Autoexperten Trondheim is a nationwide car repair shop chain in Sweden and Norway, it’s part of KGK Norway and thus makes sure its mechanics are well-trained and certified. Customers can leave their car for the Autoexpert shop to repair it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The car repair chain now consists of approximately 430 car repair shops that sell everything from car parts, supplies, tires, tools, consumables, and workshop equipment to lorry parts and boats.
They opened their new parts warehouse in Trondheim, where they store items in tire racks, pallet racks, battery racks, and small goods racks and make use of some material handling equipment.
The main challenge in Autoexperten’s new warehouse was to make all stored items easily accessible for order picking to ensure efficiency and boost workflow. Autoexperten wanted efficient shelving systems and small forklifts such as a hand pallet truck and stacker. Per Gunnar Withbro, sales manager at Autoexperten Trondheim, had already heard about Toyota Material Handling and decided to work with Toyota as their new racking and material handling supplier.
The first delivery consisted of several small goods racks and tire racks that were installed in Autoexperten Trondheim’s impressively large warehouse. A whopping 1600 metres of shelves have been filled with various items that are organised in plastic boxes or divided by partitions, depending on the nature, purpose and size of the item so the right component can be accessed fast and easily. Later on, tire racks with space for more than 700 tires were installed. Additionally, universal racks with plate inserts were put into place to store several kinds of batteries. The relatively ‘small’ warehouse now offers a wide array of objects; ‘We may not have as big a warehouse as the other companies Toyota works with, but we have optimised ours very well’, says Per Gunnar.
Despite not getting to meet in person, due to the global pandemic, Per Gunnar describes the collaboration between Autoexperten Trondheim and Toyota as a ‘fantastic’ experience: ‘We have not really noticed the pandemic’s influence when it comes to timely delivery and smooth cooperation. Toyota gave us a date for things to be delivered, and they kept their word. Overall, the installation went very fast; The workers who put up the shelving during the first stage were very skilled. We decided to set up the last pallet racks ourselves, since we bought some extra shelving solutions. It was very simple and straightforward to handle this ourselves, since the instructions were clear’.
When Autoexperten ordered their new shelving, they decided to order a manual pallet truck and stacker as well. Their Oslo department uses Toyota trucks and recommended them to Autoexperten Trondheim as they had very good experiences with Toyota as a partner. Since Autoexperten are spread throughout Sweden and Norway, their geographically strategic placing and availability makes sure that their customers don’t have to go far to receive immediate service to repair their vehicle, resulting in very positive feedback.
Similar to Autoexperten, Toyota Material Handling has several locations throughout many countries guaranteeing fast service, something the car repair chain greatly appreciates as well. This made Toyota Material Handling a very appealing potential supplier. ‘We depend on our hand pallet truck and forklift. So, it gives some peace of mind knowing that Toyota has easily available service personnel on the road to help us out when needed. When a piece of equipment says ‘Toyota’, it bears a stamp of quality. We wanted our heavy-duty goods to come from a solid supplier that we know will be there for us in the future. That made our choice fairly easy’, Per Gunnar says.