What to Look for When Buying Used Lift Trucks

Previously owned lift trucks can be a great choice for some buyers. Three dealers offer advice on when to go that route and how to avoid getting stuck with a lemon.

A showroom full of shiny new lift trucks is alluring. It’s hard to resist the display models’ sleek designs, high-tech features, and glossy paint jobs. For some buyers, though, a brand-new truck is more than they need; the latest model may be too expensive or “overqualified” for the particular job at hand. In those circumstances, a used lift truck might be a better choice.

When should you consider buying a used truck rather than a new one? And how do you make sure you’re getting what you need at the right price? We asked three lift truck dealers who do a big business in used vehicles for some guidelines and advice. Here’s what they had to say.

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Highlights from High Point: Retailers Invest in Growth and Reassess KPI’s

High Point Market: one of those traditions grandpa started that remains in vogue. Once again, home furnishing pros flocked to North Carolina last week to see what’s trending and invest in beautiful furniture. The PROFITsystems team was there, although our focus was slightly different: to make sure our clients’ profitability was trending up and the investment they make every April brings ROI.

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Advanced Supply Chain Capabilities Needed for Strong Financial Performance

According to a new study from Deloitte, organizations with superior supply chain capabilities achieve significantly higher levels of performance on both revenue growth and EBIT measures when compared to the industry average

The Deloitte study, Supply chain leadership – Distinctive approaches to innovation, collaboration, and talent alignment, reveals that 79 percent of organizations with superior supply chain capabilities (”supply chain leaders”) report revenue growth that is considerably above the industry average.

Conversely, only eight percent of the organizations with lower supply chain performance report significantly above-average revenue growth. Furthermore, 69 percent of supply chain leaders have an EBIT margin that is well above the industry average compared to only nine percent of supply chain followers.

“At a fundamental level, manufacturing organizations compete on their supply chain capabilities,” said Kelly Marchese, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and a leader in Deloitte’s supply chain practice.

“At the same time, supply chains are increasingly complex, as linear trade flows evolve into intricate webs of global operations and third-party collaboration. It’s an incredibly challenging time to be a supply chain executive and in this demanding environment it’s useful to learn from the organizations that are excelling.”

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2 Trends Pushing WMS Evolution

WMS is now called upon to support omni-channel fulfillment and the increased use of automation that’s necessary to make it all work. Here’s how retailers, manufacturers, and distributors are continuing to drive the evolution of the market’s most mature software.

Occupying a rather mature corner of the supply chain software market, warehouse management systems (WMS) vendors simply can’t afford to languish or rest on their laurels in today’s dynamic business environment.

Well aware of this situation, vendors are working to stay ahead of the curve by integrating new functionalities and capabilities that were probably unheard of just 10 years ago. Two challenges that are garnering attention this year are the need for better support for omni-channel distribution operations as well as improved integration of WMS with warehouse control systems (WCS), the software traditionally used to manage automated materials handling equipment.

Over the next few pages we’ll explore how WMS is evolving to support these two trends and then take a closer look at how retailers, manufacturers, and distributors continue to drive the evolution of the software.

Channel integration

1. Driven largely by the boom in e-commerce, today’s shippers are focused on delivering a seamless customer experience across numerous channels. Whether they’re picking out goods on a mobile device, sitting down at a computer, standing in a brick-and-
mortar store, or reading a paper catalogue, today’s consumers want to be able to buy, exchange, return, and get support for a retailer’s products across all channels and without a single hassle.

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Pay and Respect, Two Keys to Finding and Keeping Drivers

Pay and benefits are changing as fleets work to recruit and retain drivers, but treating drivers right is still a top priority

Recruiting and retention. It’s akin to bailing water out of a boat that has a hole in it. You really have to plug the hole first, otherwise you’re constantly fighting to stay afloat. In the trucking industry, that hole is driver retention.

In the past, you might have been able to keep afloat by bailing. But today, as increasing regulations and demographic factors shrink the pool of qualified drivers available, it’s like that bucket you’re using to bail has gotten smaller.

Large truckload carriers have seen their turnover rate hold above 90% for eight quarters in a row, according to the latest figures from the American Trucking Associations.

“I think our industry has traditionally had a greater emphasis on recruiting and making sure they have a healthy pipeline of candidates coming in, but they just can’t recruit fast enough if you’re losing drivers at a fast pace as well,” says Vikas Jain, vice president of product management and software as a service at Omnitracs, which says it can use data analytics to predict which drivers are at risk for leaving the company.

“I am hearing more and more fleets are focusing their efforts on retention as opposed to recruiting,” he says.

Generally drivers cite two main broad reasons for jumping from one company to another: pay and respect. And the same factors that can keep drivers with your company can also help attract new drivers to your company – especially when you consider the importance of word-of-mouth and referrals.

In a recent survey by background screening company HireRight, 39% of the transportation companies responding said they are increasing pay, and almost as many (36%) said they are offering various incentive programs.

