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Materials handling equipment company Barloworld Handling appoints Phil Bastow as its managing director

Barloworld Handling, one of Britain’s largest materials handling equipment companies, has appointed Phil Bastow as its managing director for the UK.
Phil Bastow joined Barloworld Handling in January 2009 as operations director and succeeds Geoff Tucker as managing director who has returned home to pursue new business interests in South Africa. Phil was previously an experienced executive with a successful career managing multi-national operations in the automotive sector.

Commenting on his new position Phil says "I am very excited by the many improvements made throughout the business over the last 18 months. We have solid foundations in place with new regionally focussed service teams and fully qualified six sigma practitioners delivering continuous improvement. I am confident we are well positioned to grow market share as the economy begins its long road to recovery."

Barloworld has placed intelligent service provision at the heart of its core proposition and says its unique infrastructure of over 500 professional technicians throughout the UK is a key differentiator. Phil explains "Our customers tell us that they value good service over practically any other factor. It’s the experience, knowledge and performance of our engineers and local service teams that are of paramount importance to delivering the reliability, productivity and low cost of ownership that customers want".
Barloworld teams work hard to understand the challenges faced by customers and to respond to their needs. The company believes its position as the UK’s Hyster dealer is a key strength as it allows resources to be focussed on delivering service, offering impartial advice and responding to customer needs, whilst Hyster focuses on its core competency of truck design and manufacturing. Barloworld has recently introduced a number of initiatives designed to strengthen customer partnerships leading to higher levels of satisfaction.
Barloworld has reorganised regional service teams to ensure both full national coverage and intense focus on locally delivered customer support. Each regional team is fully equipped to meet the needs of local industry with experienced support staff responsible for responding to customer needs, delivering proactive communication and adding long term value through partnership.
Barloworld operates 17 regional support centres throughout the UK including its operation in Northern Ireland.

As another key initiative, Barloworld is improving the efficiency of its processes and improving customer satisfaction through the introduction of ‘Six Sigma’ continuous improvement tools and techniques. The company has sixteen ‘Black and Green Belt’ qualified staff and has already completed numerous improvement projects with a positive effect on product reliability and customer service. Adjoined to this programme, Barloworld has embarked on an in depth customer satisfaction research programme to benchmark its performance and identify areas for improvement.

Barloworld’s new fleet management system, which includes a unique telemetry device fitted to trucks, is also helping service teams to identify problems and respond intelligently with appropriate parts before breakdowns occur. The system has the facility to alert Barloworld service teams of a fault even before the customer may be aware of it, helping to ensure trucks keep moving.

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