On the back of several years of sustained growth, Totalkare has relocate to a new, purpose-built facility at Pensnett Trading Estate in Kingswinford, near Dudley.
This move will enable Totalkare to optimise workflow on the shop floor and increase capacity for holding stock of mobile column lifts, in-ground and mobile brake testers, headlamp testers, smoke meters, railway lifting jacks and other future products.
The move comes at a time when Totalkare is also implementing a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) system that is expected to drive a lot of internal and external efficiency improvements for the business. Alongside these, a further investment in enhanced service management software is expected to further improve the company’s service capabilities.
These developments signal the beginning of a five-year expansion that will see more than £750,000 invested into the business.
“Following the introduction of testing products to our portfolio of heavy-duty workshop solutions, Totalkare has outgrown its current premises,” said managing director David Hall, whose two years in the business have overseen substantial growth.
The last 18 months has seen Totalkare add brake testers (mobile and in-ground), headlamp testers, diesel smoke meters and galvanised mobile column lifts to its portfolio. Most recently, the company has introduced vehicle inspection pits to support customers seeking a pit in addition to the purchase of an in-ground brake tester.
“Moving to the new premises – approximate four times the size of our Halesowen site – is a necessary move to facilitate further development.
“The additional space gives us room into which we can expand, not just in terms of headcount but also product portfolio and shop floor processes. It enables us to build on our founding principles of customer care and being experts in our field – it’s an exciting moment for Totalkare.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the company supplying its first mobile column lifts in the UK. Many of its clients have benefited from Totalkare column lifts for 40 years, including some of the biggest names in the bus and coach, commercial vehicle, heavy haulage and rail sectors.
“Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 we’ve had to curtail some of the events we had planned to mark this major milestone, but we remain intent on celebrating next year when – hopefully – normality has been restored” explained David.
Increased office space will also enable more staff to return to the office while observing proper social distancing rules.
In addition to non-contact anti-bacterial hand gel dispensers installed at the new premises’ entrances, the business has also invested in anti-viral fogging machines, forehead infrared thermometers and desk partitions are being extended with perspex dividers.
“We’d introduced Microsoft Teams into the business in 2019, so were already set up to work in an agile capacity before lockdown happened in March,” said David, “But the absence of social interaction in an office environment can negatively impact on one’s mental health, so it’s important we get people back in – safely of course – as soon as we can.
“Where it is possible for staff to continue to work from home, they will be able to do so, but those coming into the office will be able to do so with the peace of mind that Totalkare has taken every step to ensure their safety.”
While Totalkare has not been immune to the impact of COVID-19 this year, recent months has seen headcount increased with several key appointments aimed at further improving the way the business supports its customers.
A product manager has been recruited to identify and source products to complement Totalkare’s portfolio of heavy duty lifting and testing products, while the business has also appointed a new sales manager following a restructuring of its sales team.
“I’m proud to say that, while it hasn’t been easy, we’ve been able to navigate 2020 without making anyone redundant due to COVID-19,” said David, “Expanding and restructuring the sales team will enable us to give our customers more attention and respond swiftly to their needs, enhancing the excellent relationship we currently enjoy with them.”