Independent materials handling company Cooper Handling Group is cementing relationships with some of the world's top manufacturers to develop an even more comprehensive product/service offer for customers in the ports, manufacturing and rail freight sectors.
Over the past 12 months, following the decision to end its distribution agreement to sell new Konecranes equipment, Cooper has been reinforcing key relationships with Sany, Mantsinen and Maximal - and investigating further distributor opportunities with specialist equipment producers - in order to add value through customised lifting solutions.
David Cooper, director of Cooper Handling Group, says: "To build the SMV and, latterly, Konecranes brands from absolutely nothing to market leader during the past 18 years has been immensely gratifying, but you know when it is time to move on.
"The market has changed, as has the customer's definition of quality. Of course, every customer demands quality, but in the last few years the difference in machine specification between the various manufacturers has reduced to such an extent that the premium traditionally associated with quality is now outmoded.
"In today's market, quality now means quality for life, and manufacturers need to strike a balance in terms of maintaining a competitive edge while also ensuring their machines deliver reliability and sustainability well into their working life.
"We are proud to partner some of the world's leading heavy lifting equipment manufacturers, like Sany, one of the world's biggest equipment companies, whose ambitious global market growth and product development plans are built on the cornerstone of ‘quality changes the world' and Mantsinen, which so impressed the judges at last year's International Bulk Journal Awards that they named the 200 M HybriLift as Crane of the Year.
"Our business is moving forward and with a more comprehensive equipment offer, backed by our own team of highly experienced service engineers, we are seeing interest from a wider variety of businesses that demand complete, customised solutions from a company they can trust."
Cooper is committed to a consultative-led approach. Instead of a resorting to a basic product supply offer, Cooper fully assesses a company's operation, and the specific applications involved, before delivering a best-fit solution backed by high standards of technical support from its mobile engineers.
The company has also been strengthening its short-term rental capabilities, investing £4million in recent years to create the UK's most comprehensive specialised equipment rental fleet. As a consequence, more and more manufacturing, ports and rail/freight businesses are tapping into Cooper's resource. As well as taking full advantage of the availability of supersize machines on contracts of up to 12 months, they are choosing to hire high specification ‘big trucks' from Cooper to complete specific projects, provide emergency cover or bridge the gap until they acquire a new machine.
Cooper Handling Group is one of only a handful of engineering support providers of port and heavy handling equipment in the UK to hold the prestigious ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 quality standards across its entire operation. While many suppliers rely on the manufacturer's accreditations, Cooper's decision to gain these internationally recognised standards itself not only offers customers extra peace of mind, but is also translating into a tangible competitive advantage.
David Cooper concludes: "We want to reassure customers that support for Konecranes products will continue as usual, not least because Cooper is the largest consumer of spare parts and labour hours, having more than 130 machines on contract. In the UK, our factory-trained engineering team has the greatest understanding of Konecranes products and I expect this to continue for the foreseeable future."