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Accellos’s Jared Mendenhall Featured in KEMP Technologies Press Release

KEMP Technologies’ Virtual LoadMaster (VLM) for Azure a mature, full-featured, enterprise-class Layer 7 persistence load balancing solution running in Windows Azure is now commercially available in three feature-enhanced performance profiles ranging up to 5Gb processing throughput and 10,000 SSL transactions per second. This will allow customers to seamlessly move their private cloud enterprise applications into a hybrid deployment using Azure and scale their application delivery services as application needs increase…

…For supply chain execution software provider, Accellos, cloud computing enables its customers to remove the cost and complexity of technical execution they cannot afford to do on-premises. However, migrating customer-facing applications to the cloud requires robust security, session-persistence and high availability features that only KEMP’s VLM can provide.

“Accellos recently established a new suite of cloud services in Azure, with several critical objectives in mind. Namely, our cloud services needed to scale, load balance, be automatable, and of course, be secured. Kemp helped us deliver on all of those goals.” said Jared Mendenhall, the cloud product manager for Accellos, the leading supply chain software provider for logistics service providers. “Kemp’s reverse proxy and load balancing functionality is proving to be a crucial component of our offerings, as it maintains session persistence for load balanced connections and adds an additional layer of security that our customers have come to expect. Furthermore, our team can secure and load balance our solutions quickly and efficiently via Kemp’s PowerShell interface.”

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Accellos Congratulates Europa on Improvement Award Win

Europa, a valued Accellos customer, was announced winner of the Improvement Award on March 20th, 2014, at the SHD Logistics Awards Ceremony held at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel. Europa had been nominated as a finalist for three of the SHD Logistics Awards categories: Warehouse Efficiency, Improvement and Innovation based on the Naked Wines operation at Northampton.

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Changing Customs Laws Open Up Trade With Mexico

Rules will change soon for Mexican customs brokers and companies doing customs business in Mexico that should open doors for Mexican trade.

The new rules, which were passed in October 2013 and will be implemented in October 2014, reduce the number of obstacles to becoming a Mexican customs broker.


  • You have to be a Mexican national to be a Mexican customs broker. If you are not well connected in Mexico, it is unlikely or impossible that you can become a Mexican customs broker. It is also rare to have an individual test or qualify to become a broker in Mexico, making the licenses very secure.
  • Mexican brokers today are held personally responsible for all brokerage done by their company.
  • Brokers’ licenses can only be used at a maximum of 4 ports. Often, a family of a few brokers joins together, effectively controlling more than 4 ports together to increase their brokerage presence.

With the new rules, companies no longer need a Mexican customs broker to do the filings for them. Instead:

  • Companies that want to conduct customs in Mexico can arrange for an employee who is well versed in customs business to take a test. If they pass, they can become a Certified Customs Specialist. The employee will then be responsible for conducting customs business on the company’s behalf.
  • All responsibility for the validity of customs transactions becomes the joint responsibility of the newly appointed Certified Customs Specialist and the Mexican Importer.

These changes allow companies with intricate, well-designed customs programs to use their own licensed brokers, becoming self-filers. Self-filers can do remote location filing and do not need a physical presence at the Mexican ports. In addition, customs brokers are no longer limited to 4 ports, this means they can more easily expand their customs territories.

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Press Release: Prophesy Dispatch & Macropoint Integration Announced

Accellos has announced, at the Transportation Intermediaries Association Conference, new integration between Prophesy Dispatch and MacroPoint, a service which provides location tracking for brokered loads.

The integrated solution provides Transportation Brokers with a way to automatically track loads including arrival, departure from stops and GPS position updates.   The seamless interface with Prophesy Dispatch automatically passes load info to the MacroPoint site to eliminate the need for re-entry.   The system then automatically brings load data back into Prophesy Dispatch including arrival, departure and GPS position data.  Check calls are automatically created in dispatch and load ETA’s are automatically updated.  The actual route the driver is taking can also be mapped in the Prophesy Dispatch software.

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Importance of Supply Chain Finance Recognized by European Banks

The importance and potential of supply chain finance as a line of business is increasingly recognized by the European banking community, according to the latest study by Demica, a technology specialist for working capital solutions.

The study, which examined job titles at the 50 largest banks in Europe, identified that close to 45 percent of top European banks have already created SCF-specific roles/job titles. Close to one third of the sampled banks have SCF-specific roles with directorial status. Nearly one fifth of these banks have sales functions specifically related to SCF and 16 percent of them have SCF-specific product managers. These figures can be seen as a broad indication on the growing level of significance banks allocate to SCF.

Following the financial crisis, this supplier financing facility has been exhibiting accelerated growth rates, as corporate buyers have become increasingly concerned about providing much-needed liquidity to their smaller-sized suppliers as well as improving their own working capital efficiency. A mounting number of banks are now increasingly regarding SCF as a distinct and full-fledged product in its own right. As a result, banks are creating more strategic roles solely dedicated to the promotion of SCF business within client organisations.

The study also highlights numerous driving forces behind banks’ intensifying efforts to develop SCF. As trade business increasingly takes place via open accounts instead of letters of credit, banks have to be able to offer product solutions that not only accommodate the evolving trading dynamics but also facilitate trade development. Due to its short tenure, self-liquidity nature and low cost of opportunity, SCF is an appealing business for banks, particularly in a post-crisis regulatory landscape. Driven by the strong appetite to use their balance sheet to support short-term commercial trade-related transactions, banks are now jockeying to gain SCF businesses.

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