Hiab in 2020 - operational excellence, enhanced product portfolio
In 2020, Hiab focused on creating value for employees, customers and the company itself through three objectives: the creation of stable earnings in each division, reaching a targeted level of profitability, and then growing profitably from that perspective.
Hiab is present in many countries, and the coronavirus pandemic has had a range of effects on maintaining operations. Overall, we reacted quickly and carried out our contingency plan within a week, which included new procedures such as social distancing in the multi-assembly units, working from home and seeing our customers remotely.
Idle time in our operations did not impact our ability to fulfil customer commitments, and neither did it impact our ability to deliver on competitive lead times. Suppliers and customers gave positive feedback on our strategic effort to maximise transparent communication, which has led to closer relationships and an increased customer appetite for new technology, especially on the digital front.
To adapt to changes in demand and keep, our customers involved in supply chain and food delivery services needed to work at a faster pace. Our service technicians were allowed to work during lockdowns, to make sure vital logistics could keep running. For the same reason, Hiab’s key spare parts distribution centres serving Europe and the US from Metz, France, and Indiana, US, remained in operation throughout the year.
Furthermore, we focused on operational excellence. We are also on track to implement a Hiab lean management system, a platform from which we can gain better leverage and enable growth to support the implementation of operational excellence.
Enhanced portfolio increases customer safety and productivity
In 2020, we added three digital products to our portfolio. These offerings are set to significantly bolster safety and productivity.
The first, HiPerform, helps to fast-track beginner operator development towards the knowledgeable, excellent and expert user groups. Next, HiCommand monitors equipment and returns insights to customers, which helps operators to more quickly develop their competence level, which in turn aids in mitigating driver shortage. Last, HiVision™ for MULTILIFT hooklifts creates an Augmented Reality experience by overlaying operation guidance and equipment information to real-life footage captured by rear cameras.
Our service business is advancing, with a focus on increased data usage, device connectivity and maintenance based on actual usage. From 2019, HIAB cranes, MULTILIFT demountables, MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts and WALTCO tail lifts are delivered with connectivity as a standard feature.
In 2020, we launched a free version of HiConnect™, so all customers with connected equipment can receive insights to improve safety and utilisation as well as keep track of service needs based on actual usage from the web portal.
Furthermore, the mobile load handling equipment business has provided an opportunity for us to partner with truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as we work on our control system architecture. Our sensor strategy calls for seamless integration between truck OEM software and sensor and control systems architecture, and we are well positioned with dedicated resources to execute that strategy.
Climate solutions continue to provide a competitive edge
To help communities meet their own sustainability objectives and to equip customers with a competitive advantage, we are working to develop load handling solutions with the lowest carbon footprint and the lowest noise emissions.
In addition to traditional diesel power, all of Hiab’s offerings are able to run on electricity or liquid natural gas. New ePTO cranes allow late night work in metro areas and we are receiving a high rate of new orders. The first ePTO cranes are now in operation in Denmark.
From the start of 2020, our MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts came with new Stage V engines to be eligible to operate within low emission zones. At the end of the year, we launched the MOFFETT E4 NX, the next generation eSeries of electric forklifts and the world’s first all electric three-wheel drive truck mounted forklift. Our eSeries MOFFETT models are emission-free, cheaper to operate, safer and more comfortable to drive.
MULTILIFT OPTIMA and MULTILIFT ULTIMA hooklifts are lightweight and use high strength steel to allow for significantly reduced fuel consumption and faster cycle times for customers.
Similarly, automation features available for our cranes such as Crane Tip Control (CTC) significantly simplify loader crane operation.
Our new products are not only better for the environment; they also give our customers a competitive edge, so Hiab is well positioned to grow and help our customers become more sustainable and profitable.