The significant investment signals the company’s continuity and commitment to its customers in the Northern Hemisphere as well as their staff in Alsfeld, and encompasses the German and Central European sales and distribution departments along with Bell Equipment’s international parts hub, the European Logistics Centre (ELC). The property has a built up area triple the size of the previous facility and comprising of modern sales and administration offices, workshop facilities and the ELC warehouse, which provides state-of-the-art commissioning and handling solutions.
Strengthening the European foothold
The opening ceremony was attended by 150 guests from neighbouring European countries and other global regions serviced by the new logistics centre, so they could better understand the strategic importance and the long-term perspectives of the new facility. Bell Germany Managing Director, Andreas Heinrich, explained that the new facility has been designed with further development in mind based on future demand. He thanked local partners and authorities, the various builders led by general contractor Goldbeck Ost, and especially emphasised the contribution of his highly motivated Bell Alsfeld staff during the relocation phase, which was successfully carried out while maintaining full operations.
The Bell board also took the opportunity to meet in Germany before the opening ceremony affording Chairman of Bell Equipment Ltd, John Barton, and Chief Executive, Gary Bell, the opportunity to outline the company’s perspectives on the European and North American markets and for the German-based activities. “We’re here to stay,” was the clear message by Gary Bell who said that the company has cemented its position as a world leading ADT supplier, with its new models and ongoing technical innovation. He added that 2017 looks set to be the best year in terms of ADT production and sales since the beginning of the decade largely due to contributions by activities in the European, North American and Asian markets. This has been further aided by the company’s global strategy to implement assembly and parts facilities close to customers and suppliers.
Over the next five years Bell Equipment plans to invest significantly more in its European operations and support with programmes covering an increase in European ADT production capacity in Eisenach and transferring the manufacture of certain core components from its Southern Hemisphere facility in Richards Bay, South Africa.
John Barton said the new facility represents another milestone in the long tradition of the family-owned company and strongly reflects the Bell philosophy of providing ‘Strong Reliable Support’ to regional customers and markets by investing as close as possible to where they operate. In this regard the new European Logistics Centre plays a critical role in supplying parts to all regional logistics warehouses throughout Europe and other Northern Hemisphere markets. This is achieved through close cooperation with the company’s factories and other logistics centres. With a significant investment in stock and an average availability of 95 %, the ELC is positioned to support all Bell ADT models that have been sold in the region.
The Alsfeld complex has also been installed with a Bell ReMan Centre. This is the second such European facility and like the first unit, opened in 2009 at Bell UK in Burton-upon-Trent, specially trained mechatronic technicians repair and rebuild original Bell components, including axles, transfer cases and hydraulic components as well as transmissions used in different Bell ADT models.
Basing this facility at the ELC improves both the reaction and lead times as well as allowing for the rebuilt items to be stored and available for worldwide needs.