storage and workplace equipment.