Hallmarks of Maini’s offerings: Contemporary technologies & comprehensive solutions In MHE & Warehousing Automation

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Maini Materials Movement, a part of the Maini Group founded by Dr. S.K. Maini, is a leading industry player in the materials handling, warehousing solutions and people movement space. Established in 1986, Maini Materials Movement is today a premium and most sought-after brand in materials handling, storage and eco-friendly in-campus mobility solutions. The company is defined by a culture of ‘innovation, thought-leadership and quality focus’ and has a history of pioneering electrical energy applications. Mr. P.K. Balasubbramaniian from Engineering Review speaks to Mr. S.A. Mohan, CEO, Maini Materials Movement to figure out the standing of Maini in the materials handling space and the contemporary technologies and comprehensive solutions it is poised to offer to a burgeoning market which has a huge potential for exponential growth. Excerpts:

Q. What’s Maini’s standing in the materials handling & warehousing scene in India?
The Maini Group has its presence in Material Handling Equipments since nearly three decades and close to a decade in Warehouse Products such as Storage Racking & Shelving Systems. The market in India is still evolving for both these product segments and is relatively small at this stage in comparison with China as well as other developed economies of the Western World. The fact remains that only 12% of Warehouses are organised at present. Therefore, the scope for growth in this space for the next 10 years can be exponential.
Maini Materials enjoys the leadership position in certain product segments and would be one among the Top 3-5 players in the country in a few other product segments. The company has a unique position of being able to cater to almost every product required by the Warehouse Segment for Material Storage & Movement.

Q. Which are your Group companies and what are their activities?

  • Maini Precision Products is the flagship company of Maini Group. The company is engaged in manufacture and exports of very high precision components and sub-assemblies to a large number of Global Corporations in Automotive and Aerospace Segments. Maini Precision is four decades old and is a very well established company in terms of technology and complexity in its offerings to its customers worldwide.
  • Maini Materials Movement designs and manufactures complete range of Material Handling Equipment and Electric Buggies used for In-Campus Transportation. Maini Materials has a Strategic Alliance with Nacco Material Handling Group, USA for manufacture of Forklifts and High Reach Trucks in India under a co-branding arrangement, Yale-Maini. The agreement also covers sale of complete range of Yale brand products in India.
  • Maini Plastics & Composites is amongst the first few companies in India to manufacture Vacuum Formed plastic components. They offer process specific solutions for automotive and non-automotive applications. Their competency includes proto sampling, manufacturing, painting and assembly.
  • Armes Maini Storage Systems is a JV between Maini Group and Ferretto Group, Italy. The company manufactures Storage Racking & Shelving Systems designed as per European Standards and Codes. It offers total storage solutions ranging from manual to fully automatic storage and retrieval systems.
  • Tomcar India is engaged in design and manufacture of All Terrain Vehicles, which are used in various applications by defence, para-military, fire & rescue, remote surveying, forestry, security & surveillance, adventure sports, recreation, etc.

Q. Coming to Maini Materials Movement, what’s its present product range?
Our current offerings comprise:
A. Material Handling & Intra-Logistics solutions: The products have been listed as per International Product Classification:

  • Class 1 – Electric forklift trucks – 1.5 T to 8 T capacity
  • Class 2 – Full Range of High Reach Trucks, VNA’s, Order Pickers
  • Class 3 – Full range of Electric Stackers, Battery Operated Pallet Trucks
  • Class 4/ 5 – Diesel Forklift Trucks upto 8T capacity
  • Class 6 – Electric Tow trucks – 2 T to 8 T capacity
  • Class 8 – Manual Range of Materials Handling Equipment such as Hand Pallet Trucks, Manual Pallet Trucks, Manual Stackers, etc.
  • Other Products – Dock levellers, Scissor lifts, Special Platforms, Good Lifts, AGV’s etc.
  • Electric Buggies – 4, 6, 8, 11 & 14 Seaters used for in-campus transportation

B. Storage solutions from Armes Maini Storage Systems Pvt. Ltd:

  • Palletized storage solutions: Heavy Duty Pallet Racking, Drive-in Racking, Gravity Flow Racking, etc.
  • Shelving solutions: Shelving systems which can cater to Light, Medium and Heavy Loads.
  • Mezzanines: Long Span Mezzanine Structures used as part of Multi-Tier Shelving Systems, Stand-alone system, etc. to create workspaces, offices and value added services within the warehouse or factory buildings.
  • Automated storage: Vertical storage & retrieval systems and Automated storage & retrieval systems

Q. Which are the cutting edge technologies and ‘first time in India’ products you have introduced?
Maini Group’s pioneering effort in India was in design / build of commercially successful Electric Cars. The Group’s DNA is broadly into Green Technologies. In the Materials Handling Segment, Products such as Dock Levellers, In-Plant Materials Handling Equipment, Electric Tow Trucks, etc. were all in the firsts category. Maini Materials was the first company to design and manufacture Electric Golf Buggies (Carts) in India which has now found use as a green solution for In-Campus mobility. There are over 50 variants of this product designed to suit a multitude of customer applications based on sector specific requirements.

Q. What’s your contribution towards sustainable development with reference to MHE?
Earlier, products used within a Warehouse were Electric, whereas external use products were largely Diesel / LPG driven Forklifts. We have observed increased adoption of Electric Technology in Materials Handling Equipment over the past two years even outside plant. This trend helps companies like ours to continue our R&D efforts in Electric Technology products which we started over 20 years ago. We will continue to innovate to bring more efficient and eco-friendly products to the Industry.

