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Money and customer demands are named as the biggest challenges for the materials handling industry

Worries over finances and increasing customer demands are the biggest challenges facing the materials handling industry, according to a survey carried out at this year’s IMHX exhibition.

Just over a quarter of people taking part in the survey, which was conducted at the show by temporary building supplier Spaciotempo UK Ltd, said that rising costs, banks refusing to lend money and ongoing economic uncertainty were their biggest concerns.

Behaviour of customers – including those who make increased demands and others failing to pay – was another major challenge, according to 13 per cent of people, along with health and safety legislation, competition from cheap overseas imports and a lack of storage space.

Other visitors said that a lack of skilled labour, handling issues and the struggle to keep up with technological advancements were significant worries.

Spaciotempo, whose customers include Sports Direct, Nissan and JCB, was at IMHX to showcase its range of temporary buildings and Scott Jameson, the company’s director of sales, said that he recognised many of the concerns highlighted in the survey, which was carried out as part of a prize draw, from conversations with the company’s own customers.

He said: "Our survey was designed as a snapshot of how the industry was feeling and it certainly uncovered plenty of perceived challenges.

"There were one or two unexpected replies, but the concerns over finance, low confidence in the economy and a lack of space are certainly challenges that we have heard customers speak about before.

"Indeed, we are currently experiencing record demand for our temporary buildings, simply because they are ideal for companies who want to grow but don’t want the heavy investment that comes with building new premises or seeking off-site storage at a time when the economic outlook remains uncertain."

Spaciotempo is currently investing £2m in new products, which are built on-site using an anodised aluminium frame with either uPVC panel or steel cladding walls and can take as take as little as 48 hours to erect by their own qualified operations staff.

They can be supplied as turnkey facilities with heating, lighting and flooring included and come with a 10 year structural warranty.

Spaciotempo is one of a small number of UK temporary building suppliers to manufacture products built to BS General Snow Loading BS6399 part 3 1988 and General Wind loading BS6399 part 2 1997.

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