By any measure, CareCo is a genuine success story. Built on energy, innovation and a keen attention to detail, the company’s continued expansion has seen it grow from a small family business operating from a barn to pole position as the UK’s leading whole-range supplier of mobility aids. An expanding fleet of lift trucks has been instrumental in that process, supplied and supported by the local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks distributor.
Overcoming dual challenges
The challenges facing CareCo were two-fold as relocated from its previous showroom-warehouse in Brentwood to a purpose-designed facility incorporating 100,000 sq ft of warehouse space in Braintree. The first was to coordinate the movement of stock from a series of different locations in the Brentwood area. This was achieved seamlessly with the help of the local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks distributor who supplied the most appropriate handling equipment on short-term rental.
The second was to identify precisely the right equipment to ensure the new warehouse would operate with optimum efficiency. That resulted in a fleet comprising two Mitsubishi VELiA low level order pickers (LLOPs), two Mitsubishi PREMiA power pallet trucks (PPTs), one Mitsubishi SENSiA reach truck, two Mitsubishi EDiA electric counterbalance trucks plus four Aisle Masters.
All the trucks were supplied on time and in stylish CareCo house livery.
“Meeting a hard deadline of early May was a real challenge,” explains Joe Bronze, local distributor for Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks. “The international shortage of components means that virtually all new forklift and warehouse trucks are on extremely long leads times. We had to be really creative, using a range of different models from our rental fleet to bridge the gap and ensure CareCo were able to commence operations right on schedule.”
Huge range handled with ease
With more than 200 employees, the company offers an exceptionally wide range of products that play an essential role in daily life, helping its customers maintain their independence by managing medication, using the bathroom and getting dressed in the morning.
“We supply everything from a mobility scooter to the rubber tips that go on the ends of walking sticks,” explains CareCo Head of Operations Steve Robinson. “It’s a huge range that calls for specialised storage and handling systems but our truck fleet handles it with ease.
“The Mitsubishi VELiA low level order pickers are used mainly to pick larger items such as wheelchairs, rollators and bath lifts from the lower racking. The power pallet and counterbalance trucks are used to run stock away from assembly lines – where it’s held for checking – before being taken to the intake lanes for the racking.
“That’s where the Aisle Masters take over, operating in the narrow aisle section of the warehouse, putting stock away and feeding pickers in the assembly area. They also work in the bulk racking aisle alongside the Mitsubishi SENSiA reach truck which also feeds a mezzanine floor where smaller items such as spare parts for the service team are stored. Plus we have a scissor-lift that is used for order picking as well as for essential maintenance work.”
At a second CareCo distribution facility in Leeds, CareCo also have four additional trucks – also supplied by their local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks distributor: two Aisle Masters, a Mitsubishi VELiA low level order picker and a Mitsubishi EDiA electric counterbalance truck that keep the goods moving.
Nimble and exceptionally reliable
“The trucks have been excellent,” says Steve Robinson. “The Mitsubishi low level order pickers and power pallet trucks are really nimble and all the trucks have been exceptionally reliable. We’ve had absolutely no issues at all.
“On the service side, the team are fantastic. They’ve been with CareCo from the start and have proved themselves time and again. We had a minor issue with the speed of the low level order pickers and they adjusted them immediately to suit our particular working environment. The team are genuinely on the ball and their response times are outstanding.”