Q. Which are your on-going strategic alliances and how do they help in strengthening your capabilities and value additions to the customer?
We have a strategic alliance with NACCO Material Handling Group, USA and JV with Ferretto Group, Italy. NMHG is one of the world’s largest lift truck manufacturers with the Global headquarters located in Portland, Oregon, USA. NMHG designs, engineers, manufactures and sells a comprehensive line of lift trucks and aftermarket parts marketed globally under the Hyster® and Yale® brand names. The strategic alliance with NMHG, USA to manufacture Yale-Maini co-branded Forklifts and Reach trucks in India is a significant step forward. The markets will benefit with shorter leadtimes& competitively priced products. Besides, it allows us to promote and sell their entire range of products and technologies to customers in India. Ferretto Group, Italy is a 56-year old industrial group focused on ‘Logistics & Storage systems.’ It is one of the most reputed European brands with full range offerings for Modern Warehouses. Armes Maini, a JV with Ferretto Group, Italy manufactures and supplies a broad range of Storage Solutions to customers in India. Access to latest technology will help Indian Warehousing Segment as it begins to get organised to scale-up.

Q. What’s your role in warehouse automation?
Modern and automated warehouses are an upcoming phenomenon in India. In recent years, warehouse operations in most organizations have undergone significant changes. Warehouses have transitioned to making more frequent inventory transactions in a greatly compressed time frame; storing and handling smaller loads; implementing more value-added services such as labelling, customized packaging and supplier-managed inventories; using less storage space; and integrating more computer technology in warehouse. We offer automation systems & modules, used in modern warehouses that include Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, Automatic Guided Vehicles, and Vertical Storage Systems along with computer integrated warehouse control systems, fleet management systems to track and improve productivity of materials handling equipment. The company can assist customers plan investments very efficiently by using Simulation tools which can predict scientifically levels of automation required depending on business requirements. These offerings help in reducing costs, improving productivity and accuracy, while giving complete visibility of the inventory data.

Q. How do you help in enhancing operational efficiency and productivity in the industry?
We strive to offer the right solutions to the market at the lowest total cost of ownership. We specialise in offering custom products and solutions which enhance operational efficiency and productivity in the industry. In fact over 30% of our revenues comes from special products designed and manufactured to suit customer applications. We are reputed in the industry for our aftermarket service offerings. We were the first to introduce ‘Complete Customer Care (CCC)’ programme in the industry, wherein we assume complete responsibility of the equipment fleet at customer’s premises. Our team of engineers undertake maintenance, upkeep and ensure high uptime of the equipment. Apart from CCC, the company also offer AMC / CMC programmes and ensure timely supply of spares.

Q. Who are your major customers?
Maini is the trusted & preferred partner for leading brands across sectors. About 80% of India’s market leading brands are among our customers.

  • Ashok Leyland, Bajaj, BMW, Ford, Hero Motor Corp, Honda, TAFE, Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Renault Nissan, Scania, Tata, TVS, Volkswagen, Volvo, John Deere, New Holland, etc. are our key customers from Auto industry
  • Infosys, TCS & Wipro are our key customers from IT industry
  • Colgate-Palmolive, Godrej, ITC, Pepsico, HUL from FMCG industry
  • CEVA, DB Schenker, DHL Lemuir, Future Supply Chain, TCI XPS from Logistics industry
  • GE, LG, Samsung from Consumer Logistics
  • Biocon, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, Kemwell, Ranbaxy, Sun Pharma, Wockhardt from Pharmaceutical industry
  • Bosch, Caterpillar, L&T, Schneider Electric, ABB from Manufacturing space
  • HAL, Indigo and Spice Jet from Aviation industry

Q. Is export a thrust area for you?
Yes, exports are a thrust area for us. We have recently setup a dedicated exports division. We now have exclusive sales & service partners in South Africa, Oman, Nepal, Sri Lankaand are in the process of finalizing our association with prospective partners across Middle East, Africa and SAARC countries.

Q. You are playing an active role in the functioning and initiatives of the MHE Manufacturers’ Association. What are your expectations from the new Govt. at the Centre?
I am one of the founder members of the Society of Indian Materials Handling Equipment Manufacturers – SIMHEM. As part of this association, we organise educational seminars to end users with the help of CII Institute of Logistics. Members get consolidated data on order bookings on a monthly basis. This association is now affiliated to the Global Body called WITS which consolidates India numbers for their worldwide members and vice versa. We believe this will greatly benefit companies in our segment to plan their future investments based on accurate market size and growth trends. I am a member of the Logistics Advisory Council of CII. Through these associations, I get to meet and discuss /share ideas with a lot of professionals from a variety of industry segments.Like everyone in Indian Industry, I am also looking forward to the implementation of GST. This will be a single largest driver for growth and consolidation of Warehouse segment in India. It will allow companies to have large format warehouses which can be very cost efficient and business specific.

Q. What are your strategies to stay ahead in your business?
Strong Customer Focused Innovation backed by Outstanding Service Delivery.

Q. What’s your vision for Maini and where will you be five years hence?
Our vision for the company will be to achieve sustainable leadership position across all major product / solutions segment.

Maini Materials Movement Pvt. Ltd is awarded the prestigious ‘Warehouse & Materials Handling Company of the Year 2014’ at the 8th Express Logistics and Supply Chain Leadership (ELSC) Awards on 24th Sept. 2014. The Express Logistics & Supply Chain Conclave, held on an annual basis, is recognized as one of the most prestigious Logistics events in India. There awards are adjudged by an independent research agency entrusted with the task of choosing the winners. Commenting on the Award, Mr. S.A. Mohan, CEO, Maini Materials Movement said: “Our brand promise is “Value Delivered. Always”. We strive to offer our customers the right solutions and ensure lowest total cost of ownership at their end. Our customers see us as their ‘Preferred partner for warehousing, materials handling and intra-logistics solutions’. This Award certainly attests our commitment to be among the leading players in the country in the intra-logistics space.”