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TOYOTA FORKLIFTS HIT THE SWEET SPOT

Historic South Australian confectionary producer Robern Menz celebrates growth with Violet Crumble-themed Toyota forklift.

Long-standing Australian confectionary company Robern Menz has commemorated its recent success by decking out one of its Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) forklifts with a Violet Crumble-themed paint job.

With roots that can be traced back all the way to 1850, Robern Menz has steadily built its business in the suburbs of Adelaide, and the purchase of the famous Violet Crumble brand in 2018 has seen its business taken to new levels.

For the last two decades, Robern Menz has relied on the stellar durability, class-leading safety and hassle-free servicing of THMA equipment, and the Violet Crumble forklift represents the fruitful relationship the companies have enjoyed over the last 20 years.

Robern Menz currently uses a fleet of 14 different THMA machines to run its business, and Warehouse Manager Shaun Dwyer said that the reliability of the equipment, part of the Toyota Advantage, was crucial given how consistently they are used.

"Our units are utilised 24 hours a day, so reliability is massive for us," Mr Dwyer said.

"The counterbalance forklifts are used externally and internally, again 24 hours a day, and the walkie stackers are the same - we continually use them.

"The ease of use, the servicing, and the people from Toyota have been a huge plus for our side of things," he said.

Mr Dwyer said his local TMHA sales manager Derek Baxter has been integral for the smooth running of the business, bringing Robern Menz unique solutions, another Toyota Advantage, to help counter any problems they may have.

"Derek and I have a great relationship, he's easy-going, easy to talk to," Mr Dwyer said.

"I love putting out tricky situations for him just to see what he can come back with, and he always comes back with an answer.

"Toyota seem to have a plethora of people around the country who, if he can't find the answer, he'll look to other TMHA reps and come back with the answers we are looking for," he said.

One such solution that has worked well for Robern Menz has been the adoption of two Toyota VRE150 Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) turret trucks, which have proven to be a valuable addition.

The first of their kind in South Australia, the VNA trucks have allowed Robern Menz to free up an additional 500 pallet spaces in their warehouse, helping facilitate a scale-up in their operations.

If there is any need for service, it is crucial that Robern Menz's TMHA equipment is serviced quickly and efficiently, given the round-the-clock use the forklifts and reach trucks get.

Mr Dwyer said TMHA's dedication to quick and hassle-free servicing is one of the best reasons to use the machines.

"To get a technician on-site is a priority for Toyota, they come out and fix things quickly and they make sure the job is done before they leave, which is absolutely brilliant," he said.

"There's no need for follow-up, there's nothing else, and if they do want to come back and check something, they plan it, they book it in for when they need to come back, so there's nothing required from the Robern Menz side."

The fleet of THMA equipment used includes walkie stackers, counterbalance forklifts, a scissor lift, a powered pallet truck, a floor scrubber and the aforementioned VNA trucks.

Mr Baxter said that a significant part of Robern Menz's satisfaction with TMHA comes from the equipment's legendary reliability and safety, both core values of the Toyota Advantage, as well as an exhaustive range of products to suit any need.

"You want machines that are safe, that are reliable. You want to be aligned with a company that if there is an issue, they tend to your needs as quickly as possible, which we've always done," he said.

"If there's anything they require, through our extensive product solution we can pretty well fill any gap they require in their operation.

"They've seen my face for the last 20 years and there are plenty of businesses who have come and knocked on their door and tried to win that business, but they're very happy with Toyota," he said.

Since taking over the Violet Crumble brand in 2018, Robern Menz has seen an expansion of their business, shipping the beloved honeycomb chocolate internationally to markets including the United States and Philippines.

The rights to the Polly Waffle chocolate bar were also purchased in 2019, while the performance of the company since the start of the pandemic has seen its 110-strong staff working hard to keep up with demand.

Robern Menz has been shipping one 40-foot container of product around the world every fortnight, helped by the 24-hour operation of its TMHA equipment.

Mr Dwyer said that the fantastic performance, reliability, competitive pricing and customer-focused servicing meant that TMHA would be the clear choice if more forklifts or reach trucks needed to be purchased.

"The sales service to begin with, the aftersales service, the servicing and everything else - I haven't seen it like this before," he said.

"I've used a couple of other brands, and Toyota are just head and shoulders above everybody else.

"No matter what's happened, Toyota has always had our back, and that's a huge positive from our side of things," Mr Dwyer said.


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IMAGES

THMA equipment supplied by Derek Baxter (right) has helped Robern Menz ramp up its global Violet Crumble production, according to Warehouse Manager Shaun Dwyer (left).
Robern Menz Warehouse Manager Shaun Dwyer (left) and TMHA Area Sales Manager Derek Baxter (right) pose with Robern Menz's new Violet Crumble-themed Toyota 8FBE18, 3-wheel battery electric counterbalance forklift.