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Case Study - Baxters

Be different be better - George Baxter in 1868

The words of George Baxter encapsulate such a simple principle, yet they laid the foundations for a Scottish family business that has spanned four generations.

Since George Baxter first opened his small grocery shop in the village of Fochabers in 1868, the Baxter family has been producing some of the UK’s finest soups, preserves, condiments, beetroot, chutneys and a wide range of other fine quality food products. Today, 145 years on, the company is still based on the same site beside the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands but on a sheer scale that George Baxter could never have dreamed of.

Run by Audrey Baxter and her management team, the factory and distribution centre employ 475 people working a multi-shift operation, 6 days a week. Although it may be far removed from that little shop in Fochabers, the ethos remains the same…be different, be better…which goes some way in understanding why Northern Forklift (Scotland) Ltd was awarded the contract for the supply of nearly 50 STILL forklift trucks following a stringent and competitive tender process.

Based in Glasgow, and with clients all over Scotland, Northern Forklift was shortlisted to tender along with four other suppliers. The first stage of the tender process was to hold extended trials of the LPG Counterbalance Truck, the ‘workhorses’ of the site, being responsible for all goods in and out. It was here that the STILL forklifts were found to be different and better.

STILL RX70 with Hybrid Technology
The award winning STILL RX70 IC Counterbalance Truck is powered by the latest hybrid drive technology, which amongst other benefits results in considerably less fuel consumption and produces fewer harmful emissions, both key factors for Baxters Food Group according to John Pease, Baxters Stores and Warehouse Manager.

“Baxters Food Group has an enviable reputation as an environmentally conscious organisation and we expect our supply partners to follow suit” comments John. “Under a controlled trial it was found that the STILL RX70 used over 30% less fuel than our existing machines, so when you consider that we have eleven of these forklifts working almost around the clock the potential savings, together with the reduction in our carbon footprint, were significant factors in our decision to award Northern Forklift the contract”.

Health & Safety On-Site
With an impressive factory consisting of various buildings over different levels and with inclines to negotiate, site safety is paramount. The STILL RX70 gas range comes with automatic braking and speed control as standard, which means ALL trucks on site can have identical drive characteristics and have been set to the maximum site speed of 10mph. The automatic braking prevents the trucks from ‘free-wheeling’ on the gradients to further enhance safety.

As part of the contract, the trucks have been fitted with the innovative STILL Fleet Manager, a full recording system that helps improve Health & Safety and further reduces cost by monitoring and controlling the activity of each machine. An I.D system controls which drivers can use each truck and the GPRS accident recorder sends an immediate email to management in the event of a collision. It also offers Baxters a comprehensive record of forklift utilisation throughout the fleet, all updated automatically every hour using the GPS link.

Electric Counterbalance Trucks & Warehousing Equipment
Operating within the main factory and warehouse areas are the STILL Electric Counterbalance and Warehousing Trucks. These include the RX60, the first four-wheel counterbalance truck to include lateral battery change for multi-shift operation, a range of EXU Powered Pallet Trucks, FMX Reach Trucks and a MX-X Man Up Narrow Aisle Truck. Battery change facilities have been supplied for each truck to cater for the multi-shift operation.

Local Service
“Service support is provided in partnership with Highland Forklifts, who for over 10 years have been working with Northern Forklift in the Highlands area of Scotland to support existing STILL customers and to promote new sales of STILL equipment” says Andy Sirel, Managing Director of Northern Forklift (Scotland) Ltd. “With Highland Forklifts having invested in the latest STILL laptop diagnostic technology and benefiting from the same overnight parts delivery system as the rest of the STILL network, they can together with Northern Forklift ensure Baxters Food Group enjoy the highest standard of service back-up which, due to the geography and climate in that area, can only be provided by a company that has proper representation in the Highlands region. Baxters Food Group is a world class company and deserves a world class materials handling solution. We hope that with STILL equipment and the local support of Highland Forklifts and ourselves, that is what we are now providing!”

With the new fleet from Northern Forklift now in full operation, productivity and performance of the STILL trucks has been impressive concluded John Pease.

“We are have recently taken on the production of Fray Bentos pies which has increased the factory’s throughput by nearly 30% yet we still only have the same number of forklifts operating, and with reduced fuel costs, so we are confident that our partnership with Northern Forklift will ensure that we can meet any rising demand both now and in the future”.

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Baxters case study
Baxters case study
Baxters case study
Baxters case study
Baxters case study
Baxters case study
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