Edward Kelly, founder of Easilift Loading Systems, has been honoured on his retirement by members of the British Materials Handling Federation (BMHF), the Association Of Elevating Equipment Manufacturers (ALEM), and the European Materials Handling Federation (FEM), together with Easilift company colleagues as well as guests including Lord Prescott.
Edward’s considerable achievements in the loading bay equipment and materials handling industry were recognised by a special event where he was guest of honour at a celebratory dinner held in the Churchill Restaurant at the House of Commons.
Designed to ensure speed, efficiency and safety while loading/unloading delivery vehicles, as the UK’s leading specialist supplier of total loading bay solutions, Easilift’s products are now a familiar site in many hundreds of warehouses, distribution and logistics centres across the country – including some of the biggest names in retail and manufacturing.
This success began in 1976 when Edward established Easilift Material Handling, to provide innovative materials handling solutions that would fully meet the specific needs and operational requirements of individual customers – and his extensive industry knowledge and in-depth expertise, together with collaborative working practices, turned this vision into a practical reality.
The company merged with the Netherlands-based Loading Systems Group in 1993, to take on its present name as Easilift Loading Systems. Edward oversaw the smooth transition, which provided the company with access to the Group’s extensive design, development and manufacturing resources as one of Europe’s foremost suppliers of high quality loading bay equipment – helping to establish and cement Easilift’s leading position in the UK market.
Edward stood down from day-to-day control as Easilift managing director in 2004, but remained as a director to represent both the company and the industry on a number of trade bodies and associations, including periods as President of the BMHF and ALEM, as well as the UK representative for the BSI, involved in preparing new European standards for dock levellers.
Easilift managing director Rob Fay commented: "Edward laid the foundation stones for the company’s successful growth and development with his unfailing commitment to quality, innovation and service, which are still the fundamental principles of our approach today as we celebrate our 35th anniversary."
"Together with the rest of the highly committed team at Easilift I look forward to continuing the exceptional progress that Edward achieved throughout his time with the company and, despite the prevailing business climate, these are exciting times for Easilift."
Over the last few years, Easilift has grown its sales and operational teams with the recruitment of new experienced people with solid industry track records, whilst at the same time implementing an apprenticeship scheme and an on-going series of intensive training programmes.
These initiatives have served to ensure Easilift’s continued development of highly innovative loading bay solutions, such as its unique new Dock Management System, which more clearly sets the company apart from other loading bay equipment suppliers.
"As a result our business has continued to increase considerably, which has lead to us outgrowing our current site and we are therefore now actively seeking new premises – albeit we are fully committed to maintaining our roots in Huddersfield," Rob Fay added.
"Additionally, we are looking to establish a regional sales office in the South East, which will then enable us to offer an even better service to both existing and prospective customers in this important area."
"However, none of this would have been possible without the dedication and in-put made by Edward and we are indebted to him as both the company founder and a sterling ambassador to the wider materials handling industry," concluded Rob.
Leading industry voices echoed the praise for Edward Kelly. Among the guests at the celebratory dinner to commemorate Edward Kelly’s retirement and his contribution to the industry was Thorworld Industries’ managing director and FEM President John Meale, a longstanding business associate, who commented: "Edward Kelly has been a significant figure in the UK materials handling sector for four decades and his tireless leadership, enthusiasm and support have had an incalculable positive impact on our industry."
"Together with everyone else, I wish him all the very best for the future as he settles down to enjoy a richly deserved retirement."